Mar 31 2013
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IMF Delegation Due in Egypt on Wed For Loan Discussions - Govt Spokesman
Sunday, Mar 31, 2013
CAIRO (Zawya Dow Jones)--A delegation from the International Monetary Fund is due in Cairo on Wednesday for another round of talks related to a $4.8 billion loan, an Egyptian government spokesman said on Sunday.
The advance, widely viewed as crucial for Egypt to stave off economic collapse, has been on hold since last year amid ongoing political turmoil and the government's lack of a clear financial plan.
Alaa El Hadidi told reporters in Cairo that the government wants to reach a final agreement with the IMF this week due to Egypt's fast deteriorating economy. The prospect of an emergency package was discussed by the government as one of the solutions to the country's economic problems, but the idea hasn't been officially presented to the IMF, Mr. El Hadidi added.
"The program of economic reform is progressing as planned regardless of the talks with the IMF and parliamentary elections have nothing to do over the influence on the loan from the Fund," Mr. El Hadidi told reporters on Sunday.
Underscoring Egypt's economic plight, Suez Canal revenues fell to $375.3 million in February, a 7.4% slide from the previous month, state news agency MENA reported. The waterway is one of Egypt's main foreign currency sources, along with remittances, tourism, and gas and oil exports.
"There has been worry in the Canal cities, specifically in January and February as the amount of ships entreating the waterway has definitely decreased due to protest and deaths in the canal cities," said Magdy Sobhy, an economic analyst at the Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies.
Write to Reem Abdellatif at email@example.com
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