IMF says hoping to conclude Egypt talks "as quickly as feasible"

WASHINGTON Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:28am EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund and Egyptian finance officials are working to conclude talks "as quickly as feasible" on a proposed $4.8 billion loan deal to ease the country's deepening economic crisis, a senior official said on Friday.

"I don't have a date for when those discussions will be completed precisely, but Egyptian authorities and our own team are working diligently to try to bring that set of discussions to a conclusion as quickly as feasible," IMF Director for the Middle East and North Africa Masood Ahmed told reporters.

The talks are taking place on the sidelines of IMF and World Bank meetings in Washington.

An IMF deal will help shore up confidence in Egypt's economy and reassure private investors and donors that the country is committed to economic reforms, which include cutting fuel subsidies and raising sales taxes.

Egypt has suffered two years of political instability since a 2011 uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton)

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