Egypt's government expects funds from a new International Monetary Fund loan to start flowing from May after it told the fund it has the backing of political forces for a deal, the country's finance minister was on Monday quoted as saying.
The planned $3.2 billion facility, which would help stave off a balance of payments and currency crisis, has been threatened by the opposition of the leading bloc in parliament - the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP). There were signs earlier this month that the FJP had agreed to support the loan, vital for a country deserted by foreign investors and tourists since a popular uprising last year.
The loan deal requires Egypt to show a package of economic measures that are backed by political groups likely to have a role in government when the current army-backed administration steps aside at the end of June. "A delegation of the IMF has been notified of the approval of the political powers and the Freedom and Justice and al-Nour parties of the loan," Minister of Finance Mumtaz al-Saeed told al-Masry al-Youm newspaper. "The first part of the loan will start to be paid when the board of directors of the Fund meets in May," he added.