Page last updated at 14:22 GMT, Tuesday, 14 April 2009 15:22 UK

Poland to seek $20bn IMF credit

Dollar bills
The loan could increase Poland's economic credibility

Poland's government is to ask the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a $20bn (£13.44bn) credit line to help tackle the economic crisis.

Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski said it would increase bank reserves and make Poland "immune to the virus of the crisis and speculative attacks".

He said the move would increase state bank reserves by about a third.

He said it was not "emergency funding" but rather "a supplementary reserve" available to the Polish central bank.

At the G20 meeting in London in early April, a decision was taken to boost the IMF's lending resources by up to $750bn.

The IMF's managing director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, said: "I am very pleased by this positive response from Poland to the invitation I extended to strongly performing economies to use this new instrument to bolster international confidence."

'Good economic condition'

Poland is the second country after Mexico to take advantage of the IMF's flexible credit line, established to let better-run economies gain access to money with fewer conditions attached.

Once a credit line has been established, a country can draw on it without having to meet specified IMF policy goals.

The Polish zloty was unchanged after the announcement, and Polish central bank Monetary Policy Council member Halina Wasilewska-Trenker said: "The IMF's credit line means more stability for the zloty."

Meanwhile, economist Marta Petka, of Raiffeisen Bank Polska, said it was a positive move by Poland.

"Since the moment the credit line facility was created and after a positive experience of Mexico, Poland was named as one of the first countries to receive this form of financing."

She added: "This is a good information because it creates a buffer for the finance ministry in terms of acquiring financing.

"Because the IMF clearly states the facility is aimed at countries in a good economic condition, it will increase Poland's credibility."

The Polish government recently adopted a stimulus plan worth 91.3bn zlotys ($31.4bn; $20.6bn) to kick-start the economy amid the global slowdown.



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