Egypt has dismissed claims that it is seeking a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), according to statement provided to MEED from a central bank spokesperson.

The spokesperson told MEED that “reports regarding Egypt looking for funding from the IMF is totally false,” although he went on to say that Egypt has a good relationship with the IMF and that “future agreements could be possible”.

News agency Bloomberg cited an anonymous senior government official as saying that Egypt plans to seek the loan, adding that the “details aren’t public.”

Although no agreement with the IMF has been discussed, Egypt is in desperate need of financial support as it battles what has been described as an economic crisis rooted in a severe decline in foreign reserves, currently sitting at approximately $16bn.

The authorities have managed to secure funds from the World Bank, the African Development Bank, China and Saudi Arabia in recent months, but it is still not enough to fill its external financing gap of around $17bn.

The reality being faced by Cairo at the moment is a tourism sector contracting at 46 per cent year-on-year, a Suez Canal witnessing declining revenues and a global economic environment that is making international lenders reluctant to support Egypt at this current moment.