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Jordan to receive $950m from World Bank loan next month

Gov’t to negotiate converting Mecca-pledged central bank deposits into soft loans

By JT - May 28,2019 - Last updated at May 28,2019

AMMAN — Jordan is expected to receive next month $950 million out of a $1.4 billion loan from the World Bank, a government source said on Monday.

The second disbursement of the loan will be delivered to the Kingdom “at a later stage”, the source added.

According to Jordanian officials, the loan’s interest rate will be less than 4 per cent.

In February, Kristalina Georgieva, interim president of the World Bank Group and chief executive officer of the World Bank, told The Jordan Times that the bank would provide $1.9 billion in financial support to Jordan over the next two years, almost as much as it has provided to the country over the last five years.

On the sidelines of the London initiative, which was hosted by the UK in February to drum up international support for Jordan, Georgieva said that the assistance package includes a development policy loan for Jordan that would reach approximately $1 billion, in addition to two loan guarantees; a $200-million one from Saudi Arabia and another from the UK of $250 million.

Meanwhile, another official source said that the government will hold negotiations with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to convert two deposits at the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) into soft loans, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Each of the Gulf countries has deposited a sum of $333 million at the CBJ, amounting to a total of $666 million, as part of a support package pledged during the Mecca summit last year.

The attempt to exchange the deposits with loans is part of governmental efforts to mitigate foreign public debt by paying off high-interest loans with ones at lower rates, the source told Petra.

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