TUNISIA: IMF disburses $245m loan tranche to Tunisia

The International Monetary Fund on Friday approved the payment of a $245 million loan tranche to Tunisia, the fifth under its loan programme with the North African country, an official source told Reuters.

Tunisians wave their national flag and shouts slogans during a demonstration to celebrate the Tunisian National Day in Tunis, Tunisia, 20 March 2012. The day commemorates the country’s independence from France in 1956.

The loan programme is tied to Tunisia’s pursuing economic reforms aimed at keeping its deficit under control. The IMF approval will open the way for Tunisia to sell $ 1 billion bonds next month.

An official source told Reuters this month that the sale will be early next month after the IMF approval.

Tunisia expects economic growth to accelerate to between 3 and 3.5 percent next year from an expected 2.9 percent in 2018, driven by a recovery of the tourism industry and an expanding agricultural sector, officials told Reuters last month.

The government aims to reduce its budget deficit to 3.9 percent of gross domestic product next year from the 4.9 percent it is forecasting for 2018.

The North African country’s economy has been in crisis since the toppling of autocrat Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011, with unemployment and inflation shooting up.

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