Egypt receives $3 bln Qatari deposit at 3.5% : official

Reuters, Sunday 12 May 2013

Funds will be channeled into Egyptian treasury bonds with lower interest than 5% previously requested by Gulf nation

Qatar Egypt
Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani (C) talks with Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil during their meeting in Cairo January 8, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt received a $3 billion deposit from Qatar on Thursday, a central bank official said on Sunday, shoring up finances hit by economic turmoil since a popular uprising that toppled the government two years ago.

The funds will remain with the central bank until Egypt's Ministry of Finance issues bonds of the same value to Qatar, said the central bank official, who asked not to be named.

The three-year bonds will carry an interest rate of 3.5 percent.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani promised the money when Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil visited Qatar on April 10. The Gulf state has already lent Egypt $5 billion since President Mohamed Mursi took office last July.

Qatar had asked for 5 percent interest and a maturity of 18 months on the funds, but Egypt was negotiating to get the terms improved, an Egyptian official involved in the talks said last month.

Egypt has been asking Arab and Muslim nations for cheap funds to help it to stave off financial collapse after the uprising that ousted former president Hosni Mubarak.

It is negotiating a $4.8 billion dollar loan from the International Monetary Fund that would carry an interest rate of only 1.1 percent, but it has balked at the economic policy terms.

Libya deposited $2 billion at Egypt's central bank in April and said it would supply Egypt with $1.2 billion worth of crude oil on interest-free credit over one year.

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