Update: Egypt to receive $10B from Gulf states ahead of Economic Summit   

CAIRO: Egypt will receive $10 billion in deposits from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates prior to the country’s Economic Development Summit scheduled in March, Youm7 reported Wednesday.

Egypt hopes the long-awaited economic conference would lure fresh investments worth billions of dollars to boost its limping economy hit by political turmoil since the January 25 Revolution.

“The pledged deposits are separate from the investments the three countries are going to put forward at the summit,” top government sources told Youm7 Wednesday.

In 2013, the three gulf nations pledged $12 billion to Egypt in cash, deposits and petroleum shipments to support its economy after the military ousted President Mohamed Morsi following mass protests against his regime the same year.

Egypt’s economy has recently witnessed positive indicators as Fitch Rating upgraded the country’s long-term credit rating from B- to B in December. Also, The International Monetary Fund raised Egypt’s growth forecast in its Regional Economic Outlook update in January to 3.8 percent, up from a 3.5 percent growth rate in the October forecast.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has visited the three Gulf states since his election, where he expressed his gratitude for supporting Egypt following Morsi’s ouster.

Since he took office in June 2014, Sisi applied several fiscal reforms on the subsidy system and tax base. Further, the Central Bank of Egypt has allowed the local currency to depreciate against the dollar for the first time since December 2012.

The Egyptian pound hit its all-time official low Monday as it weakened to 7.53 per U.S. dollar at a regular central bank auction, compared to 7.51 at Sunday’s sale.

Some bankers expect the FX auctions and flexible exchange rates may help combat the active black market and narrow the gap between the official and unofficial exchange rates ahead of the Economic Summit.

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