By John Lee.
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a seven-month extension of Iraq’s Stand-By Arrangement (SBA), to February 23, 2013.
The SBA had been scheduled to expire on July 23, 2012. The extension, which had been requested by the Iraqi authorities, will provide them with time to implement the policy measures needed to complete the combined third and fourth reviews under the SBA.
The extension will, in particular, provide time for discussions on fiscal policies for the remainder of 2012 and on measures to improve the functioning of the exchange regime.
The two-year Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) in the amount of SDR 2.38 billion (about US$3.58 billion), was approved by the IMF's Executive Board on February 24, 2010 (see press release 10/60). The IMF's Executive Board completed the first program review on October 1, 2010 (see press release 10/373), and the second review on March 18, 2011 (see press release 11/90).
At the time of the second review, the program duration was extended by five months to July 2012, along with a rephasing of program disbursements based on a shift in financing needs. Total resources currently available to Iraq under the arrangement amount to the equivalent of SDR 1307.24 million (about $1.96 billion).
(Picture: Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, IMF)