Qatar has agreed to buy bonds from cash-strapped Egypt worth $3 billion over and above a previously announced aid package, its Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani said Wednesday.
The announcement comes as Cairo holds difficult talks with the International Monetary Fund over a loan of $4.8 billion as part of a financing program to lift Egypt's economy out of crisis.
“We have agreed to add Egypt government bonds worth $3 billion,” Sheikh Hamad said at a joint press conference in Doha with visiting Egyptian counterpart Hisham Qandil.
Qatar has already announced an aid package of $5 billion to Egypt, comprising an outright grant of $1 billion and $4 billion in bank deposits.
A delegation of the IMF is visiting Cairo for talks on the financing program and is expected to examine Egypt's efforts at economic reform.
The government has been walking a tightrope as the reforms required by the international lender are likely to spark social tensions.
The size of the loan may change, IMF officials have said, without elaborating.
Egypt's authorities believe the loan will help restore investor confidence in the country, where unrest that accompanied the 2011 uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak has caused a significant drop in revenue from the once-lucrative tourism industry.
Foreign reserves have plunged from $36 billion to some $13 billion in two years, and the budget deficit is increasing.
President Mohamed Morsi's administration has been plagued by unrest and deadly clashes between protesters and police, blocking efforts to build broad-based support for a needed program of economic reform.
Egypt illegal gains enquiry brings new threat to EFG-QInvest dealEgypt’s Illicit Gains Authority has intervened in a proposed joint venture between Qatar’s QInvest and the Cairo-based investment bank EFG ... Banking & Finance
Egypt PM to visit donor Qatar amid IMF loan talksEgypt’s prime minister was due in Qatar on Tuesday for talks with his country’s biggest Gulf Arab financial backer as Cairo is negotiating ... Business
Qatar to give $500 million in aid to rebuild Darfur: ministerQatar pledged $500 million in aid to rebuild Sudan’s war-ravaged western region of Darfur, the official QNA news agency on Monday quoted a ... Middle East