Egypt receives $3 bln Qatari deposit

Egypt’s newly appointed Finance Minister Fayyad Abdel Moneim, center, speaks at a conference in Cairo.

CAIRO: Egypt received a $3 billion deposit from Qatar Thursday, a central bank official said Sunday, shoring up finances hit by economic turmoil since a popular uprising that toppled the government two years ago.

The funds will remain with the central bank until Egypt’s Finance Ministry issues bonds of the same value to Qatar, said the central bank official, who asked not to be identified.

The three-year bonds will carry an interest rate of 3.5 percent.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani promised the money when Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil visited the Gulf state on April 10.

Qatar has already lent Egypt $5 billion since President Mohammad Mursi took office last July.

Doha had asked for 5 percent interest and a maturity of 18 months, but Egypt was negotiating to get the terms improved, an Egyptian official involved in the talks said last month.

Egypt has been asking Arab and Muslim nations for cheap funds to help it to stave off financial collapse.

It is negotiating a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund that would carry an interest rate of only 1.1 percent, but it has balked at the economic policy terms.

Libya deposited $2 billion at Egypt’s central bank in April and said it would supply the country with $1.2 billion worth of crude on interest-free credit over one year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 13, 2013, on page 5.




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