WASHINGTON, Feb 14 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund’s chief spokesman on Thursday said he was unaware of the Fund receiving a revised economic program from Egypt, a precondition for securing a vital $4.8 billion loan.
Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil late on Wednesday said the government had finished revising a program on economic reforms. He later said he hoped the IMF team would return to Egypt this month to resume talks on the loan.
“As far as I am aware, we have not yet received the economic program,” IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters.
“We understand the Egyptian authorities have been working on revising their economic program. And once this step is completed, we will discuss the timing of a possible mission to Cairo to assess the revised program.”
The IMF accord is seen as critical for propping up Egypt’s battered finances. Ratification would also unlock billions of dollars of further aid from foreign states, economists say.
Ratings agency Moody’s cited uncertainty about the government’s ability to secure the loan as one reason for cutting Egypt’s credit rating earlier this week.