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Denys Bédarride
Wednesday 6 December 2023 Last update on Wednesday, December 6, 2023 At 7:00 AM

The IMF signs an agreement with the Jordanian authorities relating to a new four-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for an amount of USD 1.2 billion. For its part, Fitch Ratings confirms Jordan's foreign currency sovereign rating at "BB-" with a stable outlook despite the regional context.

Following an IMF mission to Jordan, a technical agreement was reached between the Fund and the Jordanian authorities on November 9, 2023. This agreement concerns a new four-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF). for an amount of 926.4 million SDRs or approximately 1.2 billion USD (at the current exchange rate).

It replaces the existing EFF, concluded in March 2020, which was due to expire in early 2024. The technical agreement will be submitted to the Fund’s Board of Directors in early January 2024. Upon validation, Jordan will have immediate access to 144.1 M SDR (approximately 190 M USD). Led by Ron van Rooden, head of mission, the delegation met Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh but also the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Economic Affairs and Public Sector Modernization, Nasser Shraideh, the Minister of Finance, Mohamad Al-Ississ , the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Zeina Toukan, and the Governor of the Central Bank (CBJ), Adel Sharkas.

The Fund’s teams also interacted with parliamentarians, the private sector as well as development and civil society stakeholders. Overall, the IMF was satisfied with the economic policy pursued by Jordan.

The Fund forecasts growth of 2.6% in 2023. The forecast for 2024, also 2.6%, has been revised slightly downwards (-0.1 pp) taking into account the consequences that the conflict in Gaza could have. on the Jordanian economy.

The Fund also anticipates a reduction in the current account deficit for 2024, although less optimistic than expected: -6.5% of GDP (compared to -5.4% of GDP during the 6th review). The objective regarding fiscal policy remains to reduce the debt (excluding assets held by the SSIF) below the threshold of 80% by 2028.

Fitch maintains Jordan’s sovereign rating at ‘BB-‘ (stable outlook)

Fitch Ratings confirms Jordan’s sovereign rating in foreign currency (Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR): “BB-” with a stable outlook despite the regional context.

Short-term risks linked to the situation in Gaza are, according to the agency, mitigated by strong support from multilateral and bilateral donors, including the United States, as well as by reduced exposure to the volatility of food prices and energy and potential disruptions to supply chains through long-term gas contracts, alternative trade routes and strategic reserves of wheat and fuels.

Fitch nevertheless expects a slowdown in growth in the fourth quarter of 2023 and in 2024 due in particular to greater political uncertainty and the reduction in tourist flows (from Europe and the United States).

The agency, for its part, forecasts growth of 2.6% in 2023 and 2.3% in 2024.

The agency also justifies its rating by: macroeconomic stability and the progress made in fiscal and economic reforms, particularly within the framework of the IMF program, and the solidity of the banking sector. The rating is nevertheless constrained by several factors: high public debt, weak growth, a large current account deficit and a net external debt higher than that of similar countries.

Source French Embassy in Lebanon

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