IMF team in Angola for loan talks, economy diversification on agenda

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LUANDA (Reuters) – A team from the International Monetary Fund is visiting Angola to negotiate a loan facility after lower oil prices hammered the finances of Africa’s second largest crude exporter, the Ministry of Finance said on Wednesday.

The ministry said the IMF team will be in Angola from June 1 to June 14 and would discuss options on how to diversify the economy and reduce the dependence on the oil sector.

“The initial negotiations focused on recent economic developments, fiscal, monetary and exchange rate policy in the country, as well as the evaluation of the reforms that the government has been implementing,” the ministry said in a statement.

Angola said in April that it would begin loan negotiations with the IMF on a three-year loan facility.

Angola’s economy grew rapidly after a 27-year civil war ended in 2002, peaking at growth of 12 percent three years ago, but a sharp drop in oil prices has sapped dollar inflows, dented the kwanza and prompted heavy government borrowing.

Oil output represents 40 percent of Angola’s gross domestic product and more than 95 percent of foreign exchange revenue.


(Reporting by Herculano Coroado; Writing by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Alison Williams)

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