Egypt has made progress towards raising the $5-6bn in “bilateral financing,” required by the IMF under the $12bn Extended Fund Facility (EFF) agreed 11 August. Chris Jarvis, IMF mission chief for Egypt, said after the initialing of the agreement that “all IMF-supported programs have to be fully financed,” before the board can begin these discussions (MEES, 19 August).

President Sisi is eying his long-term GCC benefactors Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE to meet the IMF’s request for bilateral funding. International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr on 18 August announced that Egypt had signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia earlier in the year for a $2bn deposit in the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) during King Salman’s visit to Cairo in April. She did not elaborate as to when the Saudi deposit was expected to be transferred to Cairo, or whether it would meet the specific IMF requirement. (CONTINUED - 919 WORDS)