Standard & Poor’s delegation in Egypt to assess political environment

A Standard & Poor's Ratings Services delegation arrived on Wednesday to conduct several interviews as part of preparing Egypt’s classification that will be announced during the coming period, the Ministry of Finance said.

The delegation will meet with a number of leaders in the Ministry of Interior to inquire about the security situation and will also meet with a number of political figures to assess the political environment, said an official source.

In November 2013, Standard & Poor's Ratings has raised its sovereign credit ratings for Egypt to 'B-/B' from 'CCC+/C', saying it expected support from other countries which has propped up government finances to continue.

On Monday, Moody's Investors Service says that Egypt's improving economy and stabilizing politics reduce downside risks, with credit challenges centered on weak government finances.

This follows Moody's decision on 20 October 2014 to change the outlook on Egypt's government bond rating from negative to stable. At the same time, Moody's affirmed the rating at Caa1.

The Egyptian government asked the IMF for a long-delayed economic assessment in the hope of improving the country’s image before a February investment conference, according to the finance ministry.

The government said it wants the results published before the Egypt Economic Summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, a conference to boost investment in an economy battered by years of political turmoil and a lack of investor confidence.

"A mission from the IMF will work in November on an Article IV report based on the work of this team, which could be discussed by our executive Board and be ready in time for the Egyptian economic conference summit that they are planning in the month of February next year," Masood Ahmed, IMF's Director, said in early October. 

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