IMF to consider Georgia loan program on Monday

Business Materials 14 September 2008 00:54 (UTC +04:00)

The International Monetary Fund is scheduled to consider a $750 million (418.5 million pound) loan program for Georgia on Monday, according to the IMF's Web site.

The approval of the 18-month loan will help soften the blow to investor confidence following Russia's incursion last month into Georgia, which drew widespread international condemnation.

Resource-rich Georgia depends on foreign capital to keep its economy growing. It has been enjoying an investment boom since Michael Saakashvili's pro-Western government was elected in 2003 but has faced a liquidity crunch since the war.

The World Bank this week ranked Georgia 15th out of 181 countries in its annual "Doing Business" report that looks at how business-friendly economies are.

Private flows into Georgia were running at 23 of gross domestic product in 2007, as foreigners ploughed capital into construction, tourism, telecoms and transport infrastructure. The country is also a major energy transit hub, hosting a section of the BP-led Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which supplies the world with over 1 percent of its oil needs, Reuters reported.