An IMF team is currently in Cairo, negotiating what Egypt hopes will be the final details of a long, long mooted $4.8bn facility. Egyptian officials say that they anticipate that discussions which began on 3 April could continue for at least ten days and that an agreement will be reached in the end.

On the eve of the visit, as if to indicate good faith, Egypt hiked the price of subsidized 12.5kg butane cylinders from E£5 ($0.73) to a still dirt cheap E£8 ($1.17). This price is only available to poorer citizens who have a ‘supply card’ and marks the delayed full implementation of price rises first announced in December (MEES, 14 December). (CONTINUED - 473 WORDS)