Egypt to support local businesses with new IMF loan

Discussions are at an advance stage between Egypt and the International Monetary Fund on securing additional financial help, according to Egypt’s Planning Minister, Hala Saeed. Saeed adds that when granted, the funds will be used to boost the viability of private business and further ensure structural reforms against the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The minister made the comment during a video conference with the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt, adding that the facility would include financing from bilateral and multilateral sources.

Talks are at an advance stage for a one-year IMF programme that will assist with any payment gaps businesses face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Repayment will be spread out over the medium term.

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Last week, the IMF had already approved a financing package for Egypt, a $2.77 billion under the Rapid Financing Instrument. That was meant to help Cairo close a gap in its balance of payments caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Egypt agreed a $12 billion, three-year Extended Fund Facility programme in 2016, with the International Monetary Fund. That package was designed to reduce its fiscal and balance of payment deficits.

The minister explains that Egypt had already been working on structural reforms before the pandemic and had identified six priorities, including digital transformation, industry, agriculture and logistics.

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