UPDATE 1-IMF's Lipton welcomes Poland's wish for new credit line

Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:46pm EST

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WASHINGTON Dec 19 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund's No. 2 official said he welcomed Poland's interest in renewing its $30 billion credit line with the fund, and would push the board to approve it early next year.

David Lipton, the IMF's First Deputy Managing Director, said Poland had expressed interest in a second credit line with the IMF after their current arrangement expires in January.

Central Europe's largest economy is expected to slow in 2013, while the Eastern European country has "significant" external financing needs, the IMF said.

In November, the Fund cut its growth forecast for Poland to just under 2 percent from 3.2 percent earlier this year as the country is buffeted by weak export demand from Europe, which has also crimped consumption and private investment.

Growth around 2 percent is a good performance by European Union standards but it is painful for Poland, an emerging country that has enjoyed uninterrupted and robust expansion for the past two decades.

While Poland still has strong economic policies, a precautionary credit line from the IMF could ease investor concerns and protect Poland against external shocks, Lipton added.

"I therefore intend to move ahead rapidly in seeking approval by the fund's Executive Board of Poland's request early in 2013," he said in a statement.

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