Jordan, IMF Sign Letter of Intent for 36-Month Credit Facility

Jordan and the International Monetary Fund signed a letter of intent Tuesday for a $700 million credit facility to augment the kingdom’s reserves and help it cope with a refugee influx.

The 36-month extended fund facility will be approved in late August, Minister of Finance Omar Malhas said by phone from Amman. An IMF delegation is to visit Jordan in October for the first in a series of economic performance reviews to be conducted every six months for the life of the program.

Under the accord, the IMF will deposit $700 million at the Central Bank of Jordan. The facility can be increased to a total of $900 million depending on the review, the minister said.

“We expect to get $100 million to $150 million before the end of year following the first review and the rest over the years of the program,” Malhas said.

Jordan’s economy is forecast to grow about 2.7 percent in 2016, held back by conflicts in neighboring Iraq and Syria that have sent about 1.5 million refugees crossing into the kingdom and depressed its trade with these onetime top partners.

The Washington-based lender said last month that the deal would help to unlock donor grants and loans to support Jordan’s economy and the government’s 10-year blueprint for boosting it.

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