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Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Egypt hires UAE banks to arrange USD 1 bn loan

DEBT WATCH- Egypt hires UAE banks to arrange USD 1 bn loan: Egypt has tapped Emirates NBD and First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) to arrange a loan worth more than USD 1 bn as it tries to plug its financing gap caused by the covid-19 pandemic, Reuters reports, citing two sources familiar with the matter. The two banks are in talks with other lenders to assist with the loan, the sources said.

This would be the third major loan in the pipeline for Egypt after the IMF last month disbursed a USD 2.8 bn rapid financing instrument, while the fund’s executive board is expected to green-light a USD 5.2 bn standby loan in the coming weeks. There are no board meetings scheduled as of dispatch time this morning.

Separately, the World Bank’s board of executive directors signed off yesterday on a USD 400 mn loan to support Egypt’s new universal healthcare program, according to a bank statement. The facility, which the bank recently agreed to increase from USD 250 mn, will be used to “help Egypt increase its coverage of the Universal Health Insurance System (UHIS) in six governorates, strengthen UHIS-related governance and institutions, and also provide temporary financial protection against high out of pocket health expenditures for vulnerable populations across the country,” says Marina Wes, World Bank Country Director for Egypt, Yemen, and Djibouti. The healthcare system is currently up and running in Port Said, where it was piloted in September.

Meanwhile, the French Development Agency AFD will allocate EUR 151 mn to support Egypt’s electricity and clean energy sectors, according to a statement from the international cooperation ministry.

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