Egypt to receive $1.4B petroleum aid from Saudi Arabia over 3 months
AFP/Philippe Huguen

CAIRO: Egypt is to receive $1.4-billion-worth petroleum aid from Saudi Arabia over the three months of September, October and November, Al-Mal Newspaper reported Sunday.

“It was not yet determined whether the aid will be in the form of payment facilities or a non-refundable grant,” sources told Al-Mal.

In March, Gulf countries promised a total of $12.5 billion in aid and investments to Cairo on the opening day of the Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC); Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates pledged $4 billion each, while Oman pledged $500 million.

Egypt’s net international reserves fell unexpectedly to $15.3 billion at the end of March, marking a $165 million decline from $15.5 billion at February-end, as the deposits will help bolster Egypt’s foreign currency reserves and ease pressure on its local currency,” state-owned MENA quoted Egypt’s Central Bank Governor Hisham Ramez in March.

Foreign reserves allow the government to purchase basic commodities, such as wheat and petroleum products, and to pay off premiums and interest on foreign debts.

The reserves witnessed a sharp decline after former President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation in 2011, when they were valued at $35.8 billion. Revenues from tourism and foreign direct investments were hit by the political upheaval and economic instability in the country.

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