Saturday, April 18, 2009

IMF Emergency Loans Programmes in the Global Crisis

Poland’s decision to become the second country after Mexico to seek a standby credit line at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an insurance policy that should stabilise the zloty on the path towards the euro, officials said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Poland said it would apply to the IMF for $20.5 billion in a flexible credit line, part of a facility created by the IMF in March to give well-run emerging-market economies access to money they can either tap immediately or keep as a guarantee in case conditions worsen.

Following are details of the main emergency loan programmes initiated by the IMF.

* POLAND: The announcement that Poland would apply for $20.5 billion in a flexible credit line from the IMF helped the Polish zloty which jumped 2.1 percent against the euro.

Economists said the new credit line did not carry the black mark associated with IMF assistance in earlier crises and should help Poland in the long run.

OTHER RECENT IMF PACKAGES: (includes amount and month of approval

* ARMENIA: $540 million, 28-month stand-by loan - March 9: enabling Armenia to draw about $240 million immediately.

* BELARUS: $2.46 billion - January: Belarus has already received the first $788 million tranche and the rest is to be released over the next 14 months.

* EL SALVADOR: $800 million - January: IMF said the country did not face immediate needs and would not draw on the funds.

* GEORGIA: $750 million standby loan - Sept. 2008. IMF said on March 24 it would disburse a $186.6 million loan tranche to Georgia under a three-year programme.

* HUNGARY: The IMF, the EU and World Bank agreed a $25.1 billion economic rescue package last November in the biggest loan for an emerging market economy since the crisis began.

* ICELAND: $2.1 billion - Nov. 2008. The IMF deal was complemented by more than $3 billion in loans from Nordic countries, Russia and Poland as well as close to $5 billion or more by Britain, the Netherlands and Germany, making the whole package worth about $10 billion.

* KENYA: Requested in March an IMF loan of up to $100 million to cushion its currency and help counter a food crisis.

* LATVIA: Latvia agreed to a 7.5 billion euro rescue package in December last year, which included an IMF share of 1.68 billion euro. The package also included financing from the EU, Nordic countries, the Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia and the World Bank.

* MALAWI: $77.1 million - Dec. 2008. To help Malawi reduce the impact of high fuel and fertiliser costs.

* MEXICO: Mexico requested a $47 billion credit line from the IMF on April 1, becoming the first major Latin American country to seek an IMF cushion against the economic crisis.

n Mexico has no plans to use the credit line for now, but would tap a $30 billion swap line with the U.S. Federal Reserve.

* MONGOLIA: $229.2 million loan package - April: To support the country’s economic stabilisation program.

* PAKISTAN: Pakistan received on April 2 a second tranche worth $848 million of an IMF loan. The IMF approved a $7.6 billion loan in Nov. 2008 to avert a balance of payments crisis and to prevent the government from defaulting on its debt obligations. It got a first tranche of $3.1 billion that month.

* ROMANIA: Romania secured a 20 billion euro aid package from the IMF and the European Union on March 25. The aid package includes 12.9 billion euros of IMF money and 5 billion euros from the EU as well as funds from the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

* SERBIA: The IMF is due to approve in May, a 3.0 billion euro 27-month loan programme to replace a $520 million stand-by loan agreed in January.

* SEYCHELLES: $26 million - Nov. 2008.

* SRI LANKA: Sri Lanka is seeking a stand-by arrangement of around $1.9 billion.

* TURKEY: Turkey and the IMF have agreed in principle on the conditions of a new loan deal worth up to $45 billion to help the country weather the global crisis, newpapers reported on April 10.

* UKRAINE: $16.4 billion - Nov. 2008: The IMF has suspended release of a second tranche, worth about $1.84 billion, in a dispute over the size of the budget deficit and implementation of reforms. An IMF mission has been holding talks in Kiev for the past week to eliminate differences and restore the flow of credits. Ukraine had already received the first $4.5 billion tranche.

* ZAMBIA: The IMF said on March 4 that Zambia could receive an additional $100 million to $150 million in balance of payments help as the country struggles with the effects of falling copper prices and the global credit crisis. reuters

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