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IMF, Egypt say working to reach loan deal in "coming weeks"

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 (Copyright Reuters 2013)

The International Monetary Fund and Egyptian officials said on Sunday they were working to reach a deal on a proposed $4.8 billion loan in "coming weeks" following progress during weekend discussions in Washington.

"Work will continue with the objective of reaching agreement on an IMF stand-by arrangement to support the authorities' national economic program in the coming weeks," IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and Egyptian finance officials said in a joint statement.

The talks on the sidelines of meetings of the IMF and World Bank, included Egypt's central bank governor, Hisham Ramez, Finance Minister Al-Mursi al-Sayed Hejazy, and Planning Minister Ashraf El-Araby.

(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Sandra Maler)