herald

Saturday 18 August 2018

IMF agrees €2bn loan to help Egypt

The International Monetary Fund agreed to provide Egypt with $3bn (e2.05bn) in financing to help the Arab world's most populous nation ease the blow to its economy sustained by the uprising that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak.

The loan announcement comes days after the government unveiled a draft budget that projects the deficit swelling to nearly 11pc of the nation's gross domestic product, as officials look to boost social services spending to meet persistent demands by a population that complained of gross economic inequity under the former regime.

The 12-month standby arrangement spans fiscal year 2011-2012, which begins in July, and carries a 1.5pc annual interest rate -- a level which Finance Minister Samir Radwan said fell far below the international borrowing costs Egypt would have had to agree to had it turned to the open market.

The loan is to be repaid over five years, with payments due to begin three years and three months after its disbursement.

hnews@herald.ie

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