UPDATE 1-IMF concludes $ 1.1 billion loan agreement with Republic of Congo

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DAKAR, Nov. 8 (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund announced on Monday that it has concluded a three-year loan program with the Republic of Congo worth around $ 1.1 billion to help stabilize the indebted economy .

The Central African oil producer’s efforts to secure IMF financing have been hampered by the lender’s concerns about the long-term sustainability of its debt as the government struggles to restructure billions of dollars in loans.

But earlier this year, China agreed in principle to reschedule its $ 2.4 billion debt, and Swiss energy trader Trafigura approved a restructuring of its original $ 1 billion loan.

“Projected at 94% of GDP by the end of 2021, the debt is sustainable but significant vulnerabilities persist,” the Fund said in a statement.

Potential cash flow issues and sensitivity to oil price shocks were key risks, he said, forecasting a return to growth of 2.4% in 2022, down from a contraction of 0.2% this year. .

Despite its deals with China and Trafigura, Congo has so far failed to secure a similar deal with Glencore, which loaned the Republic of Congo $ 850 million between 2015 and 2016 to repay with future deliveries. of oil over five years.

The IMF said the government should improve its debt management strategy and debt statistics.

Reporting by Bate Felix Writing by Alessandra Prentice Editing by Aaron Ross, Hereward Holland and Bernadette Baum


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