Egypt's foreign currency reserves, which stood
at $36 billion before autocrat Hosni Mubarak was ousted in 2011,
have been under pressure ever since and fell to $17.8 billion in
November from $18.6 billion in October.
Repayment will occur "in phases", starting on December 1, a
statement on the Finance Ministry website said. Prime Minister
Hazem el-Beblawi said on December 4 the repayment of $1.5
billion had been approved.
This amount will be paid in three tranches, according to the
Finance Ministry. It added the agreement between the Finance and
Oil Ministries had been reached with the "full coordination and
cooperation" of the Central Bank which helped provide the
foreign currency needed for the payments.
The first tranche of $1 billion will be provided by the Central
Bank which will deduct the amount in Egyptian pounds from its
Finance Ministry accounts, according to the statement.
The second tranche of $300 million will be paid for by the
Finance Ministry in Egyptian pounds. The state-run Egyptian
General Petroleum Corporation will pay the remaining $200
million, the ministry said.
Financial disclosures by firms including BP <BP.L>, BG Group <BG.L>,
Edison SpA <EDNn.MI> and TransGlobe Energy <TGL.TO> show Egypt
owed them more than $5.2 billion at the end of 2012.
In the week after the army removed Islamist President Mohamed
Mursi in July following mass protests against his rule, Saudi
Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates promised Egypt a
total of $12 billion in grants, interest-free loans and oil
(Reporting by Shadia Nasralla;
editing by Janet Lawrence)
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