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Romania, Serbia Luring Capital on IMF Loans, SocGen Says

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Serbia and Romania are attracting new investment capital to their currencies and local assets as the Balkan countries seek to close new loan deals with the International Monetary Fund, Societe Generale SA said.

Serbia and Romania expect the Washington-based lender to “re-engage” in the coming months, reinforcing the countries’ progress toward macroeconomic stability and attract sources of external financing,’’ SocGen analysts, including Benoit Anne and Jaroslaw Janecki, said in a note to clients today.

The IMF “remains a significant market-mover for emerging market countries, especially ahead of a potential agreement on a new financial program,” the analysts said.

The Balkan region’s two largest former communist countries are working to shore up their economies after the euro region’s financial crisis hurt demand for their products and cut sources of credit.

The Serbian dinar traded at 111.9102 to the euro at 10:35 a.m. in Belgrade, up 0.01 percent on the day, while Romania’s leu eased 0.07 percent to 4.3887 to the euro at 11:35 a.m. in Bucharest, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Serbia plans to resume talks with the IMF in the spring as the lender takes time to assess the government’s ability to reduce the fiscal gap this year to a targeted 3.6 percent of gross domestic product.

In Romania, a joint mission of the IMF and the European Union started the review of Romania’s 5 billion-euro ($6.7 billion) precautionary accord today and may also hold talks on a new deal with the country.

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta said yesterday he hopes the lenders will agree on extending some of the current terms by three to five months, without giving more details. Ponta sees a new IMF accord after completing the current agreement.

To contact the reporters on this story: Gordana Filipovic in Belgrade at gfilipovic@bloomberg.net Andra Timu in Bucharest at atimu@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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