20 May 2010 15:08

IMF to extend 3-yr $392 mln credit to Armenia

YEREVAN. May 20 (Interfax) - Head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission to Armenia Mark Lewis has agreed the fund will extend the country a three-year credit worth 267 million SDR ($392 million) under an EFF/ECF program, the IMF said in a statement.

The IMF board of directors is expected to make the final decision in late June. If that decision is favorable, some $52 million will be made available right away.

Although the economic conditions remain complicated, Armenia's economy is gradually recovering, Lewis said, as cited in the IMF release. The economy will return to growth in 2010, he said.

Inflation in Armenia is still high at this point, but it should gradually subside this year, Lewis said.

The new EFF/ECF program should allow Armenia to stave off middle-term problems, support economic recovery, strengthen the country's balance of payments, and spur further progress in reducing poverty, the IMF said.

The IMF mission was in Yerevan May 6-19.