Qatar extends $2.5bn lifeline to Egypt - FT.com

Qatar extends $2.5bn lifeline to Egypt - FT.com

Qatar swoops in to buffer against the impact of Morsi's economic mismanagement:

Sheik Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani, Qatari prime minister, said his country had given Egypt a $500m grant and another $2bn loan to help control the currency and support the dwindling foreign reserves, a day after Cairo resumed talks for a crucial $4.5bn loan from the International Monetary Fund.

“That is a decent amount of money. It will stabilise the foreign exchange market a little bit,’’ said Mohamed Abu Basha, Egypt economist at EFG-Hermes.

“It will allow the government a breathing space where they do not have to worry a lot about the currency during the IMF negotiations.’’

The Qataris — who have pledged at least $10bn to Egypt and have now delivered some $2bn before this — mostly as deposits in the Central Bank. One day they will cash in on all of this aid.

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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.