FinMin to raise early repayment of expensive IMF loans at Friday’s Eurogroup, sources say

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras will raise the possibility of paying off the more expensive International Monetary Fund (IMF) loans to Greece at Friday’s Eurogroup meeting in Helsinki, sources at the finance ministry said on Wednesday.

In addition to briefing his Eurozone counterparts, Staikouras is to send letters officially making the request to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF).

The entire process, which ends with the Eurogroup’s approval, will take approximately two months.

According to finance ministry officials, Greece will ask to buy back a loan of 2.9 billion euros, that carries an interest rate of at 5.13 pct, in order to reduce the weighted average interest rate of IMF loans to Greece to below 3 pct.

Staikouras is expected to brief his counterparts on the key points of his government’s economic policy, while on the sidelines of the Eurogroup, the finance minister will have bilateral meetings with ESM chief Klaus Regling, president of Eurogroup Mario Centeno, European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis and Commissioner for Economic Affairs Pierre Moscovici.