Egypt eyes $4.8bn IMF loan; Lagarde plans visit
Cairo, August 15, 2012
Egypt will discuss the possibility of a bigger-than-expected $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund when a delegation from the Washington-based body visits Cairo this month, its finance minister said.
Earlier, IMF announced that its chief Christine Lagarde will visit Egypt next week in a show of IMF support for Egypt's transition.
'Her visit is a reflection of the IMF's continuous commitment to support Egypt and its people during this historic period of transition,' the IMF said in a brief statement. It added that the planned August 22 visit came at the invitation of Egyptian officials.
Successive governments have negotiated with the IMF to secure emergency funding that officials had put at $3.2 billion, but no deal has been reached and Egypt's funding problems have steadily worsened during 18 months of political turmoil.
'We will discuss, in the negotiations we are to carry out with the IMF, increasing the loan to $4.8 billion,' minister Mumtaz al-Saeed told reporters, adding that he asked the United States on Tuesday for a $500 million grant to support the state budget. - Reuters