The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) board of directors is set to convene on 20 December to discuss the second portion of the $12bn loan to Egypt.
An IMF mission visited Egypt from 25 October to 9 November to review Egypt’s IMF-supported economic reform programme.
According to Subir Lall, IMF mission chief for Egypt, fund experts reached a staff-level agreement on the second review of Egypt’s economic reform programme, which is supported by the IMF’s SDR 8.597bn (about $12bn) arrangement.
Lall said that Egypt’s growth rate has improved during the fiscal year 2016/2017, with gross domestic product (GDP) rising by 4.2% compared to the projected 3.5%. At the same time, the country’s current account deficit in US dollars witnessed a decline, supported by an increase in non-oil exports and tourism revenues, while non-oil imports declined.
Reflecting increased investor confidence, portfolio investments into Egypt reached $16bn this year and foreign direct investment (FDI) rose by 13%. Headline inflation appears to have peaked in July and has been declining since then, supported by the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) prudent monetary policy stance.
Budget performance was broadly in line with programme projections, with a primary deficit of 1.8% of GDP.
Finance Minister Amr Al-Garhi expected receiving the first part of the loan’s second installment, worth $2bn, before the end of this month.
However, a government source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, expected that Egypt may receive the first portion of the second installment next month.
In November 2016, the executive board of the IMF approved a three-year extended loan of $12bn to support the authorities’ economic reform programme.