Egypt’s long-mooted $4.8bn loan deal with the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expected to be finalised next month, the country’s finance minister, Mumtaz al-Saeed, has said.
Al-Saeed’s comments contradict an earlier statement by Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, who said he hoped to conclude negotiations towards the end of this month, during a scheduled meeting with IMF delegates in Cairo.
Egypt’s fiscal position has continued to deteriorate amid concerns over the economic policies of the Islamist government of President Mohammed Mursi.
The country’s balance of payments deficit, stood at $11.3bn in the 2011-12 financial year, while the government recently downgraded its forecast for economic growth by 0.5 per cent in 2012-13.
Egypt has already received economic aid packages valued at $1bn and $2bn from Saudi Arabia and Qatar respectively in 2012.