Egyptian economic and financial delegation in Washington for IMF talks: What do we know so far?

Doaa A.Moneim , Tuesday 9 Jan 2024

A high-level delegation from the Egyptian government has arrived in Washington DC to push forward Egypt's almost standstill loan programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in addition to exploring a new additional loan for the country amid its ongoing serious economic situation.

Egyptian delegation previous meeting with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. Archive.
Egyptian delegation previous meeting with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. Archive.


The delegation includes Hassan Abdullah, the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) governor and Egypt’s governor at the IMF, Mohamed Maait, the finance minister and Egypt’s sub-governor at the IMF, and Rania Al-Mashat, international cooperation minister.

The visit could also include a meeting with the World Bank Group’s officials for leveraging more finances directed mainly to the private sector and following up on the progress made so far regarding the IPO programme, as Egypt assigned the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank’s financial arm, as the technical advisor of the programme.

In December 2022, the IMF approved the EFF deal for Egypt and handed the first tranche to the country valued at $347 billion. Since then, the programme has not seen tangible progress with Egypt missing the first two reviews scheduled in March and September 2023.

The delegation will meet with the Secretary of the US Department of Treasury Janet Yellen and with the IMF’s Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva to leverage more finances for the country.

These meetings aim to explore if the Fund will facilitate a new loan programme for Egypt, along with the current $3 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) approved in December 2023, especially since the IMF has recently increased its member countries’ quota by 50 percent, sources very close to the ongoing discussions told Ahram Online.

The IMF is already discussing with the Egyptian side additional financing to ensure the successful implementation of the policy package for Egypt to help it navigate the implications of the war in Gaza, the IMF’s Spokesperson Julie Kozack told Ahram Online in the Fund’s regular press briefing held in December 2023.

Egypt is currently under severe economic pressure that could erode all its efforts to tackle the imbalances its budget, in particular, and its economy, in general, are witnessing especially with the eruption of the Israeli war in Gaza, while Egypt is an immediate country, the sources added.

They also expected the discussions to address Egypt’s request for rescheduling the current 46-month EFF loan agreement to conclude in 2028 instead of 2026.

According to the sources, Egypt will discuss the new strategy the government has drafted to tackle its economic challenging situation over six years (2024-2030), expecting Egypt to request new finance that covers implementing all the targets mentioned in the strategy till 2030.

The discussions will also address the severe US dollar shortage crunch, which Egypt has been suffering, through repricing the state-owned assets offered under the country’s IPO programme and offering more stakes to attract the GCC investors to invest in them.

Moreover, the delegation will showcase other instruments to replenish the country’s US dollar liquidity through issuing new bonds that target mainly the GCC and Asian markets, as well as the facilities the government has offered for foreign investors and Egyptian expats that target their US dollar holdings.

“Egypt is facing a huge financing gap that exceeds $8 billion for the current FY2023/2024 and can amount to over $20 billion till 2026. New finances are crucial for the Egyptian economy to be able to bridge such a gap and also to meet all its financial needs,” the sources explained.

“Tightening more the country’s both fiscal and monetary policies, with a flexible exchange rate, is a cornerstone of the ongoing discussions. These actions will help the country bring down its inflation from the double-digit zone to the single-digit area, reaching seven percent in 2025,” according to the sources.

Short link: