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Égypt-actus
revue de presse sur l'actualité culturelle, archéologique, politique et sociale de l'Égypte
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Egypte : Les pourparlers avec le FMI sont positifs - Afriquinfos

Egypte : Les pourparlers avec le FMI sont positifs - Afriquinfos | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Un accord-cadre sera peut-être conclu avec la délégation actuelle," a indiqué le ministre égyptien de la Planification et de la Coopération Internationale Ashraf al-Arabi à Doha, capitale du Qatar, faisant allusion à la délégation technique du FMI qui séjourne en Egypte depuis la semaine dernière.

Le ministre a clarifié que les pourparlers ne s'attardaient pas à la question de l'augmentation de la valeur du prêt.

"Le gouvernement travaille présentement sur un programme de réforme économique nationale reposant sur deux axes majeurs, soit la diminution du déficit budgétaire et la réforme du système fiscal," a-t-il ajouté.

M. al-Arabi a indiqué que l'Egypte avait comme objectif de réduire son déficit budgétaire de 9,5% au cours de l'année fiscale 2012-2013, et d'un autre 8,5% en 2013-2014.

 

Plus: http://www.afriquinfos.com/articles/2013/4/10/egypte-pourparlers-avec-sont-positifs-221623.asp

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Egypte : le Qatar achètera des obligations

Egypte : le Qatar achètera des obligations | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Le Qatar, riche pays gazier du Golfe, va acheter en Egypte des obligations pour 3 milliards de dollars, qui vont s'ajouter à une assistance financière de 5 milliards de dollars, a annoncé mercredi le Premier ministre du Qatar, cheikh Hamad Ben Jassem Al-Thani.

"Nous avons décidé d'ajouter des obligations du gouvernement égyptien d'une valeur de trois milliards de dollars", a déclaré cheikh Hamad lors d'une conférence de presse avec son homologue égyptien Hicham Qandil.

Le Qatar a déjà fait don d'un milliard de dollars au Caire et placé quatre milliards de dollars en dépôt à la Banque centrale égyptienne.

 

http://www.europe1.fr/International/Egypte-le-Qatar-achetera-des-obligations-1477673/

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L’Egypte au pied du mur face aux conditionnalités du FMI

L’Egypte au pied du mur face aux conditionnalités du FMI | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Derrière la crise politiqueen Egypte, il y a une impasse économique. Les «Frères musulmans» au pouvoir ont louvoyé, les aides du Qatar et de l’Arabie Saoudite ne venant, il ne reste plus que le FMI et ses conditionnalités. Le Caire est au pied du mur.

 

L’Egypte est un pays où l’islam politique démontre quotidiennement une terrible incapacité à affronter une situation économique en rapide dégradation.

 

Depuis sa prise de pouvoir, le président «frère musulman» Mohamed Morsi montre une incapacité à juguler une crise qui met en péril les fragiles équilibres de la société égyptienne. Tous les indicateurs sont au rouge. Le taux de chômage, officiellement de 13%, contre 9% avant la révolution, atteint 25% chez les jeunes dans un contexte de nette contraction des Investissements Directs Etrangers (IDE). Les complexes touristiques de Charm El Cheikh ou de Hurghada sur la mer sont très nettement sous-occupés et une promenade au Musée des Antiquités, place Tahrir, ou aux Pyramides permet de le constater de visu : la fréquentation touristique semble avoir touché un niveau d’étiage. Ainsi la croissance pour 2011/2O12 est à peine de 1,5% en très fort recul par rapport au dernier exercice 2009/2010 de l’ère Moubarak où elle avait dépassé le seuil de 5%. La dette souveraine égyptienne a été dégradée il y a dix jours par l’agence Moody’s. Les taux d’intérêt sur les obligations égyptiennes à échéance 2020 ont grimpé depuis lors de 89 points de base, à 8,3 %.

L’ECONOMIE AU RALENTI
Achraf Al Arabi, le ministre du Plan, l’admet sans ambages, la situation économique égyptienne est «préoccupante» et nécessite la relance urgente de l’activité.

