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Egypt requests $4.8 billion IMF loan

  • Egypt has asked the International Monetary Fund for a $4.8 billion loan in a bid to help revive its ailing economy.

    The request was made during talks in the capital Cairo between President Mohammed Morsi and IMF chief Christine Lagarde.

    Lagarde said the IMF would respond quickly, while Prime Minister Hisham Qandil said he hoped the deal would be finalized by the end of the year.

    Qandil added he expected the IMF loan would be for five years, with a grace period of 39 months and an interest rate of 1.1 percent.

    The loan is needed to cover budget deficits due to a drop in tourism and foreign investment revenues.

    Egypt's foreign reserves have fallen to less than half the levels seen before last year's uprising against former leader Hosni Mubarak.

    The country’s budget deficit for the 2012-3 fiscal year is predicted to be 7.9 percent of GDP with internal debt of $193 billion and foreign debt of $33.8 billion.