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IMF’s Camdessus says new loan to Brazil is imminent

SHARE IMF’s Camdessus says new loan to Brazil is imminent

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A new loan agreement with Brazil is imminent, the head of the International Monetary Fund, Michel Camdessus, said Monday.

Camdessus told the Institute of International Bankers that economic revisions and structural reforms to underpin the revised accord have largely been completed. He said negotiators from the two sides are working out final details this week.But it could be several more weeks before the IMF and other lenders release the second $9 billion installment of the $41.5 billion rescue package assembled in November for Brazil.

"We are now at a final stage of putting together necessary amendments to our arrangement of last November with Brazil, to introduce the changes required by the floating of the real," Camdessus said.

Last January Brazilian authorities let Brazil's real float freely against other currencies, stanching a flow of reserves which were leaving the country at a rate of about a billion dollars a day.

"We have advanced a lot. We are now dealing with the nitty gritty of the arrangement. The agreement will be a solid one," Camdessus said.

He reassured his audience of private-sector bankers they will not be required to play any formal role under the new agreement between the IMF and Brazil but said they may be asked to help in the future.

Turning to Russia, Camdessus said he has told authorities in Moscow he is not satisfied with the economic strategy Russia has adopted to secure international support.

He said he recognizes Russian interest in settling its debt obligations on good terms with international creditors, but added it will be a "protracted and difficult business."

Russia has $17.5 billion in foreign debt due this year and hopes to work out a payment schedule with its creditors, relying in part on a resumption of IMF loans. Camdessus said it is not in Russia's interest for the IMF to make additional loans to it on favorable terms.

The IMF suspended its $22.6 billion loan program to Russia after the country plunged into financial crisis in August and defaulted on some of its debts. The IMF wants Russia to implement a viable economic program before it resumes the loan program.