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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

1. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Egypt was one of the fastest growing emerging markets, having achieved macroeconomic stabilization after a successful economic reform program. The authorities’ ambitious program supported by the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) during 2016–19 addressed large external and domestic imbalances, raised growth, and expanded social safety nets while sharply reducing public debt. Prior to the pandemic, Egypt’s economic outlook was favorable. Real GDP was 5.6 percent (y/y) in the first half of FY2019/20. Public debt was on a downward trajectory, underpinned by a projected fiscal primary surplus of 2 percent of GDP. At end-February, gross international reserves stood at $45 billion (125 percent of the APIA metric). Inflation had eased, with core inflation well anchored at 1.9 percent (y/y). The aggregate banking system was well capitalized, with ample liquidity, capital buffers, and loan provisioning. In addition, Egypt issued $2 billion in Eurobonds in November 2019 that included a 40-year tranche. The authorities remained committed at the highest levels to advance structural reforms to achieve more inclusive private sector-led growth and jobs and reduce poverty and inequality.

Mr. Ernesto Ramirez Rigo, Christine J. Richmond, Oluremi Akin Olugbade, Gareth Anderson, Maria Atamanchuk, Mr. Hatim Bukhari, Iacovos Ioannou, Deeksha Kale, Tannous Kass-Hanna, Mr. Maximilien Queyranne, Wei Shi, and Joyce Wong
Prior to the COVID-19 shock, the key challenge facing policymakers in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia region was how to generate strong, sustainable, job-rich, inclusive growth. Post-COVID-19, this challenge has only grown given the additional reduction in fiscal space due to the crisis and the increased need to support the recovery. The sizable state-owned enterprise (SOE) footprint in the region, together with its cost to the government, call for revisiting the SOE sector to help open fiscal space and look for growth opportunities.
Mr. Ernesto Ramirez Rigo, Christine J. Richmond, Oluremi Akin Olugbade, Gareth Anderson, Maria Atamanchuk, Mr. Hatim Bukhari, Iacovos Ioannou, Deeksha Kale, Tannous Kass-Hanna, Mr. Maximilien Queyranne, Wei Shi, and Joyce Wong
Prior to the COVID-19 shock, the key challenge facing policymakers in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia region was how to generate strong, sustainable, job-rich, inclusive growth. Post-COVID-19, this challenge has only grown given the additional reduction in fiscal space due to the crisis and the increased need to support the recovery. The sizable state-owned enterprise (SOE) footprint in the region, together with its cost to the government, call for revisiting the SOE sector to help open fiscal space and look for growth opportunities.
Mr. Ernesto Ramirez Rigo, Christine J. Richmond, Oluremi Akin Olugbade, Gareth Anderson, Maria Atamanchuk, Mr. Hatim Bukhari, Iacovos Ioannou, Deeksha Kale, Tannous Kass-Hanna, Mr. Maximilien Queyranne, Wei Shi, and Joyce Wong
Prior to the COVID-19 shock, the key challenge facing policymakers in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia region was how to generate strong, sustainable, job-rich, inclusive growth. Post-COVID-19, this challenge has only grown given the additional reduction in fiscal space due to the crisis and the increased need to support the recovery. The sizable state-owned enterprise (SOE) footprint in the region, together with its cost to the government, call for revisiting the SOE sector to help open fiscal space and look for growth opportunities.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis led to a surge in government debt and financing needs as many countries in the Middle East and Central Asia reacted swiftly to mitigate the pandemic’s impact. Although several of these countries successfully accessed international financial markets, domestic banks covered a significant share of emerging markets’ financing needs, further expanding their already significant exposure to the public sector. By contrast, most low-income countries (LICs) had a small response to the crisis because of financing and policy space constraints. Looking ahead, public gross financing needs in most emerging markets in the Middle East and Central Asia are expected to remain elevated in 2021–22, with downside risks in the event of tighter global financial conditions and/or if fiscal consolidation is delayed due to weaker-than-expected recovery. However, further reliance on domestic financing will reduce banks’ ability to support the private sector’s emergence from the crisis, thus prolonging the recovery. Credible medium-term fiscal and debt management strategies, together with policy actions to develop domestic capital markets and mitigate banks’ overexposure to the sovereign would reduce financing risks, address the elevated debt burdens, and entrench financial stability.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Request for Purchase Under the Rapid Financing Instrument-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for the Arab Republic of Egypt