March 10 (Bloomberg) -- Egypt is “not in need” of an emergency loan from the International Monetary Fund and is instead focusing its efforts on completing a $4.8 billion loan agreement with the lender, the country’s planning minister said.
“Egypt wants to implement the fiscal and economic reform program as we have a number of structural problems,” Planning and International Cooperation Minister Ashraf el-Arab said in Cairo today.
The political tensions plaguing the country since the 2011 uprising have prolonged Egypt’s loan talks with the fund. International reserves have plunged more than 60 percent from their pre-revolt levels. Egyptian officials have said the IMF loan is necessary to bolster investor confidence and unlock other funds.
Earlier today, Investment Minister Osama Saleh said in an interview that the government was in contact with the IMF to answer questions the fund has about the economic plan submitted as part of the loan request.
Egypt’s annual urban inflation rate accelerated last month to 8.2 percent, the highest reading since May 2012, amid a weakening currency, the statistics agency said today.
News website Aswat Masriya reported earlier this month that Egypt may study an IMF offer to provide an urgent loan of as much as $750 million. Aswat Masriya cited an unidentified Finance Ministry official.
To contact the reporter on this story: Abdel Latif Wahba in Cairo at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at email@example.com