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Monday, 1 July 2019

IMF says no talks with Egypt over new program

Finish your plate before asking for a new program, IMF tells Egypt: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will not open talks with Egypt over new support until the government has finished implementing the current program of economic reforms, IMF assistant communications director Camilla Andersen told a press briefing. “We’re not currently negotiating a new IMF-supported program; the priority at this junction is to successfully complete the current program,” she said. “Discussions regarding the nature of any future engagement would come after that.”

Does this write off Egypt’s hopes for a post-program agreement by October? Finance Minister Mohamed Maait told Bloomberg TV last week that Egypt has begun probing a potential non-financial post-program agreement that it hopes to have in place by October. Egypt reached a staff-level agreement with the fund back in May to release the final USD 2 bn installment of the USD 12 bn facility, but as of right now we don’t know when the executive board will sign off on the payment and allow Egypt to exit the program. Egypt is not currently on the published agenda for the IMF’s board.

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