Serbia to draw $242 million from IMF loan

April 1, 2010

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BELGRADE, Serbia—Serbia will withdraw euro180 million ($242 million) next week from an emergency loan made available by the International Monetary Fund, the central bank said Thursday.

The two-year euro2.9 billion ($3.91 billion) IMF loan was agreed upon last April after Serbia's economy suffered a major blow because of the global meltdown.

The central bank said in a statement that next week's draw will bring the total sum so far withdrawn from the loan to euro1.3 billion. It added the money will be used to boost foreign currency reserves.

The global economic crisis has halted foreign investment and further diminished Serbia's already low export rate.

Serbia has pledged to implement key policy measures such as cutting government payrolls and freezing public sector pensions and salaries.

Ukraine, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Iceland, Belarus and two EU nations -- Hungary and Latvia -- have also sought IMF help because of the economic downturn.