CAIRO Oct 13 Egypt received a $2 billion
central bank deposit from Saudi Arabia in September, the prime
minister told Reuters on Thursday, confirming it had been
accounted for in the previous month's foreign reserves total,
which stood at $19.6 billion.
The timing of the deposit makes clear it was received before
a suspension of petroleum aid by Saudi Arabia, which began on
Oct. 1 and had raised questions over the fate of Saudi aid
destined for Egypt.
Egypt's central bank said late on Wednesday that it had
received a $2 billion deposit that could bring it closer to
clinching a $12 billion IMF lending programme aimed at plugging
the country's deficit and balancing its currency markets but had
not clarified when the money was received.
Egypt secured a preliminary agreement for the loan in
August, but head of the IMF mission in Cairo Chris Jarvis told
Reuters at the time that Egypt would have to secure $5-6 billion
in bilateral financing before the board grants final approval.
The Saudi deposit follows an agreement by the United Arab
Emirates in August to give Egypt's central bank a $1 billion
deposit for six years.
Egypt is also in talks with China. An IMF official said
during its annual meeting last week that the IMF and Egypt had
made "good progress" on securing the funding but did not specify
how much might still be needed.
(Reporting by Ehab Farouk; Writing by Eric Knecht; Editing by