The Egyptian government announced on 26 July that it was close to clinching an agreement with the IMF for a three-year support program to secure $12bn, or $4bn a year, to ease its funding gap and restore market stability in the country, having initiated discreet talks with the IMF some three months ago.

The country has been dependent on oil-rich Gulf states Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE for funding since President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi ousted his predecessor Muhammad Mursi in July 2013....