IMF to discuss Egypt loan at future board meeting, not this week

The proposed $12 billion IMF loan to Egypt is aimed at plugging the country’s budget deficit and balancing its currency markets. (File photo: AP)

The International Monetary Fund will discuss Egypt’s $12 billion loan program at an executive board meeting, not at its annual meeting this week, Egypt’s deputy finance minister told Reuters on Wednesday.

Local media had speculated that the IMF would sign off on the program, aimed at plugging Egypt’s budget deficit and balancing its currency markets at the annual meeting in Washington from Oct.7-9.

“Egypt’s loan will not be discussed at the annual IMF meeting because this meeting is not intended for executive board members. The executive board meeting will be scheduled later on,” Mohamed Meait said.

Preliminary agreement

Egypt secured a preliminary agreement for the loan in August, but the head of the IMF mission in Cairo Chris Jarvis told Reuters at the time that Egypt would have to secure $5-6 billion in bilateral financing before the board grants final approval.

The UAE agreed in August to give Egypt’s central bank a $1 billion deposit for six years, and Cairo has been in talks with Saudi Arabia to secure a new deposit worth $2 billion-$3 billion.

It is also in talks with China. The IMF has not commented on whether these outstanding pledges are sufficient.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:52 - GMT 06:52