Updated at 11:30,08-12-2016

IMF to consider new loan tranche for Belarus in October

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will consider providing a third tranche of its stand-by loan to Belarus in October, a spokesperson for the National Bank of Belarus told BelaPAN.

An IMF team completed its two-week work in Belarus on September 2.

Led by Chris Jarvis, head of the IMFs mission to Belarus, the team held consultations on the countrys economic performance and worked on the second review that will be used by the IMF Board of Directors for deciding whether or not to give Belarus the new tranche.

"The National Bank and the Belarusian government, for their part, will continue implementing all of the necessary measures securing the successful fulfillment of the joint stand-by arrangement with the International Monetary Fund," the spokesperson said.

In late 2008, the IMF agreed to lend Belarus $2.46 billion. Belarus requested the loan in October 2008, saying that it was needed for replenishing the countrys gold and foreign exchange reserves amid the global financial crisis.

The international organization made available some $787.9 million for Belarus in January and said that "the remainder will be phased thereafter, subject to quarterly reviews."

The IMF Executive Board on June 29 increased the amount of the loan for Belarus to about $3.52 billion, and approved the disbursement of the second tranche, $679.2 million, to the country.

The National Bank hopes to receive $1,350 million from the IMF by the end of the year, National Bank head Pyotr Prakapovich told reporters in Minsk on July 29.

Meanwhile, Belarusian Deputy Economy Minister Tatsyana Starchanka told reporters in Minsk on Wednesday that the IMF had revised its forecast for Belarus GDP in 2009, bringing it closer to levels expected by the Belarusian government.

"The mission changed its GDP projection for this year; it now differs from the forecast announced in June," she said without elaborating.

In June, the IMF said that it projected Belarus GDP to fall by 3.3 percent this year. The government said that GDP would grow by one to two percent compared with the previous year.