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    Turkey's Economy Minister Simsek says hopeful of IMF deal soon

    Reuters
    25.04.2009 - 13:04 | Son Güncelleme:

    ISTANBUL - Turkey's Economy Minister said late on Friday that Turkey was working with the International Monetary Fund on a 3-year stand-by accord and he hoped a deal could be struck soon, state-run news agency Anatolian reported.

    Mehmet Simsek was speaking after arriving in the United States, where he will attend the IMF's and World Bank's bi-annual meetings.

    News of his trip renewed financial markets' expectation of an imminent accord, although the government has given the same message that a deal is forthcoming for weeks, leading to mounting frustration among Turkey's business community and investors.

    The government has faced harsh criticism for an inadequate response to the financial crisis, and the country's once fast-growing economy is expected to contract sharply this year.

    An IMF team travelled to Turkey in January but talks were suspended over fiscal reform steps demanded by the lender.

    A $10 billion loan agreement between Turkey and the IMF expired last May, and the government has been under pressure to replace it ever since. Analysts now expect an accord worth $50 billion after talk of an initial $15-$20 billion.

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