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Belarus to discuss new IMF loan in February

MINSK, 30 January (BelTA) – Belarus is set to discuss a new loan of the International Monetary Fund with a group of IMF experts who will visit Minsk in February this year, Chairperson of the Board of the National Bank of Belarus Nadezhda Yermakova told reporters on 30 January, BelTA has learnt.

She emphasized that Belarus has never stopped talks on the new loan program with the IMF. The talks will continue during the forthcoming visit of the IMF experts.

“We keep negotiating. The IMF has received our application to continue the loan program; we will discuss it in February,” she said.

Belarus has suggested refinancing its $3.8 billion debt to the IMF. “The debt is to be paid in 2012 starting with a small portion, and then in 2013, 2014 and 2015,” she said.

When asked about ways to replenish the gold and foreign currency reserves of Belarus in 2012, Nadezhda Yermakova informed that this will be done by means of a trade surplus (export is to exceed import by $1.5 billion), sale of state property to the tune of $2.5 billion and other proceeds, including foreign direct investments on a net basis. By the end of 2012, the gold and foreign currency reserves should be as large as at the beginning of the year, Nadezhda Yermakova said. In her words, this projection is based on the analysis of the foreign exchange balance.

The Chairperson of the Board of the National Bank reminded that Belarus is set to receive more loans from the EurAsEC Anti-Crisis Fund to the amount of $880 million. “We are going to refinance the credit extended to Belaruskali and transferred via securities to the Finance Ministry,” Nadezhda Yermakova concluded.