 

Plus : http://news80.com/2013/04/09/legypte-au-pied-du-mur-face-aux-conditionnalites-du-fmi/

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Situation économique préoccupante en Egypte, admet un ministre | Reuters

La situation économique de l'Egypte est "préoccupante" et il faut que le gouvernement prenne rapidement des mesures pour faire redémarrer l'économie, a déclaré samedi le ministre égyptien de la Planification à l'agence de presse Mena.

Achraf al Arabi a jugé "positive" la reprise, mercredi, des discussions avec le Fonds monétaire international (FMI) en vue de l'octroi d'un prêt de 4,8 milliards de dollars à l'Egypte, alors que les réserves de devises du pays ont atteint un seuil critique.

"La situation économique est devenue préoccupante", a reconnu le ministre en plaidant pour des "mesures rapides pour relancer l'activité".

L'Egypte et le FMI étaient parvenus à un accord en novembre, mais le président Mohamed Morsi a repoussé la mise en oeuvre de certaines réformes économiques, dont une hausse de la TVA, en raison des tensions politiques.

 

Plus: http://fr.reuters.com/article/frEuroRpt/idFRL5N0CT0NI20130406

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Egypt economic situation "worrisome", needs fast action: minister

Egypt economic situation "worrisome", needs fast action: minister | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Egypt's economic situationis "worrisome" and it needs quick measures to restore economic activity, the planning minister told the state news agency MENA on Saturday as Egypt holds talks with the IMF on a $4.8 billion loan.


After two years of political turmoil, Egypt is struggling with an economic crisis and a high budget deficit. Foreign currency reserves are critically low, limiting its ability to import wheat and fuel.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation resumed long delayed talks with the government on Wednesday on a loan, which would throw Egypt a financial lifeline and potentially unlock a much larger amount in foreign aid and investment.

"The economic situation has become worrisome and quick measures are needed to restore (economic) activity," Planning Minister Ashraf al-Araby said, according to MENA.

Araby described the IMF talks as "positive" and said he hoped Egypt would reach a deal in principle with the global lender within two weeks, MENA said. The IMF has made no comment on the negotiations and set no deadline for their conclusion.

 

More on:http://news.yahoo.com/egypt-economic-situation-worrisome-needs-fast-action-minister-161948419--business.html

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Egypt is a crisis that can be solved - FT.com

Barack Obama was not short of advice before his trip to the Middle East last week, with pleas to save a dying peace process, raise the pressure on Iran and show more resolve on Syria. All are urgent matters, but none are likely to be resolved in the short term. There is, however, another looming crisis in the region – and one that could be averted: Egypt’s unravelling economy. The stakes for the US and its allies there are enormous – and, for a change, a pre-emptive strike is achievable.

Declining foreign exchange reserves, a shaky currency and an Islamist leadership incapable of managing the Arab world’s largest and most important nation do not make for sensational headlines or inflamed passions in the Middle East. Moreover, Egypt’s failings are certainly not of the US’s making, nor should they be seen as its problem.

 

But an Egypt on its way to becoming ungovernable, with permanent strife, endless protests and a collapsing economy, is hugely detrimental to US interests.

If Egypt fails, so would the notion of a democratic spring that replaces autocracy and stagnation with responsible government and the promise of prosperity. Egypt’s ability to play what is still a crucial mediating and stabilising role in the region would be in jeopardy. And the idea of Egypt failing is not a fantasy.

The US appears to recognise this. During his trip to Cairo this month John Kerry, secretary of state, warned that it was “paramount, essential, urgent that the Egyptian economy . . . gets back on its feet.”

 

More on:http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/9169fc3e-90d7-11e2-a456-00144feabdc0.html?ftcamp=published_links%2Frss%2Fcomment%2Ffeed%2F%2Fproduct#axzz2OaBypT5e

 

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Commentary: Fixing Egypt's Subsidy Nightmare

Commentary: Fixing Egypt's Subsidy Nightmare | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

With gas at $1.73 a gallon, no wonder Cairo’s traffic is a nightmare. And with bread at less than a cent apiece, it’s no surprise that the city’s sidewalks are lined with discarded pitas.

