By Lamia Nabil
The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) received a $3bn Qatari deposit for the purchase of Egyptian bonds on Thursday, confirmed Nidal Assar, the sub-governor of the CBE.
Assar added that the Qatari deposit will remain at the CBE until the Ministry of Finance prepares the procedures to issue the bonds to Qatar, which will mature in three years with an interest rate of rate of 3.5%.
The Qatari government promised to buy Egyptian bonds following a visit by Prime Minister Hesham Qandil to Doha in April.
Both countries have since been in negotiations over the maturity period and interest rates for the bonds, with Qatar initially asking for 18 months and 5%, respectively, according to reports.
“The terms of these bonds must be revealed to the public,” said economist Rashad Abdo. “Of course there will be an effect on the economic problems as the foreign currency reserve will increase and the ‘revolution of the hungry’ will be delayed.”
Egyptian officials are trying to “improve their image in front of the IMF and their ability to pay other debts, and to beef up foreign currency reserves to become eligible for the loan”, Abdo said, but “it won’t solve the general economic problems as there is always a lack of visibility with this government”.