Riyadh: Saudi Arabia said it’s following through on financial pledges made to Egypt, without elaborating on the progress.
The Gulf region’s biggest economy deposited $5 billion in Egypt’s central bank last year and, alongside Qatar, has earmarked more than $10 billion for its long-time ally. But so far, only $1.3 billion has come to fruition, when a unit of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund acquired state-owned stakes in four Egyptian companies.
“We have already” put money into Egypt, Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al Jadaan said Wednesday in a conference in Riyadh, adding that the country’s track record speaks for itself.
Egypt is in need of foreign exchange and has overseen a series of devaluations of the pound, which lost about half its value against the dollar over the past year.
To shore up its finances, Egypt secured a $3 billion deal with the International Monetary Fund and has agreed to carry out a series of reforms.
“Egypt has great potential,” Al Jadaan said, “They may face some difficulty but they have what it takes to be a great nation, a great country, a great economy.”
Securing Gulf funding is seen as “critical” for Egypt to bridge a funding gap of some $17 billion in the next few years, according to the IMF.