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IMF says preparing for first review of Egypt programme, dates to be confirmed

March 23, 2023 at 3:59 pm

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) building [Celal Güneş – Anadolu Agency]

Preparations for the first review of Egypt’s economic reform programme with the International Monetary Fund have begun and dates for the review mission will be announced when agreed with the authorities, an IMF spokesperson said on Thursday, Reuters reports.

The IMF approved in December a $3 billion Extended Fund Facility loan for Egypt, which has been under acute financial pressure since long-standing problems were exposed by the economic fallout from the war in Ukraine.

Disbursements under the 46-month programme are subject to eight reviews, the first of which was dated 15 March, 2023 in an IMF staff report published in December.

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Among the key commitments that Egypt made to secure the loan were a permanent shift to a flexible exchange rate regime and wide-ranging structural reforms to reduce the State’s footprint in the economy.

Egypt’s currency, EGP, has lost nearly 50 per cent of its value over the past year following three sharp devaluations. In the past two weeks it has traded in a narrow band between 30.75 and 30.95 pounds to the dollar, according to Eikon data, although the pound’s value on the black market has slipped.

Analysts say the pound has come under renewed pressure partly due to delays in expected sales of State assets.

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