Egyptian Oil Minister Fayyad ‘Abd al-Mun’im is optimistic that the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over a long-discussed $4.8bn standby credit facility will be completed by end July.

He denies reports that the IMF is planning to postpone these negotiations until after the Egyptian parliamentary elections slated for later this year (possibly October – although this timing could slip) but acknowledges that the IMF had called for a reduction in Egypt’s budget deficit wherever possible. (CONTINUED - 736 WORDS)