AFDB negotiating with WB to swap $1bln Egypt debts
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CAIRO: The African Development Bank (AFDB) is currently negotiating with the World Bank (WB) to swap $1 billion in debts owed to the AFDB by Egypt, an anonymous source told Al-Maal Business Daily.

“AFDB seeks to provide liquidity to the bank through the swapping so it can resume its loaning operations for the developmental projects sector,” the source said, adding that the value of AFDB’s debt portfolio witnessed a large increase during the last period.

Egypt is considered the second largest contributor to AFDB’s capital after Nigeria, he said, added that the former Cabinet headed by Dr. Hazem al-Beblawy had agreed to increase Egypt’s share in the bank’s capital.

AFDB had announced in March 30 that the bank is set to provide Egypt with $75 million to complete the Suez thermal plant for generating electricit. AFDB also signed a $50 million agreement with the Commercial International Bank (CIB) to support an xports’ agreement that Egypt is part of, according to Youm7.

Laila Mokadem, the Regional Representative for AFDB in Egypt, announced that the bank is set to finance a number of projects in Egypt in 2015, including SMEs, energy projects, and irrigation projects, adding that a number of factories were under construction, Youm7 reported.

Mokadem said AFDB’s loaning and grants Egypt portfolio increased to 27 sovereign loans and grants, totalling $1.98 billion.

The energy sector topped the beneficiaries through acquiring 79 percent of total loans and grants, followed by the banking sector that acquired 10 percent of total loans, while societal projects totaled only 4 percent, she said.

Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Dr. Ashraf al-Arabi had participated in the May 22 annual AFDB conference being held in Rwanda, in an attempt to attract investment, Veto news website reported.

 During the conference, Arabi held a number of meetings with the AFDB’s members to promote investment opportunities in the African continent as a whole, and negotiate the launch of development initiatives during the upcoming period.

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