Egypt ready for round of loan talks
CAIRO - Reuters
An unidentified man checks a currency board in a bank in Cairo, Egypt. EPA photoEgypt’s incoming finance minister, Al-Mursi Al-Sayed Hegazy, said yesterday he was ready to complete discussions with the International Monetary Fund on a $4.8-billion loan designed to prop up Egypt’s struggling economy.
Hegazy, expected to be sworn in by President Mohamed Mursi later in the day, was speaking after meeting Prime Minister Hisham Kandil. An IMF official was due to meet Egyptian leaders today, a local newspaper reported.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s pound slid by half a percent on Sunday at the central bank’s fifth auction of foreign currency, with all $60 million on offer sold to banks at a cut-off price of 6.4185 pounds, the central bank said. The cut-off price on Jan. 3 was 6.3860 pounds to the dollar. The weakening is in line with the central bank’s interbank trading band, which it narrowed on Wednesday to plus or minus 0.5 percent from the previous 1.0 percent. The central bank has sold $360 million and the currency has lost more than 4 percent of its value against the dollar since it began a new currency regime on Dec. 30 to slow the depletion of the country’s foreign reserves.