May 6, 2020 / 5:18 PM / 23 days ago

UPDATE 1-IMF to consider Egypt's request for loan on May 11

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CAIRO, May 6 (Reuters) - The executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will meet on May 11 to consider Egypt’s request for a Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) loan, according to the board’s calendar.

Egypt asked the IMF for financial support to help it deal with the new coronavirus outbreak last month, and is seeking a Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) loan as well as the emergency financing under the RFI.

Egypt is potentially eligible for as much as $2.78 billion under the RFI and about $4 billion per year under the SBA, according to analysts and information on the IMF website. The two programmes are designed for countries facing urgent or potential balance of payments problems.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said last week Egypt was seeking the help because the coronavirus crisis was putting pressure on tourism and other major sources of foreign currency.

Tourism, which Egypt’s international cooperation minister recently said accounts for 5% of gross domestic product, has virtually been shut down since the government closed its airports to most civil aviation in March.

The crisis is also threatening remittances from Egyptians working abroad, which account for 10% of GDP, as well as exports of natural gas and income from the Suez Canal. (Reporting by Aidan Lewis and Patrick Werr; Editing by Alison Williams, Kirsten Donovan)

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