Egypt GDP grows an unexpected 5.2 pct in 1Q2012: Minister

Ahmed Feteha, Monday 21 May 2012

Egypt's economy bounces back in 2012 after shrinking 4.2 per cent in the first quarter of last year, says planning minister

Fayza Aboul Naga
Fayza Abul-Naga says economy started to recover in 2012, showing impressive growth levels

Egypt's economy grew by 5.2 per cent in the first quarter of the 2012 calendar year, the country's minister of planning said on Monday.

"The economy has started to pick up this year, and I am very optimistic," Fayza Abul-Naga, a veteran official who served during the Mubarak era, was quoted as saying on Egypt's cabinet official Facebook page.

Egypt's gross domestic product (GDP), hit by turmoil since a popular uprising toppled President Mubarak in 2011, shrunk by 4.3 per cent compared to the same period a year earlier.

Abul-Naga also announced in a news conference on Monday that Egypt has agreed to sell $500 million treasury bonds to Saudi Arabia.

The deal, signed on Sunday, is part of a financial assistance package promised by Saudi Arabia to Egypt in 2011.

On 10 May, the Kingdom signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Egyptian government under which the Kingdom will give $500 million in assistance as well as deposit $1 billion in the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).

Egypt has been struggling financially since last year's uprising, as balance of payment and budget deficits have surged due to downturns in investment and tourism.

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