Ivory Coast Reaches Deal With IMF on $674 Million in Loans

  • Funds to address balance of payments, support growth
  • Nation commits to reforms including containing fiscal risks

The International Monetary Fund and Ivory Coast reached staff-level agreement for the lender to provide the African nation with an equivalent of $674.3 million in loans.

The three-year deal is expected to be submitted to the fund’s executive board for approval in December, the Washington-based lender said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday. Under the agreement, financing would be supported by the IMF’s extended credit and fund facilities.

The program will support Ivory Coast’s National Development Plan by “addressing impediments to a sustainable balance of payments position and economic growth,” IMF Mission Chief Dan Ghura said in the statement. The country, in turn, has committed to reforms including containing fiscal risks from public enterprises in difficulty, and restructuring public banks.

Ivory Coast is the world’s biggest producer of cocoa, providing about 45 percent of supply. Dry weather and the worst Sahara desert winds in more than three decades are set to curb this year’s output. The IMF sees the nation’s economy expanding 8.5 percent this year and 8 percent in 2017. Growth has averaged 9 percent since 2012, the year after French and United Nations troops helped Alassane Ouattara wrest power from Laurent Gbagbo, who had refused to step down after losing 2010 elections.

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