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Will Egypt get handle on its public debt?

Parliamentary committees are making noise about plans to address Egypt's public debt, in part by establishing mechanisms to optimize the use of loans and grants.
Finance Minister Mohamed Maait speaks during a news conference in Cairo, Egypt July 5, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany - RC1C44D9DA80
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CAIRO — On the sidelines of the Euromoney Egypt Conference on Sept. 4, Egyptian Finance Minister Mohamed Maait announced his ministry's intention to submit a proposal to the Cabinet to establish a foreign debt ceiling. Maait said that he would be submitting a plan in the coming weeks to manage Egypt's foreign debt, which, according to the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), stood at $88.2 billion in March. That was up from $82.9 billion in December 2017 and $79 billion in June 2017. Maait also said that domestic debt had totaled $194.9 billion in March.

Medhat al-Sherif, a member of parliament’s Economic Committee, told Al-Monitor that the country's serious levels of debt had in mid-September prompted his committee to announce several steps aimed at managing the foreign component. Although parliament's most recent session officially ended in July, Sherif's committee continues to follow up on issues discussed during the session and has asked Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly for a statement detailing all loans and grants received by the government.

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