CAIRO - Egypt will finalize a tender for the development of the Suez Canal by the end of the month, the investment minister said on Sunday, to try to boost an economy struggling with political turmoil since 2011.

"No country is taking the lead, it is an Egyptian project and we are going to finalize the first stage by finalizing this tender by the end of this month," Osama Saleh told a Euromoney conference in Cairo, adding the terms of reference will be tendered globally.

Egypt's economy benefits from about $5 billion a year in tolls for using the vital 192-km (120 mile) waterway, the quickest sea route between Asia and Europe.

Saleh did not put a price tag on the project.

Egypt, the most populous Arab state, has been craving foreign investment since a popular uprising toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

The political upheaval that followed the revolt, and a power struggle since the army toppled President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July, have hammered Egypt's economy.

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