By using subsidies, governments in the Middle East and North Africa ensure that everyone, including the poorest, have access to basic consumer goods at an affordable price. But energy and commodity subsidies are becoming an increasingly heavy drain on public resources, while bringing only very small benefits to those in need.

In Egypt, the middle classes, the well-off and big business are the biggest beneficiaries of the subsidy system. A typical better-off Egyptian receives roughly twice the amount in subsidies as a genuinely poor one. At the same time, subsidies to fuels and food account for almost one-third of the total government budget, or over 10 percent of the country’s GDP. Thus the subsidy issue is the key to solving Egypt’s public-finance problems

 

More on: http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/fixing-egypts-subsidy-nightmare-8254

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Egypt tourism: climbing back

Egypt tourism: climbing back | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Despite the Arab spring and the toppling of the Mubarak regime, followed by bouts of political and economic crisis, Egypt hasn’t dropped off the tourist map.

In fact, numbers were up sharply in 2012 compared to crisis-hit 2011, although they were still below the pre-revolution days of 2010. Can the country continue to get the tourists back?

First the good news: according to Egypt’s statisitical office, as reported by news agency Mena, tourist visits were at 11.5m, from 9.8m in 2011. In 2010, 14.7m visited the country, so there’s clearly some way to get back to normal.

Egypt’s foreign visitors are a useful source of dollars, with most tourists from western Europe. Tourism receipts were over $12bn in 2010.

But tourist have long had a tricky relationship with Egypt, with the recent hot-air ballooning tragedy being the latest incident. The shooting of tourists in Luxor in 1997 hit the country’s reputation and saw a drop off in visitors the following year; but the proliferation of cheap flights and allure of winter sun for Europeans in resorts such as Sharm el-Sheikh meant that visitor numbers kept climbing, as the chart below shows.

 

However, with awkward timing, the World Economic Forum released a report on Thursday on travel and tourism competitiveness in which Egypt came bottom – 140 out of 140 countries ranked – for safety and security. That wasn’t the only bad news. This from the WEF report:

 

Further, rules and regulations are seen as less conducive to the development of the sector, with a middling rank of 76. Concerns also remain about the state of ground transport infrastructure (96th position), tourism infrastructure (90th), and ICT infrastructure (80th)…(...)

 

In other words: cheap, great heritage, and lots to see – but lots of work to do

 

More on: http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2013/03/14/egypt-tourism-uphill-task/#axzz2NXRv24LF

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Egypt hits problems over IMF loan

Egypt hits problems over IMF loan | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Egypt's efforts to secure a critical $4.8bn loan from the International Monetary Fund have run into fresh difficulty, possibly leading the government to seek emergency financing to avoid economic collapse.


The IMF has expressed reservations over a government economic plan needed to seal an agreement that has been in the works, for almost two years, according to people familiar with the negotiations. (...)

 

The IMF, however, has informed Cairo that its proposed economic reform programme is not sufficiently robust.

 

Masood Ahmed, director of the Middle East and Central Asia at the IMF, would not comment on the negotiations with Cairo, saying only that "the IMF view is that the programme has to have the desired impact on confidence ... [and] needs to have strong measures to address Egypt's broader economic problems".

 

With the prospect of an IMF agreement receding, analysts say a bridge finance package might be put together by the IMF with other donors to tide Cairo over until after the elections.Ashraf al-Araby, the planning minister, played down the idea on Sunday, adding that broad structural measures were needed.

 

Without a reform programme, bridging financing would in any case do little to restore investor confidence. "Any extra funds will help Egypt buy time," said Mohamed Abu Basha, Egypt economist at EFG-Hermes, the regional investment bank. "But the failure to agree an IMF programme will send a negative signal to all those investors waiting for hints of real action on the ground to reform the economy."

