Tonny Lybek: Decision to further use IMF tranches belongs to Romanian authorities

Publish date: 10-02-2010
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The decision to use a Stand-by Agreement or a Precautionary Stand-By one is up to the Romanian authorities, stated on Monday the head of the International Monetary Fund Office for Romania and Bulgaria, Tonny Lybek. Categorically, Romania can opt for a precautionary type agreement and it is up to the Romanian authorities to decide if they will want to use the tranches to be approved by IMF Board, or not, Tonny Lybek told AGERPRES.

As for the procedures, the head of IMF Office in Bucharest said that IMF will continue to send quarterly evaluation missions to Romania, even in the case of a precautionary type agreement.

The Finance Minister Sebastian Vladescu was reported as saying on Monday that Romania could have in view to adopt a Precautionary Standy-By Agreement in the summer, giving the signal that the Romanian economy is part of the global economic process of recovery.

In May 2009 Romania signed with IMF a Stand-By Agreement in the value of 12.95 billion euros, to be disbursed in eight tranches, on a two-year period. So far Romania received two tranches in the value of 6.9 billion euros and following the conclusion of the evaluation mission to Bucharest, over Jan. 20-27, other two tranches, in the value of 2.3 billion euros, will be simultaneously transferred in the second half of February.
Vladescu: Hopes for Romania to shift to a precautionary IMF agreement
"It is too early to tell if we'll change the agreement after the next evaluation. We hope to shift to a precautionary agreement, because this would mean the global economy is recovering and that the Romanian economy has recovered", Sebastian Vladescu declared.

Romanian National Bank (BNR) chief economist Valentin Lazea aslo said that shifting to a precautionary type of agreement, like Hungary did, will let markets know that Romania can handle the situation on its own.

A "precautionary" agreement is different from a "stand-by" agreement in that it doesn't need to use the money featured in the agreement, unless there is an emergency, although it sets-up for the subscribed country similar economic engagements.

Romania has a two-year loan agreement with the IMF, worth of 12.95 billion euros. The total foreign finance package involves not only the IMF, but also the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBDR) and a total sum of 19.95 billion euros.

In the beginning of May 2009, the IMF swerved the first loan instalment, approximately 4.8 billion euros, which went into the BNR reserve. In September, Romania received the second instalment - 1.85 billion euros - out of which half went to BNR and half to the state's Treasury held by BNR. Romania will receive the third and the fourth IMF instalments by the end of February, worth of a total 2.3 billion euros.

BNR vice-governor Cristian Popa spoke recently about the possibility to see Romania getting less than the total sum agreed by the finance agreements.

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