CAIRO, Oct 5 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund will discuss Egypt’s $12 billion loan programme at an executive board meeting, not at its annual meeting this week, Egypt’s deputy finance minister told Reuters on Wednesday.
Local media had speculated that the IMF would sign off on the programme, aimed at plugging Egypt’s budget deficit and balancing its currency markets at the annual meeting in Washington from Oct.7-9.
“Egypt’s loan will not be discussed at the annual IMF meeting because this meeting is not intended for executive board members. The executive board meeting will be scheduled later on,” Mohamed Meait said.
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 United Arab Emirates agreed in August to give Egypt’s central bank a $1 billion deposit for six years, and Cairo has been in talks with Saudi Arabia to secure a new deposit worth $2 billion-$3 billion.
It is also in talks with China. The IMF has not commented on whether these outstanding pledges are sufficient. (Reporting by Ehab Farouk; Writing by Eric Knecht; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)