To allow for Talks on Bigger Loan, IMF Delays Angola Meeting

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The International Monetary Fund’s executive board postponed a meeting on Angola until at least the second half of August to allow more time for work with authorities in the southern African nation who have asked for a bigger loan.

The meeting, which had been scheduled for Thursday, will need to take place once the board returns from a recess that runs the next two weeks, a spokesperson for the Washington-based fund said.

Africa’s second-biggest oil producer said earlier this week that it wants to increase its IMF loan to $4.5 billion, up from $3.7 billion, to overcome a crisis triggered by lower crude prices and the coronavirus outbreak.

In 2018, the IMF had a total of $4.5 billion available for Angola, when it approved a three-year extended arrangement. At the time, many — including the IMF — advised the nation to seek a lower amount so that it could increase the value of its program in case it was necessary, State Secretary for Finance and Treasury Osvaldo Joao said in a July 27 webcast.

Angola, which depends on oil for more than 90% of its export revenue, is facing a prolonged recession triggered by a drop in crude prices and measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak. The government is also currently in talks with key creditors to reschedule debt payments.

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