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Egypt receives 5th $2bn tranche of IMF loan

February 7, 2019 at 3:29 am

Egyptian currency [Flickr/Emi Moriya]

Egypt has received the fifth instalment of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan programme, worth $2 billion, official MENA reported yesterday, quoting an official source at the country’s Central Bank.

The source said that the instalment would be used “to support the state budget and will positively reflect on the country’s foreign cash reserves.” Late January, Egypt’s net foreign reserves increased by $66 million, reaching $42.616 billion, compared to $42.550 billion the month before.

In November 2016, the IMF offered Egypt a three-year $12 billion loan programme aimed at reviving the country’s struggling economy, bringing down public debt and controlling inflation while seeking to protect the poor. The latest payment brings the total amount paid to Egypt to $10 billion since the agreement was signed.

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On Monday, the Egyptian finance minister, Mohamed Maait, said that the IMF executive board had approved granting Egypt the fifth $2 billion tranche of the loan package after the financial organisation had completed the programme’s fourth review.

Maait added that the IMF would carry out the “fifth and final review” in June 2019 ahead receiving the loan’s final $2 billion tranche.

Egypt has been negotiating billions of dollars in aid from various lenders to help revive an economy battered by political upheaval since the 2011 revolution and to ease a dollar shortage that has crippled import activity and hampered recovery.

According to the central bank’s official data, Egypt’s external debt increased by 15 per cent in September 2018, reaching $93.130 billion, compared to $80.831 during the same period of 2017.