WB signs $1.15b loan with Egypt

SHARM EL SHEIKH –  The World Bank late Friday signed a $1.15 billion loan with the Egyptian government, a final tranche of funds to support economic reforms in the country, the international lender said.

The deal was sealed on the sidelines of the “Africa 2017” investment conference which President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi inaugurated Friday afternoon in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh in Sinai.

The loans are provided to support “Egypt’s home-grown reform program aimed at powering job creation, ensuring energy security, strengthening public finances, and enhancing business competitiveness,” the World Bank said in a statement.

The loan is the last in a three-part package worth a total of $3.15 billion, the World Bank said.

The International Monetary Fund is also currently in the process of disbursing the latest instalment of a $12-billion loan it agreed with Egypt in November 2016 to support its economic reforms.

In order to obtain the IMF’s approval for the loan, Cairo has implemented a set of drastic reforms, adopting a value-added tax, cutting energy subsidies and floating the pound.

After the authorities implemented those measures, the Egyptian pound lost about half its value, and Egypt’s rate of inflation spiked.

Since the 2011 revolt that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak, the economy of Arab world’s most populous country has received multiple shocks caused by political instability and security issues.




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