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Romania: IMF Delegation To Begin Reforms Review

Washington, 15 July 1997 (RFE/RL) - A delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be arriving in Bucharest this week to begin the first review of Romania's progress under the reform program underpinning a $414 million, 13-month stand-by loan.

A spokeswoman at the fund says that in addition to reviewing the performance of the government since April when the loan was approved, the delegation will take another look at the extent to which Bucharest might be able to expand its borrowing, especially in private capital markets.

The IMF's resident representative in Romania, John Hill, says that "if the mission determines that the performance criteria were met and once the first review is completed, Romania will be eligible for the next disbursement of about $83 million. The fund's board will make that decision in September.

Under the program, Romania has cut its budget deficit, begun reducing inflation and liberalized prices for staples and energy. The World Bank in May approved three restructuring loans totaling $550 million and yesterday Japan agreed to its first loans to Romania, of $194 million.