IMF Approves $10.16 Million Disbursement for Antigua and Barbuda

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - April 13, 2013

Above: St John’s (CJ Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The International Monetary Fund’s Executive Board has approved a $10.162 million disbursement to Antigua and Barbuda, following the completion of its eight and ninth reviews of the country’s economic performance under a programme supported by a 36-month stand-by arrangement.

The deal brings the total disbursements to Antigua under the arrangement to around $76.2 million.

“Antigua and Barbuda’s economy is recovering gradually after three years of recession brought on by the international financial crisis,” said Naoyuki Shinohara, deputy managing director and acting chair at the IMF’s Executive Board. “Tourism arrivals increased in 2012 and government programs provided an incentive for housing investment. However, significant risks to the macroeconomic outlook remain, including from a slowdown in advanced economies, higher import prices and natural disasters.”

The Fund said Antigua’s government “continues to make progress in fiscal consolidation through expenditure restraint and improvements in revenue administration. All performance criteria for end-December 2012 were met, except for a minor breach of the continuous performance criterion on external arrears for which corrective action has been taken.”

The IMF mentioned the planned resolution of ABI Bank by the end of April, something it said would “reduce uncertainty in the domestic banking system and free resources to concentrate on other important financial sector reforms, including strengthening banking supervision, updating the regulatory and legal framework, restructuring the indigenous banking system and improving the Anti Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism supervisory framework.”

“Making the government’s asset management company operational will also be important to maximize recovery from the impaired assets of the ABIB resolution,” Shinohara said.

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