Monday 18 December 2017

Currency war: IMF to amend loans to Greece

THE INTERNATIONAL Monetary Fund (IMF) is preparing to amend bailout loans to Greece as talks break down in a currency war.

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said the IMF has been encouraged by the steps taken by Ireland.

"What the IMF are actually telling us is that we have taken the correct steps as a country and as a government," he said. "We're not telling them that: they're advising us of that, that's exactly what the IMF are advising us in relation to the banking issue."

Minister Lenihan explained that the adjustment in the December budget would be "well above the existing figure of €3 billion".

Over the weekend the IMF's main policy body made little progress in settling the row between Washington and Beijing over China's alleged manipulation of its currency.

There are fears that there will be a "race to the bottom" as countries seek to depress the value of their currency to export their way out of recession.

Earlier, the world's leading banks warned that countries were shifting into a "dangerous" phase of unilateralism in currency and trade relations.

Josef Ackermann, chairman of the Institute of International Finance and chief executive of Deutsche Bank, said that some leaders were pursuing narrow national or regional interests that could damage a "fragile" world recovery.

Mr Lenihan will be in New York today to meet investors in Irish Government debt.

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