Jun 17 2012
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IMF To Continue Talks With Egypt After Presidential Elections
Sunday, Jun 17, 2012
CAIRO (Zawya Dow Jones)--The International Monetary Fund stands ready to support Egypt during its transition to democracy and expects to continue its discussions with the Arab Gulf country after the presidential elections there, according to a fund official.
"We have been having constructive discussions and look forward to advancing those discussions once the elections are concluded," Gerry Rice, director at IMF's external relations department, said at a press briefing Thursday in Washington, D.C., according to a transcript posted on the fund's website.
Egyptians began voting on Saturday, in the first day of a two-day presidential runoff featuring two divisive figures. The election is being held amid a backdrop of uncertainty following a recent court ruling to dissolve a newly elected Parliament dominated by Islamists.
A viable economic recovery plan that enjoys broad political support is seen as critical for the IMF to approve a $3.2 billion loan to help the country deal with its financial difficulties.
Egypt's international reserves stood at $15.52 billion at the end of May, sharply down from $36 billion at the end of 2010, steadily declining since the uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.
Fitch Ratings late last week downgraded its ratings on Egypt one notch further into junk territory, pointing to the increased uncertainties stemming from the Supreme Constitutional Court's ruling to annul parliamentary elections and dissolve parliament.
The ratings firm said the county's policy-making process has been complicated by the political turmoil, which could delay the implementation of structural reforms the country needs to begin financial recovery.
-By Farah Halime; Contributing to Dow Jones Newswires; +20111 4994453;
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Co.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
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