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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

IMF engagement in Egypt will test its regional reengagement

The IMF’s agreement to lend Egypt USD 12 bn shows “the extent of the multilateral lender’s re-engagement with the Middle East and the risks of a backlash against governments carrying out painful reforms,” Andrew Torchia writes for Reuters. After years of the Fund being vilified across the Middle East, Egypt’s loan, Torchia says, “shows how much has changed. The IMF, touting a new, softer image, is now a key part of efforts to shore up many Middle East economies… For the first time, it is also giving detailed advice on a large scale to rich oil exporters in the Gulf … That is good news for investors, who are reluctant to put money into the region without the IMF’s seal of approval. But it exposes the IMF and its partner governments to public anger if they fail to solve deep-rooted economic problems.” He says the Fund has so far managed to succeed in avoiding public outrage of the past, but Egypt’s case, over the next three years, might test this.

In a similar vein, Euronews spoke with Euromoney consulting editor Richard Banks — a familiar face to many Enterprise readers for his years running the company’s Egypt conference — about the float of the EGP.

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