Egyptians walk in a Cairo market in February
Egyptians walk in a Cairo market in February 2011. Egypt is strongly inclined towards accepting a previously rejected IMF loan of around $3 billion to reduce the costs of domestic borrowing, media quoted Finance Minister Hazem al-Beblawi as saying on Thursday. © Patrick Baz - AFP/File
Egyptians walk in a Cairo market in February
AFP
Last updated: November 17, 2011

Finance Minister: Egypt inclined towards IMF loan

Egypt is strongly inclined towards accepting a previously rejected IMF loan of around $3 billion to reduce the costs of domestic borrowing, media quoted Finance Minister Hazem al-Beblawi as saying on Thursday.

Beblawi said there was "a strong tendency to accept the IMF loan in the coming period," the official MENA news agency quoted him as saying.

Beblawi, who was appointed in July, said the loan was being revisited to curb the need for domestic lending, which he described as "expensive."

His predecessor announced in June that Egypt would not accept the IMF loan, which MENA reported would come with lax conditions and a 1.5 percent interest rate.

The International Monetary Fund sent a mission to Egypt earlier this month but made no mention of the loan.

Egypt signed an agreement with the Arab Monetary Fund to receive $200 million, the government's State Information Service reported on Thursday, in the first installment of a $470 million loan.

After the revolt that ousted president Hosni Mubarak in February, Egypt received pledges of billions of dollars, including a Saudi pledge of $4 billion.

The country's political and economic outlook have been mired in uncertainty, and heightened frustration at the military rulers' handling of the transition from authoritarian rule has led to protests, strikes and sporadic clashes.

Three-round parliamentary elections will start on November 28, but the military will remain in power until a presidential election which has not yet been scheduled.

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