Informed sources revealed to local media in Egypt that the Deputy Director-General of the International Monetary Fund, Antoinette Sayeh, is scheduled to arrive in Cairo in the coming days to hold talks with the Egyptian government on the first review of the $3 billion financing program.
The IMF was scheduled to conduct the first review of the loan program granted to Egypt by mid-March, but decided to postpone it without announcing a date for starting the review.
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Under the $3 billion financing program announced last December, the Egyptian government committed to adopting a flexible exchange rate for the dollar and accelerating the government’s offering program, which is expected to generate about $2 billion through the sale of state-owned assets.
And with the Egyptian government’s intense moves, exchange rates witnessed remarkable stability during the past period, which caused speculation on the dollar to stop on the black market. This coincided with the Egyptian government and the Central Bank of Egypt continuing to issue releases for Egyptian ports, which reduced importers’ dependence on the parallel market to provide hard currency.
And last April, the International Monetary Fund said that its talks with Egypt would continue hypothetically before the start of the first review of the Egyptian reform program. A statement described the discussions between the IMF and Egypt in preparation for the review as “productive”.
He stressed that the discussions were held on the sidelines of the spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, where they dealt with a number of issues related to the implementation of the program and the prospects of the Egyptian economy, and will continue soon towards the start of the task of the first review of Egypt’s program.
The International Monetary Fund had been awaiting the Egyptian government’s move to implement more of the wide-ranging reforms it had pledged before conducting the first review of the $3 billion programme. Indeed, the government is moving vigorously in the bidding program file and has announced the implementation of more than one deal during the last period.
The fund was waiting to implement deals within the government offerings program, with real flexibility in pricing the Egyptian currency to ensure the success of the first review of the financing program.
And last February, the Egyptian Council of Ministers revealed a list of 32 companies from which it will sell shares during the current year, amid the possibility of increasing this number, according to the statements of the Egyptian Minister of Finance, Mohamed Maait. According to the International Monetary Fund programme, the Egyptian government is expected to raise about $2 billion from the sale of state-owned stakes during the current fiscal year, which ends in June.
Last December, the International Monetary Fund approved a 46-month financing program for Egypt. The document published by the fund showed that the Egyptian program will be subject to two reviews annually until mid-September 2026, with a total of 8 reviews, and that the first review, on the basis of which the second tranche of the loan will be disbursed, would have taken place in mid-March.
Earlier, the International Monetary Fund’s director for the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, Jihad Azour, said, “The flexibility of the exchange rate is the best way for Egypt to protect its economy from external shocks.” He pointed out that there is a need to “redesign the role of the state to focus on priority sectors, increase the private sector’s contribution to investment and support it to achieve growth and create more foreign currencies.”