Egypt urges IMF for $4.8 bn loan

Cairo, Aug 23 (IANS) Egypt sought a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during a meeting held between President Mohamed Morsi and Christine Lagarde, the IMF chief, Wednesday, Xinhua reported.

“We discussed many details about the loan, including the interest that will be 1.1 percent, and we required raising the loan from $3.2 to 4.8 billion,” said Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Qandil after the meeting.
The loan will be on five years with 39 months’ grace period, he added.
“The IMF experts will review the economic and social programme of the Egyptian government,” he said.
Qandil also said that talks would be held Thursday on other details while predicting the signing ceremony to take place in early December or November.
Lagarde said the IMF admired the economic and social strategies of Egypt, affirming the IMF’s keenness on supporting Egypt to achieve its stability and improve its security to encourage foreign investments.
“The accurate details about the loan haven’t been discussed yet, but I think all the loan procedures may be finished within two months,” Lagarde said.
Egypt needs the loan urgently to cover the budget deficits after Egypt’s foreign reserves fell to about half at the end of the Mubarak era.
The government is also facing a balance of payments crisis and high borrowing costs. The IMF loan would help avoid the currency devaluation.