According to the president’s office, Egypt is set to receive the fifth instalment of its $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in January.
After Egypt agreed to a package of reforms including the devaluation of the pound, cuts to energy subsidies and the introduction of a value-added tax, the IMF offered the country a three-year loan programme in 2016.
Speculation that the fifth tranche of the loan would be delayed was promoted when the IMF postponed a review of Egypt’s economic reform programme, which was scheduled to take place in December. However, central bank Governor Tarek Amer briefed President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Sunday on the “positive results” of the IMF’s most recent staff team visit to Egypt.
A statement released by the president’s office reveals that the positive results include the “commendation of the government’s rigorous adherence to the implementation of targeted reform measures according to predetermined timetables, with delivery of the $2 billion fifth tranche of the IMF loan expected in January 2019″.
The president’s office noted that Fattah al-Sisi spoke to IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde about the implementation of the reform programme on 21 December 2018.
Many economists have praised Egypt’s economic reforms over the past two years, but austerity measures have caused immediate pain for wide swathes of Egypt’s population of 98 million.
In 2018, Egypt approved a mechanism to link domestic fuel prices to those in the international market as it gradually weans the country away from most energy subsidies, but the government has yet to implement it.