Aug 23 2012
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IMF chief impressed with Mursi's strategy
Egypt has asked for a $ 4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, which stressed the need for a reform program to deal with the country's economic crisis.
The request was made during a visit by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde to Cairo, where she met President Muhammad Mursi and Prime Minister Hisham Qandil.
"The loan in general terms is worth $ 3.2 billion. We talked about increasing it up to probably 4.8 and maybe more," Qandil told a joint news conference with Lagarde.
He said Egypt was seeking a signing by the end of 2012 of a loan agreement based on an interest rate of 1.1 percent and a five-year repayment period following a 39-month grace period.
Lagarde said in a statement: "The authorities have indicated that Egypt would like the IMF to support Egypt's economic program to lay the foundation for strong growth that benefits all."
"Getting the country's economy back on track and raising the living standards for all will not be an easy task," she said. "The IMF will accompany Egypt as it undertakes this challenging journey."
She said the IMF had been "very impressed" with the strategy and ambition that Mursi and his prime minister had laid out in their meetings.
But Lagarde stressed the two sides had not "gone into details" on the amount or the terms of the loan program. The loan amount would form "part of a dialogue that we will continue to have."
State media reported that Mursi is to visit the US on September 23 to attend the UN General Assembly in New York and hold talks with "senior officials" in Washington, where the IMF has its base.
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