Egypt's prime minister has announced that he has asked the International Monetary Fund to delay consideration of a multi-billion dollar loan package. The Fund's executive board was slated to consider the package on December 19. Via Ahram Online:
Egypt has asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to delay its approval of a $4.8 billion loan until next month due to domestic political circumstances, Prime Minister Hisham Qandil said at press conference on Tuesday.
"The government asked the IMF to postpone its decision concerning Egypt's $4.8 billion loan," he said.
"In light of the unfolding developments on the ground, the Egyptian authorities have asked to postpone their request for a Stand-By Arrangement with the IMF," an IMF spokeswoman confirmed in a written statement.
The IMF said it remained in close contact with the Egyptian authorities and was ready to continue supporting the country during the transition period. It would consult with the authorities on the resumption of discussions regarding the Stand-By Arrangement, it added.
It would be interesting to know whether Egypt actually initiated the delay or whether its officials were told that doing so would be in their best interest.