Qatar says boosting aid to Egypt by extra $2.5 bln

CAIRO Tue Jan 8, 2013 8:32am EST

CAIRO Jan 8 (Reuters) - Qatar said on Tuesday it would lend Egypt's government an additional $2 billion and grant it an extra $500 million outright, extending a lifeline as the government battles to contain a currency crisis.

Political strife has triggered a rush to convert Egyptian pounds to dollars over the past several weeks, sending the currency to a record low against the dollar.

"There was an initial package of $2.5 billion, of which $0.5 billion was a grant and $2 billion a deposit," Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani told reporters after meeting Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi.

"We discussed transferring one of the deposits into an additional grant so that the grants became $1 billion and the deposits double to around $4 billion," he said.

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