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IMF to review Egypt’s reform program twice in September

A former advisor to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Fakhry al-Fiqi said Saturday that the second review to the Egyptian economic reform program will take place mid-September, after the government agreed with the IMF to include the the first review in the process.

The IMF’s first review was originally scheduled for March, but failed to take place.

He added that the IMF did not announce the cessation of the financing program for Egypt, which comes in accordance with a reform program agreed upon between the two sides and includes numerous procedures and requirements.

Contact is still on-going between the government and the IMF, he said.

Fiqi – who heads the Parliament’s Plan and Budget Committee – ruled out a new devaluation of the currency – or “floating” – during the coming period by the Central Bank of Egypt, because this measure “may harm social peace,” he said.

He stressed that the CBE has been striving recently to rebuild international reserves of foreign exchange (amounting to about US$35 billion) according to the latest recent statistics of the bank.

Fiqi pointed out that the IMF asked the government to continue applying the policy of flexibility in the exchange rate, but the continued scarcity of foreign exchange locally may hinder a decision on a new flotation during the current period.

Foreign exchange reserves are sufficient enough to cover about six months of commodity imports, he said, adding that there has been a noticeable increase in balances in recent months.

Fiqi added that the government is commitment to implementing the state ownership policy document and the public offering program, which includes offering about 32 state-owned companies, whether on the stock exchange or to a strategic investor with a capital increase system.

The fund has expressed its satisfaction recently with the decisions and measures taken by the government and CBE regarding financial and monetary policies, he said, adding that the dialogue is still ongoing between the fund and Egypt on several points.


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