Ecuador Moreno Says IMF Board Approves $ 6.5 Billion Loan

QUITO, Sept. 30 (Reuters) – Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno said on Wednesday that the board of directors of the International Monetary Fund had approved a $ 6.5 billion loan to Ecuador that would provide financial support to sectors affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Ecuador reached a technical agreement in August with the IMF to access the loan under the expanded service program, as the oil-exporting country is hit by low crude prices and the effects of the pandemic.

“The loan from the International Monetary Fund was approved unanimously today,” Moreno told reporters. “We will have a meeting with the ministers (…) to be able to proceed with the respective allocation of these resources.”

The funds will start arriving on Friday, Moreno said, without providing details.

The IMF declined to comment.

In the technical agreement, Ecuador pledged to reduce spending related to the crisis in 2021, to implement a tax reform program to improve public finances and protect the purchasing power of Ecuadorian families.

The deal helped the Andean country successfully renegotiate its sovereign bonds last month.

Ecuador struck a deal with the IMF for around $ 4.2 billion in February 2019, but the deal was canceled in May due to the impact of the pandemic and falling oil prices. (Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; writing by Brian Ellsworth; editing by Peter Cooney)

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