September 29, 2018 / 8:43 AM / 19 days ago

Belarus seeks to resume IMF talks on new loan: minister

MINSK (Reuters) - Belarus is seeking to resume talks with the International Monetary Fund about a new loan in 2020 after they were suspended last year, Belarussian Finance Minister Maxim Yermolovich told Reuters on Saturday.

Minsk has sought up to $3.5-billion but halted discussions after objecting to a faster pace of reform of the administration of its state sector.

Belarus may succeed in resumed talks if it accomplishes its five-year programme for development of the state-run economy, due to expire in 2020, as well as structural economic reforms, according to Yermolovich.

He also told Reuters that the nation needs to repay $3.7 billion worth of external state debt next year but does not expect issues with repayments.

“I do not see any problems with debt in 2019. There is no need to launch new Eurobonds,” he said.

Instead, Minsk expects to receive a $1 billion loan from Russia and up to $400 million from the Russia-led Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development to refinance its debt.

Yermolovich said that Belarus is ready to raise funds on the Chinese bond market. Minsk has said it might raise up to $300-$400 million from the Chinese market.

Reporting by Andrei Makhovsky; Writing by Denis Pinchuk; Editing by Andrew Bolton

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