Egypt repays $250 million of $2-billion loan

By Libya Herald reporter.

The Central Bank of Libya (Photo: CBL)

The Central Bank of Libya (Photo: CBL)

Tunis, 3 November 2017:

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) says that it repaid $250 million of the controversial five-year $2-billion interest-free loan given by Libya to Egypt in March 2013. The repayment was made on Wednesday.

According to CBE deputy governor Rami Abul-Naga, its brings to $1.5 billion the total repayments paid on the loan. There would be two further payments totalling $500 million made next year to complete the repayment, he added. He did not say, however, if the payment was made to the Central Bank of Libya in Tripoli or to the parallel institution in Benghazi.

The loan was controversial when it was announced. It was made by Ali Zeidan to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood (MB) government headed by the the subsequently overthrown president, Mohamed Morsi, and was seen as having been engineered by the MB in Libya acting in the interests of the movement in Egypt.

In what was seen as a move to counter the criticism, Zeidan himself said at the time that the $2 billion was “not a loan but an investment”, while Central Bank of Libya governor Sadek Elkaber described it as “ a deposit”.

Through its MB connections, the Morsi government also secured a $1-billion loan from Turkey a few months earlier. There was also $3 billion in loans and deposits from Qatar. According to the CBE, it also paid off the last $200 million on the Turkish loan this week. The Qatar funds are reported to have been fully paid back.

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