16 January 2018, Tuesday, 12:49

Belarus pays $84.4m off IMF standby loan principal


Belarus honored its obligation to repay a standby loan taken from IMF by transferring 54.7 million SDR as the latest in a series of installments to repay the principal sum, or the equivalent of $84.4 million.

From January 2009 through April 2010 Belarus accomplished a standby program backed by a $3.5 billion IMF loan. It allowed the country to secure positive dynamics of several economy and monetary management indicators. This year has seen the peak of the repayment of the loan. The previous time, on 11 October 2013, Belarus paid 64.7 million SDR or the equivalent of $99.3 million.

Following the completion of the standby program in April 2010 the IMF launched additional consultations with Belarus to assess economic policy measures and work out proposals to improve the national economy effectiveness. Since 2011 and through March 2013 Belarus welcomed four IMF missions for the sake of post-program monitoring discussions. Led by David Hofman, an IMF mission is in Minsk on 17-28 October for the sake of the fifth post-program monitoring discussions of the Belarus economy.

On 10 October 2013 the Belarus government and the National Bank adopted a joint action plan to reform the structure and enhance the competitive ability of the national economy. Among other things the plan provides for consultations with the IMF regarding the possibility of funding a new cooperation program. Experts believe that an Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program may be an option for the sake of supporting structural reforms in the Belarus economy in the medium term, In comparison with a standby program an EFF program offers a longer loan term.

The International Monetary Fund is a specialized UN institution headquartered in Washington, USA. 27 December 1945 is the IMF’s official foundation date. Belarus has been an IMF member since 1992. The IMF operation in Belarus is aimed at working together with the government and the National Bank in preparing economic policy documents, focusing on taxation, budgeting, monetary management, exchange rate, and trade policy for the sake of achieving considerable economic growth, low inflation and a stable balance of payments.

In 1992-2008 Belarus tapped into IMF resources twice: $217.2 million from the Systemic Transformation Facility and $77.4 million via the standby lending mechanism. In February 2005 Belarus fully paid out those loans.