Cairo - A delegation of the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) arrived in Cairo on Wednesday for talks on a financing programme needed
to lift Egypt's economy out of crisis.
The delegation is expected to examine Egypt's efforts at
The government has been walking a tight rope, as the reforms
required by the international lender are likely to spark social tensions.
The size of the $4.8bn loan may change, IMF officials said,
"We expect the amount to be modified based on Egypt's
demand," the official MENA news agency quoted an Egyptian official as
saying ahead of the talks.
IMF Middle East director Masood Ahmed said on Tuesday it was
a matter "of needs and what's required," on the sidelines of a
meeting of regional finance ministers in Dubai.
Egypt's Finance Minister Al-Morsi Hegazi, who attended the
Dubai talks, said negotiations with the IMF should be concluded by the end of
Authorities believe the loan will help restore investor
confidence in Egypt where unrest that accompanied the 2011 uprising that
toppled Hosni Mubarak caused a significant drop in revenue from the
once-lucrative tourism industry.
Foreign reserves have plunged from $36bn to $13bn in two
years, and the budget deficit is increasing.
President Mohammed Morsi's administration has been plagued by
unrest and deadly clashes between protesters and police, blocking efforts to
build broad-based support for a needed programme of economic reform.