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Apr 7, 2013

Egypt seeks to increase $4.8 bln IMF loan -minister

CAIRO, April 7 (Reuters) – Egypt is seeking to increase its
previously-requested $4.8 billion loan from the International
Monetary Fund to cover its soaring budget deficit, the planning
minister said in comments carried by three newspapers on Sunday.

“Egypt will intensify its efforts in the spring meetings of
the IMF in the period from April 16-21 to receive additional
funding to cover the financing deficit until mid-2015,” Ashraf
El-Araby said in remarks carried by Al Masry Al Youm newspaper.

Mar 27, 2013

Egypt to import Libya oil, pay down energy debt

CAIRO/DOHA, March 27 (Reuters) – Egypt will import 900,000
barrels of oil a month from Libya starting in April and is
paying off some of the money it owes to foreign energy firms,
its oil minister said, in steps aimed at easing energy shortages
that are hitting the economy.

Egypt, which has endured over two years of political
instability since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in
2011, is struggling with sliding currency reserves, falling
tourism and a soaring budget deficit.

Mar 27, 2013

Saudi’s illegal immigrants draw fear of “infiltrators”

JEDDAH, March 27 (Reuters) – Down a narrow alleyway deep in
the Jeddah slum of Karantina, three women from Sudan have set up
stalls under colourful parasols, selling peanuts, hibiscus
petals, dried pulses, baskets, frankincense, calabashes and

They laugh and gossip in the sunshine, swathed in bright
printed cloth, while a scrawny black cat picks its way between
piles of rubbish. But when approached by a stranger, they are

Mar 26, 2013

Egypt activist released in case that raises fears for democracy

CAIRO (Reuters) – A prominent Egyptian political activist accused of inciting violence against President Mohamed Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood was released without bail on Tuesday after he turned himself in for questioning, the prosecutor general’s office said.

Alaa Abd El-Fattah, a blogger who became a symbol of the uprising that overthrew Hosni Mubarak in 2011, was among five activists the prosecutor general ordered on Monday be arrested – a step the opposition decried as a reversal for democracy.

Mar 21, 2013

Egyptian reassurance may fail to woo investment dollars

CAIRO, March 21 (Reuters) – Egypt’s revival of a scheme
meant to protect foreign buyers of government debt and stocks
will struggle to achieve a wider aim – easing an acute dollar

Earlier this month the central bank reopened a modified
version of a mechanism last used in 2003 which ring-fences
dollars invested in Egyptian securities.

Mar 20, 2013

Egypt unrest raises re-routing risk after Suez toll rise

LONDON/CAIRO, March 20 (Reuters) – When it raises tolls in
May, Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority will know that fuel costs rule
out alternative routes, but some in the shipping industry say
the calculation could reach a tipping point if the risk of
delays from unrest increases.

Egypt’s economy has been in crisis since the 2011 overthrow
of Hosni Mubarak, with Islamist President Mohamed Mursi’s
cash-strapped government grappling with sliding currency
reserves, falling tourism, a soaring budget deficit and a wave
of often violent street protests.

Mar 19, 2013

Egypt plans risky steps to ration subsidised bread

CAIRO, March 19 (Reuters) – Egypt plans to start rationing
subsidised bread, a minister said on Tuesday, taking a
politically risky step to restrict supplies of the cheap loaves
upon which many Egyptians depend as the state tries to save

Bassem Ouda, the supply minister, said the government would
start implementing rationing “after two months”. Trials of a
rationing system using electronic smart cards would begin in the
restive Suez Canal city of Port Said and its suburb Port Fouad.

Mar 19, 2013

Analysis: Election limbo keeps Egypt’s IMF loan on ice

CAIRO (Reuters) – Once parliamentary elections are out of the way, Egypt stands a chance of securing an International Monetary Fund loan to help address its currency and budget crisis; the problem is that no one knows when that will be.

With face-to-face contact between Egypt and the IMF re-established this week after a two-month gap, both sides are pushing for urgent action, but with strikingly different emphases.

Mar 17, 2013

Egypt tries to attract foreign investment in state debt

CAIRO, March 17 (Reuters) – Egypt opened a scheme on Sunday
allowing foreign investors in its financial markets access to
dollars despite a hard currency shortage, a move which analysts
said aimed to attract external funding for the soaring state
budget deficit.

The central bank said it was restarting a mechanism helping
foreign investors to repatriate their funds that was last used
in 2000-2003 – also a period of dollar shortages when the
Egyptian pound’s value fell sharply.

Mar 10, 2013

Egypt does not need IMF bridging funding – minister

CAIRO, March 10 (Reuters) – Egypt does not need bridging
financing as offered by the International Monetary Fund to some
countries but rather broad structural measures to tackle its
budget deficit, Planning Minister Ashraf al-Araby said on

With its dollar reserves falling to critically low levels
and deficit soaring, the government says it wants to reopen
stalled negotiations for a $4.8 billion loan from the IMF.