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IMF's Lagarde to visit Egypt on 22 August, may raise loan to $4.8 bn

Christine Lagarde expected to meet Egypt's first elected government regarding ongoing loan negotiations next Wednesday; Finance Ministry to push for bigger loan

Ahram Online and Reuters, Wednesday 15 Aug 2012
Lagarde and El-Saeed
Lagarde and El-Said: due to come head-to-head later this month in Cairo (Photo: Ahram file)

The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde will visit Egypt on 22 August, according to a statement from the IMF on Wednesday.

Egyptian authorities invited Lagarde to Egypt, as the country seeks financial support from the international financial organisation. Ongoing negotiations for a facility from the IMF to Egypt are expected to be addressed during the visit.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that Egypt will discuss the possibility of a bigger-than-expected $4.8 billion loan from the Washington based body.

"We will discuss, in the negotiations we are to carry out with the IMF, increasing the loan to $4.8 billion," Finance Minister Momtaz El-Saeed told reporters, adding that he asked the United States on Tuesday for a $500 million grant to support the state budget.

Successive governments have negotiated with the IMF to secure emergency funding that officials had put at $3.2 billion, but no deal has been reached and Egypt's funding problems have steadily worsened during 18 months of political turmoil.

Lagarde’s visit to Egypt will be her second since she was chosen to be the IMF’s managing director for a five year term starting July 2011.

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