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IMF deal to prop up Egypt's economy

Jan 06 2013 13:06 Reuters
Egypt protests

President Mohamed Mursi is reshuffling his cabinet to assuage public anger at an economic crisis. (AP)

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Cairo - Egypt is committed to completing negotiations with the International Monetary Fund to secure a $4.8bn loan, its incoming finance minister said on Sunday, a day before an IMF visit to discuss a deal vital to the country's economy.

A senior IMF official is due in Cairo on Monday to meet Egyptian leaders over the deal, which was postponed last month to give Egypt more time to defuse political tensions before introducing unpopular austerity measures.

Cabinet sources said on Saturday that President Mohamed Mursi had fired his finance and interior ministers after promising a government reshuffle to assuage public anger at an economic crisis.

Incoming finance minister Al-Mursi Al-Sayed Hegazy, who is due to be sworn in by Mursi later on Sunday, told journalists he was "completely ready to complete discussions with the International Monetary Fund".   

Hegazy, who made his remarks after meeting Prime Minister Hisham Kandil, is a little-known economist based at Alexandria University and a specialist in Islamic finance.

He is not a member of Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood, though Egyptian media described him as close to the group.  

State news agency MENA said a total of 10 new ministers would be sworn in on Sunday for portfolios including electricity, environment, communications and transport.

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