IMF disburses $250 mln loan tranche to Tunisia

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(FILES): This April 5, 2007 file photo shows the International Monetary Fund logo at IMF headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC. The IMF announced November 2, 2009 the sale of 200 tonnes of gold to India's central bank, nearly half the amount targeted for sale over the coming years to shore up IMF finances. The total sales proceeds are equivalent to 6.7 billion dollars, the IMF said. AFP PHOTO / Files / TIM SLOAN (Photo credit should read TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

TUNIS (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund on Friday approved the payment of a $250 million tranche, the fourth from Tunisia’s loan programme tied to economic reforms aimed at keeping its deficit under control, the fund said.

The tranche brings disbursements so far under the four-year programme to $1.139 billion, the fund said in statement.

The programme agreement reached in 2016 is worth about $2.8 billion.

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Tunisia has been praised as the only democratic success among the nations where “Arab Spring” revolts took place in 2011. But successive governments have failed to trim its fiscal deficit and create economic growth.

Tunisia’s central bank last month raised its key interest rate by 100 basis points to 6.75 percent, the second hike in three months, to tackle inflation that has reached the highest level since 1990.

The IMF said in May that anchoring inflation expectations through additional rate increases would be crucial if price pressures did not moderate quickly.

Inflation is expected to reach to about 9 percent for the first time by the end of this year, officials have said.

The government forecasts the budget deficit to fall to 4.9 percent of gross domestic product in 2018 from about an estimated 6 percent in 2017. It aims to raise GDP growth to about 3 percent next year from 2.3 percent last year.

Reporting by Tarek Amara; Editing by Richard Chang

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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