The World Bank said on Thursday that Egypt has asked for a $1 billion loan and it will launch talks with government representatives to iron out the details.

"The World Bank has received an official request from the Egyptian authorities to support their economic program," Inger Andersen, World Bank vice president for the Middle East and North Africa, said in a statement.

Egypt said last month it would seek a $500 million loan from the World Bank and another $500 million from the African Development Bank to help it plug a budget gap widened by a year of political and economic turmoil.

World Bank President Robert Zoellick announced last year that the development lender would make $4.5 billion available over 24 months for Egypt.

Egypt is also in talks with the International Monetary Fund on a possible $3.2 billion loan to help stabilize its economy. The fund has said any agreement would need broad political support as the country prepares for elections, in which Egypt's ruling army would transfer power to civilians. (Reporting by Lesley Wroughton, Editing by Gary Crosse)