Morocco to decide on debt issue in June/July -fin min

DUBAI, April 2 Tue Apr 2, 2013 1:18pm EDT

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DUBAI, April 2 (Reuters) - Morocco's government expects to decide in June or July whether to issue a conventional bond or a sukuk (Islamic bond) in the international market to help finance its budget deficit this year, the finance minister said on Tuesday.

"We will have an idea in June or July, something like that. We are working on it now," Nizar Baraka told reporters at a meeting of Arab finance ministers and central bankers in Dubai.

Baraka predicted the budget deficit would be between 5 and 5.5 percent of gross domestic product this year, down from 7 percent in 2012.

The budget assumes economic growth of 4.5 percent this year but the outlook will become clearer at the end of April when the state of agricultural production is known, he said.

"I think it will be closer to 5 percent than 4 percent," compared to an estimated 2.4 percent last year, he said.

The government plans to hold a major discussion on tax policy at the end of this month, examining how to make taxation more equitable while covering the informal sector of the economy, Baraka added without giving details.

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