IMF Approves Extended Credit Facility for Mali Worth US$ 9.3 Million

IMF Executive Board Completes Seventh and Final Review under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement for Mali and Approves US$ 9.3 Million Disbursement

MALI-The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today completed the seventh and final review of Mali’s economic performance under the economic program supported by the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement. Completion of the review allows for the final disbursement to Mali of SDR 6 million (equivalent to about US$9.3 million), bringing total disbursements under the arrangement to amount equivalent to SDR 52.99 million (equivalent to about US$ 82.1 million).

The Executive Board approved a three-year arrangement under the ECF on May 28, 2008, in the amount equivalent to SDR 27.99 million (see Press Release No. 08/126). On January 26, 2011, the Board approved an extension of the arrangement until end-December 2011 (see Press Release No.11/20). On June 13, 2011, the Board also approved an augmentation of access in an amount equivalent to SDR 25 million (about 27 percent of quota) to cushion the impact of the crises in Côte d’Ivoire and Libya.

Following the Executive Board discussion on Mali, Mr. Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, issued the following statement:

“Macroeconomic performance under Mali’s program has been strong. The economic outlook is positive, although subject to downside risks. Continued prudent macroeconomic policies and prompt implementation of structural reforms will be necessary to reduce the vulnerability to external shocks, diversify the economy, further raise economic growth, and reduce poverty.

“The authorities’ program rests on ownership, and it is aligned with their growth and poverty reduction strategy. The authorities’ priorities in the near-to-medium term remain macroeconomic stability, revenue mobilization, public financial management, and private sector development to promote sustained and diversified growth with debt sustainability.

“Fiscal policy remains focused on mobilizing additional revenue to finance social and infrastructure spending, and on maintaining borrowing requirements that are consistent with private sector expansion and debt sustainability. Reforms to reduce tax exemptions, pass-through international oil prices increases to domestic energy prices, and modernize tax and customs administration will be given high priority. External financing needs will be met mainly through grants and concessional loans, although a limited amount of nonconcessional borrowing will be permitted to finance high-yield infrastructure projects. Public expenditure management will be strengthened to improve the quality of public spending.

“Quick progress will be needed to improve the business environment and spur private investment. Particularly important will be reforms in the financial, cotton, and electricity sectors. Key measures include strengthening financial supervision and regulation, and deepening the financial sector; completing the sale of the state housing bank and the cotton ginning company; and boosting the production capacity and financial soundness of the electricity company, complemented by a well-targeted social safety net”, Mr. Zhu added.

Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF) – 13 Dec 2011