IMF says Iraq could secure 3-year standby deal by June.
IMF says Iraq could secure 3-year standby deal by June. 3/29
The International Monetary Fund could approve a standby arrangement (SBA) with Iraq as soon as June if talks due to be held next month in Washington reach agreement, the head of the IMF's Iraq mission said on Tuesday.
Christian Josz told Reuters that an agreement could secure Iraq around $15 billion in financing - one third of it from the IMF itself and the rest from other international organisations and donors.
"If we conclude the discussions in April in Washington I think we could present an agreement of the standby arrangement for the approval of the board of the IMF in June," Josz said.
Iraq had made "good progress" in talks that began in November over a three-year standby deal, Josz said. The potential $15 billion package for the debt-ridden country could come from several sources including the IMF, the World Bank, Gulf states, the United States and other G7 countries.
"If they adjust their spending we see they have a financing need of $15 billion over three years," said Josz, envisaging the country would get at least $5 billion this year and the remainder by the end of the arrangement.
Iraq, with income nearly exclusively from oil, is struggling to pay its bills amid the fall in global crude prices. (Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Dominic Evans)