Sri Lanka says ‘positive news’ coming from IMF on $2.9bn package

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Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe was expecting to address parliament on the progress made in negotiations with the IMF.

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Sri Lanka is about to receive ‘very positive news’ from the International Monetary Fund on a $2.9 billion program for the country, a government minister said, while a senior source said Sri Lanka has also received debt restructuring support from China .

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s office said he would make a special statement in Parliament on Tuesday to “explain to the nation the current state of the economy and progress in negotiations with the IMF.”

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The island nation of 22 million is grappling with the worst economic crisis in more than 70 years.

“Sri Lanka is on the brink of some very positive news from the IMF,” Junior Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe told Parliament.

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“The IMF program is very important to us and Sri Lanka has been working very hard since last September to ensure it.”

A senior Sri Lankan government official said the Export-Import Bank of China had sent a letter to the IMF in support of Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring program, which is critical to securing final loan approval.

“We expect the IMF to favorably review all of Sri Lanka’s previous actions and these financial guarantees and approve the program shortly,” the source said, declining to be named as he is not authorized to speak to the media.

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