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Africa Development Bank Says Egypt Loan Linked to IMF Agreement

The African Development Bank will decide whether to give Egypt a $500 million loan based on the North-African country’s negotiations with the International Monetary Fund.

“The board is exploring the possibility of a budget support loan,” Sibry Tapsoba, the bank’s Egypt representative, said in a telephone interview today. “No date is confirmed yet. It can only go ahead if the country concludes its agreement with the IMF.”

The IMF board is due on Dec. 19 to review a preliminary agreement it signed with Egypt last month for a $4.8 billion loan. Loan talks have been prolonged for more than a year amid political turmoil after the uprising against Hosni Mubarak.

President Mohamed Mursi said last month the IMF loan is “necessary.” Government officials have argued it will boost investor confidence and attract more funds to bridge a widening budget deficit that the government expects to reach 10.4 percent of economic output for the fiscal year that ends in June.

Political tensions have risen again since Mursi issued a decree last month making his decisions immune from judicial oversight. Five people were killed yesterday in clashes between pro- and anti-government demonstrators. Foreign Minister Kamel Amr said protests will have no impact on the country’s agreement with the IMF.

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