IMF, Belarus Reach Tentative Staff-Level Agreement On $700M Loan

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--The International Monetary Fund said Wednesday it has reached a tentative staff-level agreement to loan Belarus roughly $700 million as part of an existing loan package.

The amount came via the IMF's fourth review of Belarus's economic performance under the loan program. The IMF Executive Board must approve the agreement, which is likely before the end of March, IMF said in a statement.

The 15-month financial package amounts to roughly $3.52 billion. As of December 2009, total disbursement under the program totaled $2.88 billion when IMF approved a $668 million loan to Belarus after completion of its third review.

IMF said Belarus' performance under its lending facility has been "good" because the country has met all performance criteria and structural benchmarks at the end of December.

Additionally, Belarusian authorities have expressed "interest in continued cooperation with the IMF after the expiration of the current program," the IMF said, adding that a possible follow-up program could be considered.

By Darrell A. Hughes, Dow Jones Newswires


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