Africa

IMF says it could lend money to Libya and Egypt

By Sipho Hlongwane 13 September 2011

We still don’t know where Muammar Gaddafi is, the dust has still not settled in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, and the International Monetary Fund is already saying that Libya and Egypt can borrow money from it if they so desire. By SIPHO HLONGWANE.

The International Monetary Fund is prepared to lend money to the Libyan National Transitional Council in the short term, said Masood Ahmed, director of the Middle East and Central Asia department at the IMF.

This was after IMF chief Christine Lagarde said that the international money-lending organisation recognised the NTC as the government of Libya.

Ahmed said that he didn’t expect NTC to need medium term financing, as about $150 billion of sovereign assets, previously controlled by Gaddafi, would become available to the rebel government soon.

In June, the military council ruling Egypt after Hosni Mubarak was made to resign due to popular protests turned down a $3 billion loan offer from the IMF, saying that it prefers to raise the money domestically and through loans from its buddy Arab countries.

Finance ministers from the Group of Seven countries, plus Russia, pledged $38 billion on Saturday to fund “Arab Spring” countries including Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Jordan.

“We stand ready to support the Libyan authorities in their endeavour to rebuild the country and conduct a Libyan-led transition towards shared prosperity,” the statement from the ministers said. The ministers also had a moment of crisis over the NTC, but finally decided that Libya probably wouldn’t need a medium-term international loan, given its oil wealth. DM



Read more:

  • IMF says prepared to aid Libya, Egypt in MSNBC;
  • Libya’s transitional council gets access to foreign financing after IMF recognition in Globe and Mail;
  • Like South Africa, Algeria dances an awkward dance on Libya in Daily Maverick.

Photo: REUTERS

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