IMF says Bangladesh loan program on track

Updated 07 December 2012
0

IMF says Bangladesh loan program on track

WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund said Bangladesh was making progress with reforms under an IMF loan program and may be eligible for the second aid payment.
An IMF mission to Dhaka met with senior Bangladeshi officials in the first review of the country's performance under a $987 million Extended Credit Facility granted in April.
Bangladesh's performance under the loan program so far has been generally sound, said IMF mission leader David Cowen.
"Quantitative targets are broadly on track, with all performance criteria met at end-June 2012 — the first test date under the ECF," he said in a statement.
Under the three-year loan deal, Bangladesh has pledged wide-reaching structural reforms to get its economy back on track and ease long-term poverty.
Bangladesh received some $141 million in an initial disbursement in April.
Cowen noted progress on structural measures as well as commitments by the government on several measures, including containing the budget deficit to 4.5 percent of gross domestic product in fiscal 2013.
The government also pledged to boost efforts to curb subsidy costs, particularly through a fuel price adjustment formula, and to take steps to lessen the negative impact on the most vulnerable.
The IMF Executive Board is expected to complete its review in January, which would make the second disbursement of some $141 million available to Bangladesh.
The government sought the IMF aid after rising global oil prices delivered a double whammy, spurring inflation and taking scarce foreign currency out of the country.
Under the IMF agreement, the government must hike prices of oil, power and fertilizer to bolster the country's shaky balance of payments. But poor farmers have relied on deep subsidies for decades.
"Despite global headwinds, Bangladesh's economy performed well in FY12, with preliminary estimates pegging growth at 6.3 percent," Cowen said.
The IMF projects GDP growth of about 6 percent in the current fiscal year, citing external uncertainties and the broader global slowdown.


More Saudi sectors opened to foreign investment

The Cabinet amended the sectors excluded from foreign investment at the meeting chair by King Salman. (SPA)
Updated 24 October 2018
0

More Saudi sectors opened to foreign investment

  • The amendment allows foreigners to invest in labor services and jobs, including recruitment offices; audio and video services; road transport services; and brokerage services for real estate

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will allow foreigners to invest in audiovisual services, land transport and real-estate brokerages, the Cabinet decided on Tuesday.

The Cabinet amended what it described as types of activity that had been previously excluded from foreign investment, after concluding its weekly meeting chaired by King Salman.

The amendment allows foreigners to invest in labor services and jobs, including recruitment offices; audio and video services; road transport services; and brokerage services for real estate.

Meanwhile, about 320 foreign institutions have registered as qualified foreign investors in the Saudi stock market, the exchange’s chairwoman told the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh.

Sarah Al-Suhaimi, chairwoman of the Saudi Arabian stock exchange (Tadawul), said 200 more are expected to register.

Global index provider MSCI classified the Saudi equity market as an emerging market in June, a move expected to attract billions of dollars of passive funds.

Al-Suhaimi said she expected the number of qualified foreign investors to increase before and after the inclusion in the index, which is expected to happen in phases coinciding with index reviews in May and August 2019.