CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian Finance Minister Amr El Garhy said on Monday his country would gather an additional $6 billion in bilateral funding required to secure a $12 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan within one or two weeks.
The IMF in August agreed in principle to grant Egypt a $12 billion, three-year loan facility to support a government reform programme aimed at plugging a budget gap and rebalancing currency markets. Egypt needs to secure $6 billion in bilateral support before the deal goes to the IMF board for approval.
In comments on a talk show aired by local television channel CBC, he also said the government would submit an investment law to parliament within “one and a half months or more”.
The government has been working on a new investment law it hopes will slice through Egypt’s notorious red tape and make it easier and quicker for foreign investors to do business.
Garhy also said Egypt would issue international bonds in the second half of November or the first week of December. In August Egypt had asked JPMorgan, Citi, BNP Paribas, and Natixis to lead manage its international bond offer. Egypt’s government approved earlier that month an international bond issuance of between $3 billion and $5 billion.
Egypt’s economy has been struggling since an uprising in 2011 ushered in political instability that drove away tourists and foreign investors, major earners of foreign currency.
As part of a reform program that formed the basis of the IMF agreement, Egypt approved a long-awaited value-added-tax of 13 percent. Previously Egypt had no value-added-tax. The IMF also wants Egypt to focus monetary policy on easing the chronic dollar shortage and reduce inflation to single digits.
Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein; Additional reporting by Ali Abdelaty; Editing by Richard Balmforth and Sandra Maler