01:19 GMT +321 July 2019
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    The seal of the International Monetary Fund is seen at the headquarters building in Washington, DC on July 5, 2015

    IMF Sets Interest Rates to Zero for Low-Income Countries Through 2018

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    IMF Executive Board approved a change to the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust structure to eliminate interest rates for low-income countries until the end of 2018.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board approved a change to the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) structure to eliminate interest rates for low-income countries until the end of 2018, the IMF said in a statement on Thursday.

    "Directors agreed that a strong case remains for maintaining zero rates on the Fund’s concessional credit, given the lack of improvement in the global economic outlook for low income countries," the statement said.

    Interest rates will continue to be set at zero for as long as global interest rates are low, the statement said.

    Given current market conditions, the IMF pointed out it expects the modified structure to keep PRGT interest rates at zero through at least 2020.

    Additionally, the IMF extended relief of interest payments to low-income countries until the end of 2018. The Fund has extended the waivers three times since first granting payment relief in 2009.

    The modification makes zero interest rates automatic in times of low global interest rates, preventing the need for additional waivers.

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