Egypt Seeks $4.8 Billion IMF Loan

Posted August 22nd, 2012 at 8:10 pm (UTC-5)
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Egypt has formally asked the International Monetary Fund for a rescue package of up to $4.8 billion, as it struggles with its faltering economy after more than a year of political turmoil triggered by a popular uprising.

Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, speaking Wednesday, said the loan is aimed at lowering Egypt's borrowing costs. He said his government hopes to sign the deal by the end of the year, with a five-year repayment plan at an interest rate of 1.1 percent.

The request came during a visit by IMF managing director Christine Lagarde, who later said that “getting the country's economy back on track and raising living standards for all will not be an easy task.” But she said the IMF will “accompany” Egypt “as it undertakes this challenging journey.”

Lagarde said the two sides had not yet begun discussing details.

The loan request is the second from Cairo in a year. An application for $2.8 billion was rejected last year after months of political wrangling.