UPDATE 1-Egypt appoints Hany Dimian finance minister -government official

Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:40pm EST

CAIRO Feb 27 (Reuters) - Egypt's prime minister appointed former finance ministry official Hany Dimian as finance minister in the new government on Thursday, a government official said.

Dimian will face the daunting task of strengthening an economy battered by political turmoil since a popular uprising toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Dimian worked as a top ministry official for more than five years until he resigned 10 months ago during the term of deposed President Mohamed Mursi.

Educated at Columbia University, he was described by a senior European diplomat as the only ministry expert able to deal professionally with the International Monetary Fund during a failed Mursi administration bid to secure a loan last year.

Dimian stepped down shortly after the talks collapsed because of Egyptian resistance to economic reforms. Those reforms are needed to control a budget deficit that hit almost 14 percent of gross domestic product in the year ending June 30.

Dimian was appointed as deputy finance minister in 2007, serving under then Finance Minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali. He was promoted during Mursi's year in power to first deputy minister in 2012, according to a profile on his Linkedin page.

Dimian replaces former Finance Minister Ahmed Galal and takes on the responsibility of managing Egypt's economy, which grew a meagre 2.1 percent last year as political instability kept foreign investors and tourists away.

During his six years at the Finance Ministry, Dimian established a Macro-Fiscal Policy Unit, promoted fiscal transparency and drafted a modern income tax code, he said on his Linkedin profile.

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