File Photo of the International Monetary Fund. (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt is set to receive the fourth tranche of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan package by the end of July, newly appointed Finance Minister Mohamed Moeet said on Monday.
In statements to the privately owned CBC TV channel, Moeet said Egypt will receive the $2 billion tranche by the end of next month, bringing the total amount disbursed to $8 billion since Egypt signed the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) with the IMF in November 2016.
Moeet said the new tranche will be used to fund some requirements in the country’s general budget, as well as strengthening foreign reserves.
The statements by the finance minister come nearly one month after Egypt reached a staff-level agreement with the fund on the third review of Egypt’s economic reform programme, which started in 2014 to trim a growing budget deficit, which currently stands at 7.8 percent of the GDP, according to statistics by the finance ministry.
The IMF-supported reform programme has included the liberalisation of the country’s currency in November 2016 and the gradual lifting of energy subsidies, which has resulted in a surge in prices.
Over the past week, Egypt announced the partial lifting of subsidies on electricity and fuel.
The IMF said following its third review last month that Egypt remains committed to continuing energy subsidy reforms to achieve cost-recovery prices for most fuel products by 2019.
In July 2017, inflation reached a record high of 34.2 percent; however, it has since declined, reaching 11.5 percent by the end of May.
More than 85 percent of Egypt's ongoing economic reform programme has been implemented so far, according to statements by Moeet to Al-Ahram Daily in an exclusive interview published on Monday.
Last April, the IMF said it expects Egypt's economic growth rate to hit 5.2 percent in the current fiscal year, and up to 5.8 percent in the upcoming state budget, according to statement by then finance minister Amr El-Garhy.