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Egypt's Oil Minister Sherif Ismail

Egypt’s Oil Minister Sherif Ismail said the country will pay about $1 billion of the money it owes to foreign oil companies within the next two months.

Egypt says it owes around $6.3 billion to the companies.

Last year it said it paid out $1.5 billion as part of a repayment scheme in efforts to revive confidence in the economy.

“A new chunk of around $1 billion will be paid to foreign firms within two months,” Ismail said on Tuesday.

Egypt said previously it would repay a further $3 billion in monthly installments until 2017.

The country faces soaring energy bills caused by high subsidies on fuel products for its 85 million people.