Shura approves government's request for $1 billion loans

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CAIRO: The Financial and Economic Committee at the Shura Council (Upper house of Parliament) has approved a permission for the government to borrow $1 billion from the World Bank and the African Development Bank to finance the restructuring efforts at state-owned insurance companies and banks.

Khallaf Abul Gaber, head of the Shura Council’s Financial Committee, said the value would be borrowed from both banks on equal basis.

He pointed out that more than 95 percent of the funds would be used to finance reforms in the nation’s financial sector. “The objectives of the reforms are to improve efficiency of financial and risk management tools based on the market mechanisms and to enhance safe operation of the banking and non-banking financial sectors, he said.

The funds will be specially directed to financial and management reforms at the National Bank of Egypt and Banque Misr as well as restructuring efforts at state-owned insurance companies to encourage partnerships with the private sector.

During a recent visit to Cairo, officials from the World Bank had expressed the bank’s approval to lend Egypt the funds required to finance the reforms.

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