Finance minister denies Egypt requested additional IMF loan


Egypt has not requested an additional loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or an extension of the current economic reform program so far, Finance Minister Mohamed Moeat announced in a statement to Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Government sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the disbursement of the next tranche of the loan will support Egypt’s general budget, pointing out that an IMF delegation visited Cairo recently to provide technical support for the reform and development of the tax system.

A recent IMF report on annual growth indicators in Africa and the Middle East praised Egypt’s ambitious economic reform program, saying it had contributed, in less than a year, to the decline in external and fiscal deficits and increasing growth rates, as well as stabilizing the situation of the foreign exchange deficit and increasing private investment.

In 2016, the IMF approved lending Egypt a $12 billion loan disbursed in three installments of six tranches.

The first tranche of $2.75 billion was distributed in November 2016. Cairo received the second tranche of $1.25 billion in July 2017, the third tranche of $2 billion in December 2017, and the fourth tranche of $2 billion in June 2018.

Egypt participated in the meetings of the IMF and the World Bank held on the island of Bali, Indonesia. The meetings began Sunday and continue until October 12, at a time of global and regional economic and trade volatility.

Moeat, on his way to Indonesia, visited South Korea to meet with Korean officials, including bank representatives and investment funds there to discuss the possibility of attracting new Korean investments to Egypt.

During his visit to Bali, he held meetings with IMF Director General Christine Lagarde, the African Caucasus Group, a number of IMF officials, and ministers of the Middle East and North Africa region to discuss the IMF’s programs in the Middle East.

Moeat also met with Executive Director of the IMF Hazem al-Beblawy.

Moeat is also participating in a number of bilateral meetings with his counterparts from South Sudan and France to discuss economic cooperation, as well as other meetings with credit rating institutions such as Fitch and S&P to determine the future outlook of Egypt’s macro economy in the coming period, the latest developments and forecasts of economic growth rates, and how to balance spending, inflation and interest rates.

Moeat will also meet with officials of international banks such as AIIB, Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, JPMorgan and HSBC.

He plans to meet with a number of foreign financial and investment companies such as Golden Sachs and Citigroup to discuss cooperation in the coming period, especially with regard to capital markets and infrastructure financing.

Moeat will take part in meetings with the delegations of a number of Arab banks participating in the meetings of the IMF in Indonesia, such as Emirates NBD and ADIB, to discuss topics related to Islamic Sukuk and international Islamic investments.

The minister will deliver a speech at the meeting of Christine Lagarde and finance ministers of the Middle East region, in which he will review the latest developments of the Egyptian economic reform program.

In a related context, a delegation of the IMF is scheduled to visit Cairo in October to review the performance of the economy and the reform program before the disbursement of a new loan tranche of $2 billion. Cairo is expected to receive the tranche in December.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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