IMF Clears Additional $51 Million In Aid To Bosnia

by
Reuters
The International Monetary Fund cleared the way for roughly $51 million in aid to Bosnia on Monday after the world finance organization found that the Balkan nation was keeping its finances in check.

The International Monetary Fund cleared the way for roughly $51 million in aid to Bosnia on Monday after the world finance organization found that the Balkan nation was keeping its finances in check.

Bosnian lawmakers agreed last month to cut military pensions in one recent step to win expanded IMF aid.

Without the additional cash from the IMF, Bosnia was expecting to face higher deficits and borrowing costs.

"Sound financial sector policies are mitigating risks," IMF Deputy Managing Director Nemat Shafik said in a statement. "The Fund-supported program continues to provide a valuable anchor."

The latest aid was made possible after the IMF conducted a second review of Bosnia's economic performance under an existing program and brings total disbursed aid from the fund to the small economy to about $204 million.

The IMF aid, which comes via a 'Stand-By Agreement', was conceived in September 2012.

The IMF and World Bank have said they expect Bosnia's gross domestic product to grow 0.5 percent this year. Both say the contraction last year was 0.7 percent, deeper than the central bank's figure.

The governor of Bosnia's central bank, Kemal Kozaric, drew attention last month to the growing portfolio of bad loans in Bosnian banks, which stood at 13.2 percent of all loans at the end of 2012.