 

More on: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/03/11/business/egypt-imf-loan/

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Forbes list Egypt's top 6 billionaires

Forbes list Egypt's top 6 billionaires | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Six Egyptian businessmen rank amongst the world's richest people, according to the 2013 Forbes billionaire rankings.

 

The six own and run companies in the construction, automotive, communications and media sectors, and most have seen their fortunes grow despite the ongoing turmoil that the country is witnessing. They hail from just two families.

1. Nassef Sawiris: $6.5 billion net worth
Nassef Sawiris runs Orascom Construction Industries (OCI), Egypt's largest publicly-traded company. He ranks 182th richest in the world and is the 4th richest man in Africa. His net worth increased by $1 billion since last year's Forbes ratings.
He was banned from travel on Sunday following charges that OCI had failed to pay taxes worth some LE14 billion (roughly $2 billion) on its sale to Lafarge. Nassef likes to keep a low profile and rarely appears in the media. Unlike his older brother Naguib, he prefers to keep his political opinions to himself.

2. Naguib Sawiris: $2.5 billion net worth
Aged 58, Naguib Sawiris runs Orascom Telecom Media and Technology (OTMT) and recently sold nearly all his shares in Russian telecom giant VimpelCom, which had acquired Sawiris's Orascom Telecom.

He ranks as 589th richest person worldwide, and the 9th richest in Africa. His net worth dropped by $0.6 billion since last year's Forbes ratings. At the wake of the Egyptian uprising in 2011, he got involved in politics, establishing the Free Egyptians Party and attracting criticism from his political foes.

3. Mohamed Mansour: $2.2 billion net worth
Mohamed Mansour owns the Mansour Group holding company, a leading automotive, retailer and banking company. Mansour owns supermarket chain Metro, which recently received an offer from Emirati billionaire Majid Al-Futtaim for up to $300 million.

He is the 670th richest man worldwide and the 10th richest in Africa. His net worth has dropped by $0.5 billion since last year's Forbes ratings. He served as minister of transportation under President Hosni Mubarak from 2005 to 2009, and resigned following a devastating train crash that left 30 dead.

Egypt-actus's insight:

4/5. Yaseen Mansour and Onsi Sawiris: $2 billion net worth each

Yaseen Mansour is a major shareholder of in giant real estate company Palm Hills Development and is currently its chairman. He was recently accused of misappropriating state land to the company, but was acquitted. He ranks 736th richest worldwide and is the 13th richest man in Africa.

His net worth surged by $0.4 billion since last year's ratings.

Onsi Sawiris is the founder of Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) which his son, Nassef, currently runs. OCI is the largest publicly-traded company in Egypt. He comes 736th in the Forbes global rankings and is the 11th richest person in Africa. His net worth dropped by $0.9 billion since last year's ratings.

6. Youssef Mansour: $1.95 billion net worth

Part-owner of Egyptian conglomerate Mansour Group, he was responsible for building Egypt's largest supermarket chain, Metro. He ranks 758th richest worldwide and is the 14th richest man in Africa. His net worth has increased by $0.45 billion since last year.

 

More on: http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/66192.aspx

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Egypt Cabinet to raise custom tariffs on some luxury goods

Egypt Cabinet to raise custom tariffs on some luxury goods | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Egyptian Cabinet led by Prime Minister Hisham Qandil has approved Wednesday a draft law to increase custom tariffs on "unnecessary goods."


The draft, proposed by the presidency, includes items such as boats, watches and sunglasses, as well as certain food items such as shrimps and nuts.


A detailed list of the new tariffs is yet to be provided by the Cabinet.

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Qatar promises $3bn more aid to Egypt

Qatar promises $3bn more aid to Egypt | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

The Qatari government has agreed to provide an additional $3 billion of aid to Egypt, Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani said on Wednesday.

