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Egypt Plans Energy-Subsidy Reforms Before IMF Visit, Al Mal Says

Egypt plans energy-subsidy reforms in two phases, the first to be implemented before an International Monetary Fund delegation arrives at the end of the month for talks on a $4.8 billion loan, Al Mal reported, citing an unidentified person with knowledge of the matter.

The prices of 95 octane gasoline, fuel oil used in factories and electricity consumed by households will be raised in the next few days, the newspaper said.

Egypt plans to build up its strategic supplies of gasoline and fuel oil, Al Mal said, citing Osama Kamal, the petroleum and mineral resources minister. At present, butane gas supplies are enough for 3.5 days, fuel oil for eight days and 90 octane gasoline for six days, he said.

Officials may tie Egypt’s electricity network to those of neighboring countries and talks on the country’s nuclear power project take place this week, the newspaper said.

The Petroleum Ministry owes the Electricity Ministry 50 billion Egyptian pounds ($8.2 billion), Kamal told Al Mal. Petroleum subsidies are costing 10 billion pounds a month and total subventions for the three months to September reached 28 billion. If that continues, subsidies are likely to reach 120 billion pounds by the end of the current fiscal year, the minister said.

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