KSA, Libya to lend Tunisia $1bn to surf economic hardship

Saudi Arabia and Libya will provide Tunisia a loan of $500 million each attached with affordable interests to help the North African country to overcome economic woes amid the ongoing political crisis.

The news was revealed by Tunisie Numerique, which cited a source knowledgeable of the matter but who asked not be named because not allowed to talk.

The interest rates range between 6 and 7 per cent better than 13 per cent proposed to the North African country in need liquidity to fund the economy and the state budget.

Tunisia has plunged into serious crisis at the turn of the ongoing pandemic that exacerbated several sectors mainly the tourism industry which is the second biggest contributor of the GDP.

The crisis further worsened since July 25 after President Kais Saied seized executive power and suspended the parliament as part of a set of moves, meant, he claims, to restore the country and stamp out corruption.

The country has also turned to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a new loan program, the international lender has announced. “We have recently received from Tunisia, from the authorities, a request for a new IMF-supported program,” said Gerry Rice spokesman for the International Monetary Fund.

The announcement of the Saudi loan comes following the recent visit to the kingdom by Prime Minister Najla Bouden who met with Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman.

 

The Libyan support also comes amid close rapprochement between Tunisia and the Libyan interim administration. Last week the Tunisian and Libyan central banks inked an agreement for cooperation in joint areas including Fintech.

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