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IMF board to consider first review under loan deal with Bosnia on Feb 9

Author Maja Garaca
IMF board to consider first review under loan deal with Bosnia on Feb 9 IMF Author (bnm) License: all rights reserved.

SARAJEVO (Bosnia and Herzegovina), January 22 (SeeNews) – The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund plans to consider the first review under its three-year loan deal with Bosnia and Herzegovina on February 9, the IMF told SeeNews on Monday.

"We confirm that a meeting of the IMF Executive Board is scheduled for February 9 and that the first review under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) with Bosnia and Herzegovina is on the agenda", a spokesperson for the Fund's office in Bosnia said in response to a SeeNews enquiry.

Following the meeting, Bosnia can expect the disbursal of some 76 million euro ($93.2 million).

In December, the IMF announced it has reached a staff-level agreement with Bosnia to conclude the first review under the EFF.

At the time, the Fund noted that before the Executive Board convenes on the issue, Bosnia must fulfil  a number of conditions. "The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) parliament is expected to adopt the 2018 budget in line with IMF staff recommendations. And, the FBiH government is expected to initiate the due diligence of two FBiH state-owned telecom companies, BH Telecom and HT Mostar”, IMF mission chief for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nadeem Ilahi, said.

The Federation's budget was finally adopted on Friday by the House of Peoples of the the entity's Parliament, however steps are yet to be taken towards conducting a due diligence process in the telecom operators.

In September 2016, the IMF approved a three-year 553.3 million euro loan to Bosnia to support the country's economic reform agenda. However, the IMF delayed the release of the second loan tranche in May, after the Bosnian authorities failed to meet the agreed economic reform targets.

The Fund released the first tranche of the loan in the amount of 79.2 million euro in 2016, while the remainder was said to be made available in 11 installments subject to quarterly reviews.

($=0.815630 euro)