By: Ehab Al-Dababi
Minister of Finance Al-Morsi Hegazy stated that an IMF delegation led by Masoud Ahmed, director of International Monetary Fund (IMF) operations in the Middle East, was set to visit Egypt this week.
The delegation will seek to draft a quasi-final version of the agreement between the IMF and Egypt regarding the pending $4.8bn loan, including a number of amendments regarding the restructuring of the government’s subsidy programme, in addition to the release of smart cards for fuel by the government in July.
These measures will be taken in order to decrease the government’s subsidy costs, which have so far increased compared to 2012, to reach a total of EGP 7bn, of which EGP 3bn has so far been distributed to the country’s Treasury Department.
Hegazy also stated, regarding disagreements between the Ministry of Finance and Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) over the sale of its cement subsidiary Orascom Building Material Holding (OBMH) to French company Lafarge, that the company had put forth an offer valued at EGP 7.1bn in order to end the dispute, with the Ministry working to restructure the deal in accordance with the law.