"We reached an agreement to add more bonds from the Qatari government in the amount of $3 billion. During the coming days, we will discuss the details of issuing those bonds," Sheikh Hamad told a joint news conference with Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil.

He did not clarify the way in which the aid would be structured. Kandil told the news conference that the aid would be in the form of "bond deposits", also without elaborating.

Sheikh Hamad said Qatar would supply natural gas to Egypt in the summer when it was needed. "We also discussed projects that we agreed on four or five years ago, especially in iron and steel," he said.

Qatar did not ask Egypt for anything in return for its latest aid, Sheikh Hamad added.

The gas-rich Gulf state has already provided Cairo with $5 billion in loans and grants since Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Mursi was elected last year.

 

More on:

http://www.tradearabia.com/news/LAW_233830.html

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L'Égypte de Morsi menacée par la faillite

L'Égypte de Morsi menacée par la faillite | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Confrontés à un déficit de 10,9 %, les islamistes répugnent à engager les mesures d'austérité exigées par le FMI.

Le nez dans son volant, Emad Soleyman fulmine. De l'autre côté de son pare-brise, l'horizon - bouché par un embouteillage digne des pires journées cairotes - est aussi sombre que l'avenir économique de son pays.

Lorsqu'il n'est pas en plein zahma («bouchons», en dialecte égyptien), ce chauffeur de taxi perd patience dans les interminables files d'attente qui ne cessent de s'allonger devant les stations-service: la faute à une pénurie de carburant qui sévit dans une Égypte au bord du gouffre financier, alors qu'une nouvelle mission du FMI se trouve actuellement à son chevet.

La situation est telle que même le ministre de la Planification, Achraf el-Arabi, a osé la qualifier de «préoccupante» à la veille de la reprise, en fin de semaine dernière, des discussions pour l'octroi d'un prêt de 4,8 milliards de dollars. Il faut dire que plus de deux ans après la révolution, dont les revendications sociales sont restées insatisfaites, tous les indicateurs sont au rouge.

Coupures de courant

À cause de l'instabilité politique, le tourisme et les investissements étrangers, principales ressources du pays, sont en chute vertigineuse

 

Plus: http://www.lefigaro.fr/international/2013/04/09/01003-20130409ARTFIG00570-l-egypte-de-morsi-menacee-par-la-faillite.php

 

 

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Egypt: PM Vows to Consider Impact of IMF Loan On Coming Generations

In an attempt to reassure citizens and refute claims on the impact of an IMF loan in future, Prime Minister Hisham Qandil said that the government is taking into account the impact of the loan on the coming generations.

In statements to "Al-Ahram" newspaper on Saturday 06/04/2013, Qandil noted that the cash liquidity, economic activity, international confidence in the Egyptian economy and investment flows will prevent any negative impact on the long term

 

http://allafrica.com/stories/201304060529.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

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Fixing Egypt's economy -Time to break bread (Video - The Economist)

Fixing Egypt's economy -Time to break bread (Video - The Economist) | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

OVER a quarter of Egypt's 83m people live below the poverty line. President Morsi will have to build political consensus to implement a credible austerity plan and secure foreign aid.

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Egypt’s future in a brave little girl’s hands

Egypt’s future in a brave little girl’s hands | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

As soon as I landed in Cairo, I could feel the heaviness of life, economy, politics and breath. It didn’t take long for the first Egyptian to blurt out that things were “better under Mubarak’s dictatorship than they are in the Muslim Brotherhood’s lair.” A slew of similar observations followed, mostly from poor people like a taxi driver who told me he sometimes works all day long to barely avoid sending his kids to sleep hungry. Not that life was much better before, but now they are “unbearable,” he said as he asked god’s forgiveness for wishing death over “this life of indignity!”

 

After spending a few days around Cairo the reality sinks in: Egypt is at a dangerously boiling point only waiting for a major explosion to occur, and its people are on edge. We’ve seen the danger and insecurity in the streets where knife-wielding gangs break into groups. The outcome can be anything between intimidation and threats until they’re paid off to leave or beating and even killing.

