Egypt plans to resume talks with the IMF over the $4.8bn standby credit arrangement early in March, the Minister of Investment Usama Salih told a conference in Dubai on 25 February. The minister added that there have been pledges of international and regional support to Egypt, and that these were making progress. Details of the IMF loan were agreed in principle last November, but talks were suspended in December after street protests resumed in Egypt. The minister expects the deal to be finalized by the end of April.

The government has said that it is also aiming to recover its foreign exchange reserves, which have fallen to a low of $13.6bn in January 2013 from around $36bn before the January 2011 revolution saw the overthrow of the Husni Mubarak regime. The government is now targeting an increase in forex reserves to $19bn by the end of June 2013 and a further increase to $22.5bn a year later, according to Reuters. The government is due to shortly submit a plan to the IMF on the reform plan it will adopt to lower the fiscal deficit. (CONTINUED - 297 WORDS)