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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.

Mar 4, 2013

Egypt sets limits on share transfers of local stocks

CAIRO, March 4 (Reuters) – Egypt has set limits on the
amount of shares local companies can transfer into
internationally-traded global depository receipts after a
controversial deal involving one of the country’s biggest firms.

Egypt’s financial watchdog made the ruling while a dispute
rages over a share offer that is likely to lead to Orascom
Construction Industries (OCI) leaving the Egyptian
stock market against the government’s wishes.

Mar 4, 2013

Egyptian currency reserves edge further below “critical” level

CAIRO, March 4 (Reuters) – A slide in Egypt’s foreign
reserves slowed sharply in February, central bank data showed on
Monday, but their low levels kept Cairo under heavy pressure to
secure an IMF loan.

The central bank, which has been tightly rationing dollar
supplies, said on its website that reserves slipped to $13.5
billion at the end of last month from $13.6 billion at the end
of January.

Mar 3, 2013

Egypt expects IMF deal before polls start in April: minister

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt expects to seal a long-delayed $4.8 billion loan deal before parliamentary elections start next month, the finance minister said on Sunday, as the country runs dangerously low on foreign currency reserves and the budget deficit soars.

The deal was agreed in principle last November but put on hold at Cairo’s request following unrest on Egyptian streets. Egypt has sent a reform plan to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) but no dates have yet been set for the resumption of talks.

Feb 28, 2013

Dollar curbs not seen halting dire Egypt reserves slide

CAIRO, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Egypt’s central bank is expected
to report next week that it has slowed the rapid erosion of its
foreign currency reserves but failed to halt it, despite sharp
limits it has put on its sales of dollars, which economists say
are punishing business.

Investment bank CI Capital bank predicted a decline of
another $900 million in central bank foreign reserves to $12.7
billion for February, ahead of the publication of the figure by
the central bank around March 7.

Feb 28, 2013

Egypt to invite IMF team on Thursday for loan talks

CAIRO, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Egypt will invite the IMF on
Thursday to reopen negotiations on a $4.8 billion loan, state
newspaper al-Ahram reported, and the investment minister
expressed hope that a deal could be done by the end of April.

International Monetary Fund support is seen as crucial to
help ease an economic crisis rooted in two years of political
turmoil that has depleted foreign currency reserves to
critically low levels.

Feb 27, 2013

Factories struggle in Egypt as costs, risks rise

MADINAT ELSADAT, Egypt, Feb 27 (Reuters) – The blue steel
gates of Abu al-Makarim factory, once busy with staff carrying
Egyptian carpets for export, are now rust-encrusted and bolted
shut after worker strikes and financial problems forced the
plant out of business eight months ago.

The abandoned facility in Madinat Elsadat, near Cairo, is
one of thousands that have fallen victim to the instability of
post-revolution Egypt. Many that remain open are plagued by
power cuts, strikes, poor security, and difficulty securing
loans in credit markets where they are squeezed out by an
indebted government.

Feb 26, 2013

Egypt to send economic plan to parliament in days-minister

CAIRO, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Egypt will send a new economic
plan needed to secure a lifeline from the International Monetary
Fund to parliament within two days after releasing a summary
that makes no mention of cutting subsidies and other
politically-sensitive measures.

Cairo is trying to secure a $4.8 billion IMF loan to shore
up its finances as the economy faces a deep crisis rooted in two
years of political turmoil that have drained foreign currency
reserves to a critical level.