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Egypt's IOU time

Reducing Egypt's debts to foreign oil companies is part of petroleum minister Molla's strategy to attract further energy investment

New International Monetary Fund (IMF) loans and replenished foreign exchange (FX) reserves are enabling Egypt to make progress in reducing the substantial receivables backlog owed to international oil companies (IOCs). The move is part of Petroleum Minister Tarek Molla's plan to overhaul the hydrocarbons investment climate. Molla, a former Chevron executive has made it his mission to win back the confidence of IOCs. Their patience levels have worn increasingly thin and the latest payments will ease the pressure on the minister. Late payments amounted to $3.5bn in early May, before two $750m instalments settled mid-month and in early June reduced the figure to a more manageable $2bn. Since

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