Egypt to receive $2 billion from Saudi this week, says minister

The Central Bank of Egypt will receive a deposit worth US$2 billion from Saudi Arabia this week, according to Planning Minister Ashraf al-Arabi, pat of a $5-billion aid package pledged following the overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Morsy.

The Saudi package will comprise a $2 billion central bank deposit, $2 billion in energy products and $1 billion in cash.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has already transferred $3 billion to Egypt, while Kuwait has pledged $4 billion.

The interest-free Saudi deposit, aimed at alleviating Egypt's major economic malaise, will last for five years.

"We are in dire need of an economic reform programme that enhances production and bolsters state revenues," said Arabi, adding that Egypt no longer needs the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan it earlier applied for.

The planning minister also stressed that Egypt is suffering from a massive budget deficit that accounts for 13 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). This would require speedy reform, Arabi claimed.

According to the Finance Ministry, the state budget deficit reached LE204 billion in the 2012-2013 fiscal year, which ended on 30 June.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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