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Egypt hopes to secure new IMF agreement by March, says finance minister

Mohamed Maait says that Egypt is committed to implementing the much-needed reforms to drive growth, and is pressing ahead with the sale of several state-owned companies, as it looks to agree new terms with the IMF.

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Egypt hopes to agree on a new IMF funding package by the end of March, and is on track to implement the structural reforms still needed to attract foreign investment, its minister of finance Mohamed Maait tells Euromoney.

During informal talks, Egypt has told the International Monetary Fund that it would like to continue a programme of engagement after its three-year $12 billion extended fund facility ends in November, Maait says.

“We have already started talking with the IMF about a future engagement and we have been in informal discussion about what will be the coming engagement, and we have put a target to finish this discussion by end of March,” he reveals.

The country has made remarkable progress under the stewardship of the IMF’s $12 billion extended fund facility. Egyptian growth is on track for around 5.6%, the fastest in the region, and it is now running a primary surplus of 2% of GDP, from a deficit of nearly 11% just three years ago.

But austerity has prompted anti-government protests in the country, building pressure for the government to loosen its fiscal stance, something which Maait is keen to address.