* IMF releases second tranche of Albania loan
* Albania met all end-March performance criteria
TIRANA, June 30 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund approved the second tranche of a 334.4 million-euro ($456.14 million) loan to Albania on Monday after the Balkan state met all its targets for the end of March, said an IMF statement from Washington.
Albania can now withdraw a second tranche of about 26.7 million euros, bringing the total made available to Albania under the arrangement to 53.3 million euros, the IMF said.
The approval came a few days after the European Union gave Albania candidate status, setting it on the long road to membership five years after it applied.
"All end-March 2014 performance criteria were met, and good progress has been made with respect to the applicable structural benchmarks. The economy is showing tentative signs of recovery in 2014, boosted by a pickup in exports, but output remains below potential," the statement said. ($1 = 0.7331 euros) (Reporting By Benet Koleka, Editing by Larry King)