6 Feb 2010 21:43

Georgia to get $400 Mln from IMF in '10 under standby program

TBILISI. Feb 6 (Interfax) - Georgia is to receive $400 million from the International Monetary Fund in 2010 under a current standby loan program and the money will be used to "directly support the budget," Finance Minister Kakha Baindurashvili told reporters.

On Friday an IMF mission that arrived in Tbilisi on January 26 finished meetings with government and National Bank officials as part of the fifth review of the economic situation in Georgia and the standby program.

Baindurashvili said the mission had made a positive assessment of current reforms, including a planned law to set up a revenue service within the Finance Ministry.

The IMF's Tbilisi office told Interfax that, after its visit, which closes on February 11, the mission would write a report on the basis of which the IMF would consider releasing the fifth tranche of the standby loan for Georgia. It may amount to 97.3 million special drawing rights (SDRs) or about $145.9 million.

In September 2008, the IMF opened an 18-month reserve credit line of 477.1 million SDRs for Georgia ($750 million), from which the country has received four tranches to a total of 429.8 million SDRs ($660.4 million) already.

The bulk of the sum went to replenish the National Bank's foreign currency reserves.

In August 2009, the IMF decided to enlarge the program by 270 million SDRs ($426 million) and move the deadline for its completion to June 2011.