February 25, 2013 / 11:16 AM / 5 years ago

Egypt reform plan targets currency reserve recovery

CAIRO, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Egypt’s government reform programme is targeting a recovery in foreign exchange reserves to $19 billion by the end of June, climbing to $22.5 billion a year later, according to a copy of the plan seen by Reuters.

Reserves have tumbled to $13.6 billon in January from $36 billion before the overthrow of president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, and the Egyptian pound has tumbled 8.2 percent against the dollar since the central bank began auctioning dollars at the end of December.

The reform programme is a prerequisite for resuming negotiations with the International Monetary Fund on a $4.8 billion loan for Egypt that was agreed in principle last November. Talks were suspended the following month due to street violence in Egypt.

The programme targets a budget deficit for the year ending June 2013 of 189.7 bln Egyptian pounds, or 10.9 percent of GDP, assuming reforms are made. Without the reforms, the deficit would hit 12.3 pct of GDP, it forecast.

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