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IMF says mission to determine scale of Egypt financing
(Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund said on Thursday that the size of Egypt’s financing program will be determined by a two-week IMF mission to Cairo starting this weekend.
IMF spokesman William Murray declined to confirm the Egyptian finance ministry’s estimate of a $12 billion loan program spread over three years after it requested IMF support earlier this week.
“The scale of IMF financing will depend on the mission team’s assessment during the visit of the financing needs and the strength of the authority’s reform program,” Murray told a regular biweekly news briefing.
He noted that Egypt’s quota, or shares in the Fund, are about 2.08 billion Special Drawing Rights – the IMF’s unit of account – or about $2.9 billion at current exchange rates.
Under normal access to IMF programs, member countries can borrow up to 145 percent of their quota for any 12-month period. That would be about $4.2 billion based on Egypt’s quota level. Countries with normal access can borrow 435 percent of their quotas over the life of the program, which would total about $12.6 billion in Egypt’s case.
Regarding Ukraine, Murray said the Fund’s executive board would not vote on a release of the next portion of the country’s $17.5 billion until at least mid-August, after the board returns from a two-week break. The Fund earlier had said that a review on unlocking the next $1.7 billion tranche was nearing completion and it could be considered in July.
Murray added that there was no change in the IMF’s engagement with Zimbabwe that would allow for negotiations on a support program to begin. Zimbabwe must first clear its arrears with the institution, Murray said, adding that he had no details of any concrete actions by Zimbabwe to do so.
Egypt has enough wheat reserve lasts until February 2017: Ministry of Supply
The Egyptian Ministry of Supply announced Friday in a statement that the government has enough strategic wheat reserve to last until early February 2017.
On July 17, The Egyptian General Authority for Supply Commodities said that it has purchased 300,000 tons of wheat in a tender, as quoted by Reuters.
Egypt imports more than 50 percent of its needs. Supply Commodities Authority spokesperson Mahmoud Diab said that Egypt consume 15 million tons annually; of which 11 tons are imported. Reaching self-sufficiency of wheat would require cultivating a total of 7.5 million feddans, “which is equivalent to all of the current arable land in Egypt,” Diab told The Cairo Post previously.
GAFI allocates 40 pieces of lands for new investing projects nationwide
Egyptian General Authority for Free Zones and Investment (GAFI) and has allocated 40 pieces of land to establish new investing projects nationwide, including 14 projects in Mediterranean city of Marsa Matrouh, Youm7 reported Authority CEO Mohamed Khodeir Thursday evening.
The Authority has signed contracts of the 14 projects at a cost of 70 billion EGP with Saudi businessman Mansour al-Uthaymeen.
EGAS feeds 43 new factories with natural gas nationwide in 2015/2016
The Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Co. (EGAS) has provided a total 43 new factories with natural gas rather than using fuel in their operations in fiscal year of 2015/2016, Youm7 reported officials from EGAS Friday. They added that the ministry of Petroleum, via EGAS, aims to reduce using the high-priced fuel in the factories nationwide.
Three days ago, the company has announced that it will offer an international tender to import a number of cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) soon, Youm7 reported official from Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum. He added that the tender terms include sending 3-4 cargoes monthly to feed the third re-gas compound in Ain Sokhna for electricity.
France finances small, medium enterprises in Egypt with €80 million
Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr announced Thursday that France has financed Egyptian small and medium enterprises with a value of 80 million Euros, Youm7 reported.
Nasr has met with director of French Development Agency’s Cairo Bureau Stephanie Lanfranchi Thursday to dicuss certain investments projects between both countries.