Chad in talks with IMF on $130 mln loan program-minister

WASHINGTON, April 12 Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:38pm EDT

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WASHINGTON, April 12 (Reuters) - Chad is negotiating a new loan program with the International Monetary Fund totaling about $130 million and hopes to conclude discussions in the second half of the year, the country's finance minister said on Saturday.

Bedoumra Kordje, minister for finance and budget, said Chad was seeking a so-called Extended Credit Facility from the IMF, which had proposed an amount of about 60 billion CFA francs ($127 million) for the program.

The landlocked central African country, one of the continent's poorest, has seen strong growth over the past decade as it emerged as an oil producer.

Chad had also been involved in two peacekeeping operations - in neighboring Mali and Central African Republic, though it decided to withdraw its troops from the CAR earlier this month.

"There were delays (in the discussions with the IMF), but that was due to the exceptional situation," Kordje said at a press conference of African finance ministers at the IMF-World Bank meetings in Washington.

The extended credit facility is a longer-term IMF program available for poor countries with protracted balance of payments problems. Chad had already had its policies especially monitored by the IMF under a Staff Monitored Program, which has no money attached and ended in December.

Kordje also reiterated that Chad expects to see double-digit growth this year.

"This allows us to look at the future with optimism," he said. ($1 = 472.3360 CFA Francs) (Reporting by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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