IMF says Egypt asked to delay loan due to unrest

WASHINGTON Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:42am EST

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WASHINGTON Dec 11 (Reuters) - Egypt asked to delay its $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund due to political turmoil in the country, the Fund said, echoing the finance minister's statement earlier on Tuesday.

"In light of the unfolding developments on the ground, the Egyptian authorities have asked to postpone their request for a stand-by arrangement with the IMF," the Washington-based Fund said in a statement.

The IMF said it was in contact with Egyptian authorities, and would discuss with them when to resume talks about the loan, seen as vital to help Egypt's economy stay afloat.

Rival factions gathered in Cairo for a new round of demonstrations on Tuesday as a political crisis continues to grip the Arab world's most populous nation.

Egypt's finance minister said the IMF loan will be delayed until next month to allow the government more time to explain the heavily criticized package of economic austerity measures.

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