x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Egypt gets US$3bn deposit from Qatar

Egypt received a US$3 billion deposit from Qatar on Thursday, shoring up finances hit by economic turmoil since a popular uprising that toppled the government two years ago.

Egypt received a US$3 billion deposit from Qatar on Thursday, a central bank official said on Sunday, shoring up finances hit by economic turmoil since a popular uprising that toppled the government two years ago.

The funds will remain with the central bank until Egypt's Ministry of Finance issues bonds of the same value to Qatar, said the central bank official, who asked not to be named.

The three-year bonds will carry an interest rate of 3.5 per cent.

Qatari prime minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al Thani promised the money when Egyptian prime minister Hisham Kandil visited Qatar on April 10. The Gulf state has already lent Egypt $5bn since president Mohammed Morsi took office last July.

Qatar had asked for 5 per cent interest and a maturity of 18 months on the funds, but Egypt was negotiating to get the terms improved, an Egyptian official involved in the talks said last month.

Egypt has been asking Arab and Muslim nations for cheap funds to help it to stave off financial collapse after the uprising that ousted former president Hosni Mubarak.

It is negotiating a $4.8bn dollar loan from the International Monetary Fund that would carry an interest rate of only 1.1 per cent, but it has balked at the economic policy terms.

Libya deposited $2bn at Egypt's central bank in April and said it would supply Egypt with $1.2bn worth of crude oil on interest-free credit over one year.

 

* Reuters