PM Kandil claims the IMF loan is key in restoring investor confidence
Masood Ahmed, director of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Middle East and Central Asia department, said on Sunday that the fund would work with Egypt to try to reach agreement on a programme
and that the next step would be technical work.
He said “progress” had been made in his talks with the Egyptian authorities who are seeking a $4.8bn loan.
\"We agreed that our discussions would continue diligently over the coming weeks with the aim of reaching agreement on possible financial support from the IMF,” said Mr Ahmed in a statement after talks with Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil.
Egypt last week rejected emergency bridge finance offered by the IMF to tide it over until the loan agreement has been negotiated.
Egyptian officials have been quoted as saying that the country needed to implement structural reforms and that an IMF agreement was required to restore investor confidence in the economy.
Hisham Kandil, the Egyptian Prime Minister received Masood, in the context of ongoing consultations between Egypt and the international organisation.
The meeting was attended by ministerial experts and economic specialists.
Mr Ahmed said earlier in the day after talks with other officials that the IMF was “fully committed” to working with the Egyptian authorities to reach agreement on a reform programme that would address the country’s economic challenges.
The Egyptian government faces economic and political problems two years after the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak.
Foreign reserves have fallen to critical levels, while the Egyptian pound has lost more than 8% of its value against the US dollar since the beginning of this year.