Egypt to resume IMF loan talks

 

Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil has said he expects a resumption of talks in January with the International Monetary Fund on a $4.8 billion loan.

He was speaking during a news conference to announce a "national economic initiative" which he said aimed to build consensus around the government's economic programme.

"We hope that there will not be any fundamental changes in our plan with the IMF because we will summon them in January so we resume discussions to go forward in the matter of the loan," Kandil said.

Currency

The Egyptian pound hit a record low today of about 6.30 to the dollar after the central bank introduced a new currency regime, bankers said.

The previous low for the pound, in October 2004, was about 6.26 to the dollar. The pound opened earlier today in the interbank bank market with bids of around 6.185 to the dollar.

The central bank said yesterday it was introducing the new regime to conserve foreign reserves, which it said had fallen to a critically low level.

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