Report: IMF loan expected next month

Egypt may secure an International Monetary Fund loan agreement in about a month, state news agency MENA reported, quoting "informed" sources. Negotiations over the US$4.8 billion loan have been ongoing for months.

Sources who asked not to be named told MENA that Central Bank of Egypt Governor Hesham Ramez, Planning and International Cooperation Minister Ashraf al-Araby and Finance Minister Morsy Hegazy.

MENA said the meetings featured consensus among most parties and an agreement on the need to give Egypt the loan to contribute to bridging the country’s budget deficit. The budget is set to be approved and applied in July.

The sources said there were two opposing viewpoints in the IMF, with the first agreeing to grant Egypt the loan now and the other preferring to grant the loan after Egypt holds parliamentary elections.

More support existed for the first viewpoint, however, and assisting the struggling Egyptian economy, especially with an expected budget deficit increase of nearly LE200 billion.

An IMF delegation left Cairo Tuesday after failing to reach an agreement on the terms of the loan.

An initial agreement over the loan in November was suspended when President Mohamed Morsy decided not to implement previously planned tax increases.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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