Mon, 18 Sep 2023 - 12:32 GMT
Mon, 18 Sep 2023 - 12:32 GMT
Confirming reports from local media earlier this month, multiple sources have come forward to a number of media outlets, including an International Monetary Fund (IMF) official, to reveal that the September IMF review has been delayed to an undisclosed date.
The review for Egypt’s $3 billion loan through IMF’s Extended Fund Facility (EFF) has seen several delays, after being delayed from the first review scheduled for March 2023.
Quoting Yasser Omar, deputy chair of the House Planning and Budget Committee, yesterday, a local media outlet reported him stating that The initial review by IMF experts this month will not proceed due to the government’s delay in fulfilling some of the commitments it made with the IMF under the recent agreement”. The official has since denied sharing the comment.
On a separate news outlet, Chairman of Plan and Budget Committee at the Egyptian House of Representatives, Fakhry al-Feki reportedly announced that the IMF’s review was postponed, noting that the delay would act positively in Egypt’s favor. The chairman was quoted as noting that it would allow IMF officials and Egypt’s delegation to meet at the upcoming annual IMF and World Bank meetings in October.
According to another, the IMF’s official spokesperson, Julie Kozack, told their reporters that the times scheduled for the reviews are “tentative and not final”. She told media that the IMF will continue to work closely “with the Egyptian authorities including on policy advice and technical assistance," and would share loan program-related updates in “due course”.
Officially, the IMF’s Executive Board Calendar for September does not include Egypt as of September 18, 1 pm Cairo Time. An IMF delegation was expected to arrive in Egypt in early September to prepare for the first review of the loan.
The original date for the first review was initially set for March but was pushed to the end of June, with the second review originally slated for September.
The previous delay was due to Egypt not fulfilling certain key commitments essential for the review process, according to several statements.
As part of the EFF, the IMF requested significant commitments from the Egyptian government including a fully flexible exchange rate, increasing the private sector’s role in the economy, and further progress in the IPO program and privatization reforms. Egypt has been accelerating efforts to meet these commitments.
Egypt received the first payment of the EFF loan back in December 2022, worth $347 million. The $3 billion loan was scheduled to be disbursed in 8 installments after bi-annual reviews.
Since March 2022, soon after the start of the Russia/Ukraine war, the Egyptian pound’s exchange rate against the USD has deteriorated. The LE fell from LE 15.7 to the USD to LE 18.56 in March 2022 and now stands at around the LE 30 mark since March 2023.