Egypt: Desperately Seeking Finance

Cash-strapped Egypt is desperately seeking new sources of investment and financial aid to boost its shrinking foreign currency reserves.

Finance Minister Hani Dimian said at a conference in Cairo on 14 October that the World Bank has agreed to extend a loan of $3bn to his country over the next three years to support the state budget. The minister made this announcement following the annual IMF-World Bank meeting last week in Lima, Peru. There is no confirmation as yet from the World Bank itself.

Additionally the World Bank and the African Development Bank are to provide $1.5bn in loans, Prime Minister Sharif Isma’il announced earlier in the month. And to alleviate the current shortage of hard currency in the country, the authorities expect to raise some $2.5bn from the sale of land to overseas Egyptians who can pay in foreign exchange. (CONTINUED - 1148 WORDS)