Cairo: Saudi Arabia is expected to give Egypt up to $4 billion (Dh14.69 billion) in additional aid in the form of central bank deposits and petroleum products, state-run Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram reported on Thursday.
Citing an unnamed ministerial source, the newspaper said the package would be worked out during a visit next week to the kingdom by Egypt’s interim prime minister Hazem Al Beblawi. Gulf Arab states have showered Egypt with billions of dollars since the army toppled president Mohammad Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July. The funds have kept the economy afloat during political turmoil which has hit investment and tourism hard. Egypt will announce within days details of a second stimulus package since Mursi was ousted, its finance minister said on Tuesday, aiming to boost tepid growth rates and reassure investors.
The economy grew by just 1.04 per cent in the three months through last September from a year earlier, according to central bank data. About $7 billion has been added to Egypt’s foreign reserve balance since July. The money came from three countries: the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, according to Egypt’s central bank. Those deposits stabilised the financial and economic situation in Egypt.
Hisham Ramez, the governor of the Central Bank of Egypt, said that the reserves have reached about $19 billion. Those three Gulf states have promised $12 billion in deposits and aid to Egypt: $3 billion from the UAE ($1 billion in aid and $2 billion in deposits with the Central Bank of Egypt); $5 billion from Saudi Arabia ($2 billion in deposits, $1 billion in cash and $2 billion in oil and gas); and $4 billion from Kuwait ($2 billion in deposits, $1 billion in aid and $1 billion in oil derivatives).