According to the semi-official Al-Ahram newspaper the International Monetary Fund -- the I.M.F. has agreed?
According to the semi-official Al-Ahram newspaper the International Monetary Fund -- the I.M.F. has agreed to loan Egypt more than 81 million pounds Sterling (140 million dollars U.S.) to boost the country's ailing economy.
SYNOPSIS: Talks on the loan had been going on at the Ministry of Finance in Cairo for several days. The talks were led by the Egyptian Vice-Premier for Financial and Economic Affairs, Dr. Abdul Moniem El-Kaissouni, and the I.M.F.'s member in charge of Middle East Operations, Mr. John Gunter.
There was no immediate confirmation of the loan from I.M.F. sources attending the talks. The Egyptian government has budgeted for a deficit this year of about one point three billion pounds Sterling (22.2 billion dollars). Last week there were two days of savage riots over a government decision to increase the price of fuel and staple foods. Although the increases were believed to be part of a deal with the I.M.F. to reduce the deficit, the government later rescinded its decision. The riots left 79 dead and 800 injured. Egyptian officials and the I.M.F. are now reported to be working on long-term plans to reclaim the economy.
Dr. Kaissouni is also having talks with a World Bank delegation led by World Bank Vice-President, Mr. Mounir Benjenk. In an attempt to attract badly needed hard currency for investment, Egypt is reporting to be planning to exempt foreign capital from taxes for five to eight years. It also plans to allow foreign investors to transfer profits at an incentive exchange rate about 40 per cent over the official rate of foreign currency to the Egyptian pound.