IMF approves $12-billion loan to salvage Egypt's economy
CAIRO, Egypt (AP):
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Friday that its executive board has approved a three-year bailout totalling $12 billion to Egypt, to support the country's ailing economy a move intended to restore investor confidence and raise the country's foreign reserves. Even with the loan, economic challenges remain ahead.
The approval comes almost a week after the Egyptian government floated its currency and raised fuel prices in order to qualify for the loan. These painful measures earned praise from the IMF and the international business community, but caused price hikes for an already frustrated cash-strapped population, with President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi now risking a serious political backlash.
Brazil files complaint against US duties
GENEVA, Switzerland (AP):
Brazil has filed a complaint at the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the US over duties imposed on Brazilian steel products.
A WTO announcement Friday on the filing comes amid questions about how the US will interact with the Geneva-based trade body after President-elect Donald Trump's January inauguration.
WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo tweeted last Wednesday that the WTO "stands ready to work with the new administration".
Brazil claims the US violated WTO subsidy rules by imposing higher tariffs over the last year on Brazilian cold- and hot-rolled steel flat products in response to alleged improper Brazilian government subsidies.
CARICOM looks to South Africa for support in row over correspondent banking
GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC):
The 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping is urging South Africa to articulate its concerns on the withdrawal of correspondent banking services, a practice the region says threatens to undermine its robust efforts to ensure economic stability and growth.
"The de-risking activities of certain transnational banks that are resulting in their withdrawal of correspondent banking services, have the potential to delink our economies from the international trading system and global economy," CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque said as he accepted the letters of credential of South Africa's High Commissioner Xoliswa Ngwevela to the grouping.
"Similarly, the practice by certain countries of unjustifiably blacklisting CARICOM member states as non-cooperative tax jurisdictions makes a mockery of our efforts and documented success in complying with onerous international regulations in this respect," he added.
IMF predicts economic growth for Antigua and Barbuda
ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC):
The Antigua and Barbuda economy is expected to grow by three per cent this year, underpinned by the continued recovery in the tourism sector and investments in new facilities, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.
An IMF delegation, headed by Meredith Arnold McIntyre, has ended a two-week visit to the country and said that growth last year was 3. 7 per cent.
He said the growth this year reflects mainly the still-tight financing conditions for the public and private sectors.