Cairo receives $1bn from World Bank

14 September 2016

Egypt has received the first tranche of a $3bn loan agreed last year

Egypt has received the first $1bn installment of a $3bn loan from the World Bank, according to a statement from the Central Bank of Egypt.

The World Bank had initially agreed to provide the first installment in December 2015, but was waiting for clarification on the government’s economic reform programme.

Following an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a $12bn in August, Cairo has said it is pressing ahead with a number of reforms including a value-added-tax (VAT), which was approved by parliament earlier this month.

Egypt is also expected to further devalue its currency while continuing to phase out large state subsidies.

“We are happy to partner with Egypt in implementing its economic programme which helps create job opportunities, attracts investment and strengthens growth,” said a statement from Asad Alam, the World Bank’s country director for Egypt.

Egypt economic reform programme was triggered by the agreement with the IMF. The agreement also requires Cairo to also secure an addition $6bn in bilateral financing.

Earlier this month Egypt received a $1bn deposit for the duration of six months from the UAE as Egypt looks to plug the $6bn financing gap required to qualify for the IMF loan.

It is understood that the World Bank loan and a $1.5bn loan from the African Development Bank do not count as part of the $6bn required.

Egypt’s foreign reserves have witnessed a drastic decline over the last few years as revenues from tourism, the Suez Canal and foreign investment fall. Foreign reserves exceeded $30bn in 2011 compared with $16.6bn in August this year. 

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