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Egypt Returns $2 Billion to Qatar in Sign of Growing Tensions

Uncle Fuck Stick

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09/19/2013 10:13 PM

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Egypt Returns $2 Billion to Qatar in Sign of Growing Tensions
[link to m.voanews.com]
Egypt has returned $2 billion that Qatar had deposited with its central bank, after talks to convert the funds into three-year bonds broke down, central bank Governor Hisham Ramez said on Thursday.

Egypt authorities have also refused a Qatari request to increase the number of flights between the two states, according to Egyptian airport sources, in a further sign of rising tension between the two Arab Muslim states.

Cairo's relations with Qatar deteriorated after the Egyptian army deposed Islamist President Mohamed Morsi on July 3. Qatar had been a firm backer of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood and lent or gave Egypt $7.5 billion during the year he was in power.

Qatar had sent Egypt $3 billion in May, of which it converted $1 billion into three-year bonds.

Ramez told Reuters in a telephone interview that the Qatari authorities had agreed to convert the entire remaining $2 billion but then changed their minds.

“They wanted to postpone it, then they said they would do it like they announced last time, and then they came back with some amendments, doing part and postponing the other part for a time, which we found not suitable for us,” he said. “So we just repaid the deposit.”

On July 1, Egypt converted the $1 billion into three-year bonds at 3.5 percent interest and in May it converted another $2.5 billion of Qatari loans into 18-month bonds at 4.25 percent interest. The bonds were listed on the Irish stock exchange.

Since Morsi's ouster, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have pledged Egypt $12 billion in grants and interest-free loans.

“I would assume they are fairly relaxed about their short-term finances and they can rely on aid from other Arab countries,” said Simon Kitchen, a Cairo-based strategist with EFG Hermes.

Egyptian officials have sai

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09/19/2013 10:24 PM
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Re: Egypt Returns $2 Billion to Qatar in Sign of Growing Tensions