Greece pays off final tranches of IMF loans

FILE PHOTO: The International Monetary Fund logo is seen inside its headquarters at the end of the IMF/World Bank annual meetings in Washington, U.S., October 9, 2016. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo/File Photo

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece has paid off the final tranches of bailout loans owed to the International Monetary Fund earlier than expected, the finance ministry said on Monday.

Greece has received three international bailouts from the euro zone and the IMF worth 280 billion euros ($307.19 billion) since 2010. It emerged from its latest bailout in 2018 and has relied on the debt markets to cover its borrowing needs since.

“Greece concluded today the repayment of its debts to the IMF,” Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said in a statement.

After previous early repayments to the IMF, Greece owed 1.9 billion euros in loans due by 2024, the last batch of a total of 28 billion euros the Fund provided between 2010 and 2014.

The move allows Athens to reduce its debt servicing costs because IMF loans are more expensive than its debt to EU institutions. By paying off the IMF early, Greece is saving 230 million euros, Staikouras said.

Last week, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) said it agreed to allow Greece to pay back the IMF without a proportional early reimbursement of its loans to EU authorities.

($1 = 0.9115 euros)

Reporting by Renee Maltezou; editing by Grant McCool