IMF in Egypt amid currency crisis



Reuters

Published — Monday 7 January 2013

Last update 7 January 2013 6:28 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

CAIRO: A senior IMF official met Egypt’s government on Monday for talks on a vital $4.8 billion loan as the Arab state battles to contain a currency crisis set off by political turmoil that is depleting its foreign reserves.
The IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia director, Masood Ahmed, met Prime Minister Hisham Kandil at the start of a visit coinciding with a sharp decline in the value of the Egyptian pound, which has hit a series of record lows against the dollar.
Before the visit, the International Monetary Fund had said Ahmed would discuss recent economic developments and “possible IMF support for Egypt in facing these challenges.” Egyptian state media said the IMF team would stay for several days.
“We will attend many meetings with the Egyptian government today. The technical team will come later. All details will be discussed in these meetings today,” Ahmed said after his meeting with Kandil. He was due to meet President Mohamed Mursi later.
The pound has lost more than 4 percent of its dollar value since Dec. 30, when the central bank introduced a new system for selling foreign currency to try to stem the fall in foreign reserves.
The pound last traded at 6.45 pounds to the dollar on Sunday . Markets were closed on Monday for a public holiday marking Coptic Christmas. The currency has now lost more than a tenth of its value in the two years since a popular uprising swept Hosni Mubarak from power in February, 2011.
Trying to revive an economy pummelled by a turbulent political transition, the Islamist-led government struck an initial agreement on the IMF Stand-By Arrangement in November.
But last month, Cairo postponed formal conclusion of the deal because of new political confrontations and street protests ignited by Mursi’s drive to fast-track a new, Islamist-oriented constitution that was approved in a popular referendum.
Confronted by lethal street violence at the time, Mursi postponed planned tax increases seen as part of a package of austerity measures needed to secure the IMF loan.
With parliamentary elections approaching, Mursi has seemed wary of any action that could undermine the popularity of the Muslim Brotherhood, which propelled him to power in a June vote.
Kandil said on Sunday the government would seek to reassure the IMF about the government’s economic plans and the economy’s capacity for recovery.
Finance Minister AL-Mursi Al-Sayed Hegazy, who was sworn in on Sunday as part of a cabinet reshuffle, said he was ready to complete discussions on the IMF loan.
Having spent some $20 billion defending the pound since Mubarak’s fall, the central bank introduced the new system for auctioning foreign currency to preserve what it described as critically low foreign currency reserves.
The central bank said on Sunday its foreign reserves had inched down $21 million in December to $15.015 billion. Economists had expected a steeper fall.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The Ministry of Education (MoE) has allocated over 180 clinics for schools in Riyadh and directed all its departments across the Kingdom to recruit health advisers at schools with more than 100 students.Work has already started on introducing...
RIYADH: The Moroccan experience in desert tourism is largely similar to that of Saudi Arabia, which boasts of a unique diversity in culture in its different regions, Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National...
JAZAN: Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited the advanced field hospital of the Armed Forces in Jazan on Tuesday.He was reassured about the injured in the ongoing battle. He conveyed the greetings of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King S...
JEDDAH: The planned “North Thunder” military exercise is a clear message to Iran and the countries in the region it supports that any hostile intentions and actions will be firmly dealt with, an expert has said.The military drill is scheduled to be h...
RIYADH: Syrian conjoined twins will be separated at the King Abdullah Specialist Children’s Hospital at the King Abdul Aziz Medical City (KAMC) in Riyadh on Sunday.According to a KAMC spokesman, the forthcoming surgery will be the fourth and final st...
JEDDAH: Education Minister Ahmed Al-Issa has issued an order to establish a department for school security. It will be be linked organizationally to the general supervisor of school safety and security at the ministry.According to the decision, schoo...
JEDDAH: From delivering mails for Saudi Aramco to captaining Saudi Arabian Airlines’ first flight to New York, Jazza Al-Shammari’s career story is unique.“I started my career as a postman with Saudi Aramco in 1959 and continued the primary studies at...
RIYADH: A team of the King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center (KFSHRC) has identified a gene responsible for cardiomyopathy.Dr. Zuhair bin Nasser Al-Hasnan, KFSHRC medical genetics consultant, said the team conducted a study on a Saudi...
JEDDAH: The Pakistan Welfare Society (PWS) organized a free medical camp and discussion on health for women at the Pakistani Consulate recently.Doctors and specialists diagnosed patients and distributed free medicines to needy patients, and arranged...
JEDDAH: Yemen Vice President and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah has thanked Saudi Arabia for standing by his country during tough times.Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai on Tuesday, he said: “Our GCC brothers, particularly Saudi Arabia, s...
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia joined the rest of the world in intensifying public awareness on cancer with activities spread over the week supporting the global cause that aims to save millions of lives every year by raising awareness and education about the...
RIYADH: Chairman of ACWA Power International Mohammed Abu Nayyan thanked King Mohammed VI of Morocco for personally inaugurating Morocco’s first solar power plant, Noor1, built by an international consortium led by his company.“We were extremely priv...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Health is considering imposing an asset declaration as well as an absence of interest conflict testimony on its employees as a measure in fighting corruption.Health Minister Khalid Al-Falih made the announcement at a one-day f...
DAMMAM: Abdussalam Kanniyan, chairman of the International Indian School in Dammam (IISD), has been honored with the “Person of the Year 2015” award by Vatakara NRI Forum, a community group in the Eastern Province.The award was based on his outstandi...
RIYADH: Andrej Plenkovic, the leader of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee delegation, on Tuesday hailed Saudi Arabia for its yeoman services in looking after the displaced Syrians in countries such as Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.“We fu...

Stay Connected

Facebook