IMF approves $213 mn loan for Sri Lanka

The loan has been designed to top up Sri Lanka`s dwindling foreign reserves.

Washington: The International Monetary Fund has agreed to release around USD 213 million to Sri Lanka designed to top up the island`s dwindling foreign reserves.

The IMF moves to repair battered finances had been "satisfactory" as it dished out the fifth instalment of a loan that now totals just under USD 1.3 billion.

"Sri Lanka`s performance under the program has been satisfactory," the Washington-based fund said in a statement.

"Overall economic conditions are improving, and the economy is likely to show strong growth this year on the back of improved fundamentals and political stability."

In 2009, Sri Lanka sought an IMF bailout worth USD 2.6 billion to avert its first balance of payments crisis after the island`s foreign reserves slipped to under a billion dollars last year.

The loan was approved two months after the military crushed the Tamil Tiger rebels and ended a 37-year conflict that claimed up to 100,000 lives according to UN figures.

Sri Lanka`s economic growth is expected to double this year with the country firmly on the road to recovery after decades of ethnic war.

The island`s economy is expected to grow by seven percent this year, twice the rate of 2009, thanks to better farm output in the previously embattled north and east, according to previous IMF forecasts.


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