November 3, 2016 / 7:47 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 2-Egypt to raise energy prices from Nov. 4 - ministry

(Changes source to petroleum ministry)

CAIRO, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Egypt will raise energy prices from Friday, the petroleum ministry said on Thursday, hours after the central bank floated the pound currency.

The move, which takes effect at midnight local time (2200 GMT) on Thursday, comes as part of Egypt’s austerity measures aimed at securing a three-year, $12 billion International Monetary Fund loan agreement.

The price of 92 octane gasoline will rise 34.6 percent to 3.5 Egyptian pounds ($0.2258) from 2.6 pounds per litre while 80 octane gasoline will go up 46.8 percent to 2.35 pounds from 1.6.

Diesel will rise to 2.35 pounds per litre, an increase of 30.5 percent from 1.8. The less commonly used natural gas for vehicles will rise by 45.5 percent to 1.6 pounds per cubic meter, up from 1.1 pounds.

It will be the second time Egypt has raised fuel prices in recent history. In 2014 it increased prices by up to 78 percent to ease pressure on a swelling budget deficit.

The government said at the time it would eliminate fuel subsidies completely for five years but a fall in global oil prices had delayed a decision ever since.

Food and energy subsidies traditionally eat up a quarter of Egyptian state spending. The government is cutting subsidies in hopes of reviving an economy battered by years of political turmoil since a 2011 uprising.

Successive governments have failed to curb energy product subsidies, fearing backlash from a public used to cheap fuel.

$1 = 15.50 Egyptian pounds Reporting by Abdel Rahman Adel; writing by Ahmed Aboulenein; editing by Eric Knecht/Mark Heinrich

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