Saudi deposits US$2 bn at CBE

Egypt received US$2 billion from Saudi Arabia on Sunday in the form of a five-year, interest-free deposit at the Central Bank, Reuters reported.

Saudi Arabia has pledged another US$2 billion in energy products and US$1 billion in cash, but CBE Governor Hesham Ramez did not indicate when the latter was expected.

Last week, the country received US$3 billion in aid from the United Arab Emirates, of which US$2 billion would be used to prop foreign reserves while the remaining amount would go towards plugging the widening budget deficit.

Kuwait is also due to give Egypt US$4 billion, but Ramez said no date had been set for the payment, according to Reuters. 

A total of US$12 billion was pledged to Egypt by the three countries in the aftermath of an army ultimatum deposing President Mohamed Morsi on July 3, following mass protests demanding his ouster.

Bilateral relations have thawed with the Gulf countries, which had not been on the best of terms with Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood over the past year, during which time Qatar had offered billions in aid to support Egypt’s ailing finances.

Foreign reserves have fallen to a critical level of US$14.9 billion in June, while the budget deficit widened to almost half of all state spending, Reuters reported. 

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