 

In other places, an intimidation of a different kind: Thousands of street vendors relentlessly and hopelessly pushing products to uninterested people.


A little girl fighting to make ends meet

In the midst of despair, I heard a girl’s voice threatening a male, “Get your hands off me. I’ll beat you up and break your arm if you touch me.”
I was shocked to find a little girl single-handedly fighting off a large man wanting to beat her up. This is no place for an unaccompanied minor to be fending off harassment, the kind Egypt has been plagued with for decades and much older and stronger women are trying to fight with hardly any success at all.

For the sake of this piece, I will refer to 9-year-old as Rajaa and I won't disclose her location to protect her identity.


Wishing for a better future

She clung to me for hours; we talked a lot during my journalistic assignment, before she herself became the subject of this column. Around me, she was polite, kind and smart. She shared her dreams and wishes: If she had 50 Pounds (about $8), she would buy a toy and sell it to a passerby.

 

More on: http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/2013/03/26/Egypt-s-future-in-a-brave-little-girl-s-hands.html

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Egypt’s Budget Deficit Expected To Reach EGP 188 Bln In FY 2012/13

Egypt’s Budget Deficit Expected To Reach EGP 188 Bln In FY 2012/13 | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

The Egyptian Minister of Finance El-Morsi El-Sayed Hegazy announced that the state's budget deficit is expected to reach EGP 188 billion in FY 2012/2013.

On the sidelines of the Second Investment Conference on Investment in Public-Private Partnerships, Hegazy said he will meet today with the Ministry’s budget sector to discuss the budget items that will be referred afterwards to the Shura Council by the beginning of next April.

He revealed that the government plans to ration subsidies to save EGP 30 billion as well as restructure the state’s administrative system which has 6.8 million government employees, which is a large number as compared to Turkey’s administrative system, for example, which has 800,000 government employees.

 

More on:http://amwalalghad.com/en/news/egypt-news/15638-egypts-budget-deficit-expected-to-reach-egp-188-bln-in-fy-201213.html

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L'Egypte veut se joindre aux BRICS

L'Egypte veut se joindre aux BRICS | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

L'Egypte est intéressée à rallier les BRICS (Brésil, Russie, Inde, Chine et Afrique du Sud), a déclaré aujourd'hui le président égyptien Mohamed Morsi.

« L'Egypte a l'intention de se joindre aux Etats dont l'économie nationale se développera à des rythmes supérieurs », a dit Mohamed Morsi. Le pays se propose de rallier les BRICS en cette qualité. Le président égyptien espère qu'un jour ce groupe se nommera E-BRICS où la lettre E signifiera Egypte.

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Qatar says no more aid to Egypt for now

Qatar does not expect to give further financial aid to Egypt in the immediate term, Qatari Finance Minister Youssef Kamal said on Monday.

"We already announced $5 billion," Kamal told Reuters, when asked how much aid Qatar had provided Egypt to date.

Asked whether Qatar expected to provide more, he replied: "Not yet." He did not elaborate.

Qatar has been a key source of foreign aid to Egypt since its 2011 revolution through soft loans and deposits in Cairo's central bank.

 

With Egypt's foreign reserves falling to critically low levels and a hoped-for $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund delayed by political unrest, there has been speculation that Cairo could turn to Qatar for yet more aid.

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In Egypt, sliding toward ruin

In Egypt, sliding toward ruin | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

As Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood government slides toward the financial cliff, what’s the right policy for the United States? That’s becoming an urgent question, as Egypt’s financial reserves decline and the country nears a new breaking point.

The economic facts are stark: Egypt’s official foreign-currency reserves in February were $13.5 billion, which would cover a little less than three months of imports. But U.S. officials say that accessible, liquid reserves total only $6 billion to $7 billion. Already, imports are harder to find, including the raw materials needed by Egyptian manufacturers. The Egyptian stock market tumbled 5 percent early this week, sensing danger ahead.

