The International Monetary Fund's chief says talks on a controversial $4.8 loan to Egypt could be completed by mid-November.
Speaking on Thursday on the sidelines of the semi-annual meeting of the IMF and the World Bank in Tokyo, Christian Lagarde said:
"As you know, one of your [Egypt] authorities indicated he was hoping for closure in the middle of next month. Fingers crossed ... I am very confident we can discuss productively, reach agreement, and help Egypt as much as we can."
A range of mooted timescales for reaching a final agreement have been made over the last few days.
Egyptian finance minister Momtaz El-Said has previous said he expects a deal to be cut with the IMF within two weeks of a late October visit by an IMF delegation to Cairo.
Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, however, has expressed hopes that loan negotiations weill be concluded during the Cairo visit itself.
On Tuesday, the IMF forecast that Egypt's economy will grow a better than expected 2 per cent in 2012, helped by an easing of political tensions.
From: Ahram Online.