IMF Frees Funds For Armenia


MSN Philippines News

Dec 13 2011

The International Monetary Fund released $56.1 million for Armenia
Monday, commending the struggling country for “prudent” policies to
cut budget deficits and hold down inflation.

The IMF gave the Armenian central bank a waiver for not having reached
targets on building reserves in releasing the newest installment of
a three-year, $413.4 million loan facility.

The facility, opened in June 2010, was designed to help the isolated
country of 3.2 million people rebuild its finances after being ravaged
in the 2008-09 global economic downturn.

“The Armenian authorities should be commended for continued
implementation of sound policies under the Fund-supported program,
which have helped underpin the moderation of inflation this year and
the continuing post-crisis recovery,” the IMF said in a statement.

It urged more structural reforms to help the private sector grow and
compete, warning that “Armenia faces increasing downside risks from the
global environment, which may exacerbate its existing vulnerabilities.”

It said Armenia’s public debt, driven up in the crisis, was limiting
the government’s policy flexibility, even as the economy has resumed
growing after a sharp contraction in 2009.

“Timely and prudent policy responses will be needed in the period
ahead, involving greater exchange rate flexibility and steadfast
progress to strengthen the business environment and increase

On Thursday Armenian lawmakers approved a 2012 budget that forecasts
modest 4.2 percent growth but raises taxes to boost the small ex-Soviet
state’s revenues amid pressures on its fragile economy.

The country is economically isolated because its borders with two
neighbors Turkey and Azerbaijan have long been closed due to political

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