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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » DAILY CHRONICLE™ »  Govt seeks fresh $ 1.5 Billion from IMF

Govt seeks fresh $ 1.5 Billion from IMF

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Redbulls

Redbulls
Director - Equity Analytics
Director - Equity Analytics
By The Nation

Discussions positive; new loan expected before the end of 2013

Government is exploring the possibility of obtaining a whopping USD 1.5 billion loan facility from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), highly placed government sources told ‘The Nation’.“If the ongoing discussions bear fruit, Sri Lanka will receive the approval for the fresh $ 1.5 billion loan facility before the end of this year,” a senior official of the Central Bank said yesterday. The fresh loan, he said, will be provided to Sri Lanka by the IMF through the Central Bank.

The government is seeking the fresh loan facility after obtaining a whopping $ 2.5 billion loan facility from the IMF seven months ago. Although the final tranche of the IMF loan facility provided to Sri Lanka was released in July, last year, the bailout plan was approved in 2009. It is also learnt that a top level IMF delegation is now in the process of reviewing the country’s economic performance prior to the final decision on the fresh loan facility. The IMF, the Central Bank official said, will look into the stability of the rupee and the balance of payment.

“However, he IMF officials are of the view that the country’s economy is moving towards the right direction following the release of the final tranche of the IMF bailout plan,” the official added.The 2009 IMF bailout was approved when Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves crashed to a low level of $1 billion, but Central Bank of Sri Lanka figures showed reserves of $8.6 billion by September last year.

“The adjustment measures implemented by the authorities have placed the economy on a more sustainable trajectory,” Min Zhu, the IMF’s Deputy Managing Director said on the release of the previous IMF loan. “However, it will take time for the new monetary and exchange rate regime to become fully established, and the authorities will need to stand ready to adjust policies further to stabilise external reserves, especially if the global environment becomes less favourable.” He further said cautioning the Sri Lankan government at that point.

However, following the release of the final tranche, the government revised down its growth forecast for 2012 from 7.2 percent to 6.5 percent after a drastic slow-down in imports due to sharp increases in import tariffs vis-a-vis a $10-billion trade deficit. The new loan, a senior Treasury official who wished to remain anonymous said, will primarily be utilized for government spending.
http://www.nation.lk/edition/latest-top-stories/item/15671-govt-seeks-fresh-$-15-billion-from-imf.html

Hanoifortune

Hanoifortune
Senior Manager - Equity Analytics
Senior Manager - Equity Analytics
Turkey to clear IMF debt by May: Erdogan

ISTANBUL: Turkey is set to make a "clean break" with the International Monetary Fund by paying off its remaining debt by May, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday.

"We have been paying and paying... Right now the debt stands at US$860 million," Erdogan said in televised remarks.

"When we pay the last slice in May, we will zero out the debt and make a clean break," he added.

Erdogan said his Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, which took over a US$23.5 billion IMF debt when it came to power in 2002, was in talks to loan US$5 billion to the global institution.

The pay-off would mean a "new era" for Turkey where taxes can be put toward expanding national infrastructure once the debt is cleared, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek was quoted as saying by Anatolia news agency.

"We have somehow maintained a debt deal (with the IMF) since 1958," he said. "Turkey is now entering a new era by not signing into any programs and clearing its debt completely...Turkey will be climbing up the ladder in a sense."

Over the decades, Turkish governments have signed 19 stand-by agreements with the fund for over US$50 billion to meet financial challenges.

In 2008, Ankara managed to complete its last stand-by with the IMF, signed in 2005, and refused its aid in 2010, following two years of negotiation with the Washington-based institution.

During that period, the Turkish economy staged a spectacular recovery despite the global financial crisis, growing by 8.9 percent in 2010 and by 8.5 percent in 2011.

Its growth has however slowed down significantly since late 2011, with government forecasting a growth of five per cent each for 2014 and 2015 amid its plans for a "soft landing."

- AFP/jc

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world_business/view/1253334/1/.html

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