IMF agrees $4.5 billion loan for Bangladesh to combat economic crisis

Bangladesh and the IMF reached a preliminary agreement under which the global lender will provide a $4.5 billion support package to stabilise its economy and protect the vulnerable people.

The IMF agreement came months after discussions between the global lender and Bangladesh officials.

Bangladesh is the third South Asian nation after Sri Lanka and Pakistan to secure a bailout package from the IMF to tide over the sharp rise in food and energy prices caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the global inflation due to the Russia-Ukraine war.

The amount will be disbursed in seven installments till December 2026. The first installment of $447.48 million will be cleared in February next year, while the loan’s interest rate would depend on the market rate at the time of maturity, Finance Minister A.H.M. Mustafa Kamal told a news briefing after the signing of the agreement in Dhaka.

According to Bangladesh Bank, the country’s gross reserve currently stands at $34.4 billion, while financial analysts said the net reserve could be approximately $26 billion.