Egypt eyes tough reforms in last-ditch bid to save economy

Experts say the $12 billion IMF loan to Egypt is essential to bolster foreign currency reserves, which have dwindled to $15.5 billionEgypt hopes a $12-billion financing deal with the IMF will usher in an economic turnaround but real progress hinges on a tough reform package avoided for decades to stave off unrest. The financing over three years — deemed an endorsement to attract more foreign aid — would go together with a currency devaluation and streamlining of Egypt’s bloated subsidy system. In a country where many rely on state subsidised bread and imports for basic foodstuffs such as wheat, inflation has already risen at a time of low foreign currency reserves and a thriving black market exchange.

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