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IMF Executive Board Completes Fourth Review Under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement and Approves US$22.1 Million Disbursement for Benin

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Via IMF (Den Internationale Valutafond)

IMF Executive Board Completes Fourth Review Under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement and Approves US$22.1 Million Disbursement for Benin







June 21, 2019











  • The Executive Board’s decision enables an immediate disbursement of about US$22.1 million to Benin.
  • Performance under the program was very satisfactory during the 4th review.
  • Maintaining a fiscal deficit below 3 percent of GDP in 2019 and 2020 and enhancing debt management are key to putting the debt ratio on a firm downward path.

On June 21, 2019, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) completed the 4th review of the three-year arrangement
with Benin under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF).

The Board’s decision enables a disbursement of SDR15.917 million (about
US$22.1 million) immediately to Benin, bringing total disbursements under
the arrangement to SDR 79.585 million (about US$110.4 million). In
completing the review, the Board also approved Benin’s request for
modification of the performance criteria on the basic primary balance, net
domestic financing, and new external debt contracted or guaranteed by the
government.

Benin’s three-year arrangement for SDR111.42 million (about US$154.6
million or 90 percent of the country’s quota at the time of approval of the
arrangement) was approved on April 7, 2017 (see Press Release No.17/124).
It aims at supporting the country’s economic and financial reform program
and focuses on raising living standards and preserving macroeconomic
stability.

Following the Executive Board discussion, First Deputy Managing Director
and Acting Chair, Mr. David Lipton, made the following statement:

“Benin’s macroeconomic and fiscal performance under the Fund-supported
program continues to be strong. All Quantitative Performance Criteria at
end-2018 and all Structural Benchmarks were met. The macroeconomic and
structural policies outlined by the authorities are adequate to achieve the
program’s objectives and risks to program implementation are deemed
manageable.

“Keeping the fiscal deficit below 3 percent of GDP in 2019 and beyond is
key for debt sustainability. The authorities are implementing an ambitious
tax package primarily focused on reducing tax expenditures. It is expected
to lower the deficit from 4.0 percent of GDP in 2018 to 3.0 percent of GDP
in 2019. Revenue mobilization should continue after 2019, notably by
exploiting the full potential of the value added tax and excises. Further
revenue efforts will create budgetary space for social spending and prevent
additional cuts to public investment. They will also support the regional
strategy to foster external stability at the WAEMU level.

“Prudent fiscal policy will help maintain the debt ratio on a firm downward
path. Debt, as a share of GDP, is projected to decline in 2019 after five
years of continuous increase. The March 2019 Eurobond issuance will not
raise debt, since the authorities have decided to scale back domestic
borrowing by the same amount. The Eurobond paves the way for greater access
to non-concessional external financing in the future; it will help
diversify the financing mix and create opportunities to lengthen debt
maturity. Nonetheless, it may also generate new vulnerabilities that will
need to be monitored and mitigated carefully through an enhanced debt
management strategy.

“Continued efforts to improve the business environment, diversify the
economy, and invest in human capital will be important to promote strong
and inclusive growth.”


IMF Communications Department
MEDIA RELATIONS

PRESS OFFICER: Meera Louis

Phone: +1 202 623-7100Email: MEDIA@IMF.org






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