World Bank to discuss $5 billion for Turkey, IMF notes progress in talks

Published December 6th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The World Bank on Tuesday, December 5, said it would consider a $5 billion assistance package later this month for Turkey, where officials from the IMF are also discussing fresh loans for the country. 


"We also in the World Bank have a country assistance strategy over the next three years that will be going to the (World Bank) board this month with resources on the order of $5 billion over the next three years," Bank chief economist Nicholas Stern told a press briefing here. 


Earlier in the day a spokeswoman for the International Monetary Fund said in a statement that the IMF had made progress with Turkey on stepped-up financial assistance but did not expect to make an announcement Tuesday. 


"We are making good progress in the talks with the Turkish authorities but we are not expecting an announcement today," spokeswoman Cony Lotze said. 


In Ankara, the Turkish government said it had reached an "agreement in principle" with the IMF and would itself make an announcement on Wednesday. 


Junior Treasury Minister Selcuk Demiralp refused to provide a figure but stressed that it would be an "amount that would satisfy the markets." 


Turkey has been gripped by a liquidity squeeze that has shaken its financial markets, increased pressure on the lira and prompted fresh appeals to the IMF. 

Citing recent reform measures adopted by Turkish authorities, IMF managing director Horst Koehler last Thursday said he would recommend that the Fund's executive board approve a fresh infusion of assistance. 


IMF representatives have been in the Turkish capital since Sunday trying to work out details of a new loan package, which according to Fund officials would be in addition to the three-year $3.7 billion program approved for Turkey in December 1999. 


The IMF executive board is scheduled to meet later this month to consider the release of new installments under the 1999 program worth $566 million.— (AFP)  


© Agence France Presse 2000  



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