Egypt Watch

Bloomberg: Egypt seeks to borrow $9 billion

Bloomberg has reported that Egypt is seeking more than $5 billion from the International Monetary Fund under a stand-by arrangement and $4 billion from other institutions. The borrowing would come in addition to the $2.8 billion received this week under the IMF’s emergency Rapid Financing Instrument.

Egypt is targeting as much as $8.5 billion in total from the Washington-based lender, according to the official, who asked not to be identified as the matter is confidential. The person didn’t specify the institutions being sought to provide the other $4 billion.

Ahmed Kojak, Deputy Minister of Finance, said that the government will start next Tuesday discussions with the International Monetary Fund to obtain new financing through the credit preparedness tool, indicating that the volume of funding has not been determined, but it is expected to range between $4-5 billion. Kojc stressed that the new loan aims to maintain the structural economic reform that was achieved last period.

Egypt launched a prior programme with the IMF in November 2016 to obtain a loan of $12 billion that ended last June. The Egyptian government implemented strict austerity measures, in compliance with the fund’s conditions, such as increasing taxes, cutting subsidies, liberalising the currency rate and reducing the number of employees in the government.

The volume of external debt owed by Egypt increased to about $112.67 billion at the end of December of 2019, compared to $96.61 billion at the end of December of 2018, achieving an increase of 16.6 per cent, amounting to $16.1 billion on an annual basis.