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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

ENR to get EUR 290 mn facility from EBRD to finance fleet upgrade

It’s a good week for the Egyptian National Railway, which is getting EUR 290 mn from the EBRD to finance its fleet upgrade. In the latest sign the Ismail government is taking rail transport seriously, ENR is getting EUR 290 mn in financing from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to help finance the purchase of 100 locomotives from General Electric. Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr signed the agreement for the facility with the EBRD on Monday and this follows the USD 575 mn supply-and-maintenance contract with General Electric signed on Saturday. The bank will also provide ENR with the technical assistance and support necessary to “implement a comprehensive freight reform program” and launch a safety-focused awareness campaign to promote safe rail travel for women, according to an EBRD press release. “This is a key step in supporting the development and reform of the transport sector in line with the EBRD’s Green Economy Transition approach,” EBRD Managing Director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Janet Heckman said.

Egypt is also in talks for debt-for development swap agreements with the French and US governments, Nasr said at the signing ceremony on Monday, according to Al Borsa. Debt-for development swap agreements usually see a foreign entity or government purchase debts from the original creditor at a substantial discount then reselling it to the debtor country in the local currency equivalent; the proceeds are then used to finance development projects.

Meanwhile, We should also be expecting the African Development Bank (AfDB) to sign off on the third and final USD 500 mn tranche of its USD 1.5 bn loan this year, the bank’s Egypt representative Leila Mokadem said on Monday, according to an Investment and International Cooperation Ministry statement. An AfDB delegation had met with Minister Sahar Nasr, Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker, and Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil to discuss the timeline for the tranche.

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