The International Monetary Fund said Tuesday that Egypt had asked to delay its request for a $4.8 billion loan agreed in November as violent protests mount in Cairo ahead of a referendum on the constitution. \"In light of the unfolding developments on the ground, the Egyptian authorities have asked to postpone their request for a Stand-By Arrangement with the IMF,\" a Fund spokeswoman said in a statement. \"The Fund remains in close contact with the authorities, and stands ready to continue supporting Egypt during the ongoing transition and to consult with the authorities on the resumption of discussions regarding the Stand-By Arrangement,\" the spokeswoman said. The IMF announcement followed violent protests in Egypt over a deeply disputed constitutional referendum proposed by the Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi. The IMF and Egyptian authorities provisionally agreed on the loan on November 20. The IMF executive board had been expected to review the deal in this month. The planned IMF loan is aimed at helping the government bridge financing shortfalls through fiscal 2013-2014 as the country rebuilds an economy left battered by the 2011 overthrow of the Hosni Mubarak regime.