 

And what is the government of President Mohamed Morsi doing to halt the economic decline? Not a lot. Morsi has been dithering for a year in negotiating a roughly $5 billion rescue package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that Egypt desperately needs. He is delaying because he is wary of public anger at the reforms the IMF demands, including reductions in subsidies, which take 25 percent of Egypt’s budget. (Debt service and public-sector employment account for another 50 percent.)

The wolf is two or three months from Egypt’s door, top U.S. officials believe. Meanwhile, the country is facing increasing political turmoil, with riots Tuesday in Port Said that left 50 wounded. Morsi’s government sent a new proposal to the IMF last week, but it may fall short of the IMF’s reform targets, further delaying action.(...)

 

So what are U.S. policy options as Egypt nears the brink? Some of Morsi’s critics argue that the United States should let him fail. That’s certainly the view of Egypt’s secular opposition, along with conservative Persian Gulf regimes. They hope Egyptians will reject Morsi and his party in parliamentary elections that begin in late April but might be delayed because of legal challenges.

 

More on: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/david-ignatius-egypt-slides-toward-financial-ruin/2013/03/06/85974478-85e4-11e2-98a3-b3db6b9ac586_story.html

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Analysis: Egypt is in for trouble with or without the IMF

Analysis: Egypt is in for trouble with or without the IMF | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Egypt is at risk of a "revolution of the hungry" two years after Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising, as food and energy prices will soar with or without an IMF deal.

Failure to get the $4.8 billion loan or some other funding would have dire consequences: if Egypt keeps burning foreign currency at the rate it has done since the 2011 uprising, it will have none left in little more than a year.

But success would also stir Egypt's boiling social and political cauldron. In return for a lifeline, the International Monetary Fund will demand reform of a subsidy system that long ago became unaffordable.

The rich benefit most from the energy subsidies that exhaust state finances but the poor will suffer most if they go.

"Whether we have the IMF or not there will be difficulty ... the IMF requires certain economic reforms," said Salah Gouda, an economics professor. "If we lift subsidies right away then you are looking at a revolution of the hungry."

The economic gloom has dragged Egyptians from the high of the "Arab Spring" revolution to deepening poverty.

Constant feuding between the ruling Islamists of President Mohamed Mursi and the opposition over the future character of Egypt has heightened tensions and cast serious doubt on any hopes for a political consensus on reforming the economy.

The United States, the largest shareholder in the IMF, is worried about how the economic crisis could further destabilize a strategic ally in a turbulent region.

"It is paramount, essential, urgent that the Egyptian economy gets stronger, that it gets back on its feet," Secretary of State John Kerry said on a weekend visit to Cairo. "It's clear to us that the IMF arrangement needs to be reached, that we need to give the market that confidence."

 

More on:http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/05/us-egypt-imf-idUSBRE9240GT20130305

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Egypt farm bank launching retail Islamic services

Egypt farm bank launching retail Islamic services | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Egypt's main agricultural bank is launching Islamic retailservices this month to meet increasing demand in rural areas, a bank official told Reuters.

"We are launching sharia-compliant retail banking this month with a portfolio of 50 million pounds ($7.5 million) and can raise that to 100 million" next June based on demand, said Abdel Rahman Al Kafrawi, head of Islamic transactions at Principal Bank for Development and Agricultural Credit (PBDAC).

 

Government-owned PBDAC will offer retail finance at 18 Islamic branches through murabaha and musharaka structures, he said. The bank has offered Islamic finance on a very small scale for several decades at 10 branches, and in 2012 won the central bank's approval to raise the number to 24 branches.

Al Kafrawi said the new Islamic services would cover areas including purchases of durable goods and agricultural equipment, the setting up of clinics and medical laboratories (....)

 

Of 5.8 million farmers who owned land, only about a million had borrowed from the PBDAC, he said, adding that the bank aimed to raise this to 3 million by increasing Islamic finance and other services.

 

More on: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/12/us-egypt-islamic-agriculture-idUSBRE91B06L20130212

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