IMF Board discusses Ghana $1b loan July 15

imfThe International Monetary Fund’s board of directors will probably meet on July 15 to discuss Ghana’s request for about $1 billion in loans, Deputy Finance Minister Seth Terkper said today.

“We are waiting for the fund management and board to take a decision,” Terkper said in an interview in the Ghanaian capital, Accra.

Ghana has held several rounds of talks with the IMF after asking for “not less than” $1 billion over three years in May. The world’s second-biggest cocoa producer after Ivory Coast needs the money to help finance a budget deficit that is expected to narrow to 9.4 percent of gross domestic product this year from 14.9 percent in 2008.

Parliament yesterday approved $300 million in budget support lending from the World Bank, part of a $1.2 billion, three-year package. Lawmakers would also have to approve any loan from the Washington, D.C.-based IMF, Terkper said.

The domestic currency, the cedi, has dropped 27 percent against the dollar in the past 12 months and consumer price inflation reached 20.1 percent in May. The economy expanded 7.3 percent in 2008, with the government predicting growth of 5.9 percent this year. The IMF expects growth of 4.5 percent.

Source: Bloomberg

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