IMF Approves $2.46Bln Loan to Belarus

WASHINGTON -- The International Monetary Fund approved a $2.46 billion financial rescue package for Belarus and said late Monday that a further devaluation in the Belarussian currency would probably not be necessary.

The IMF said it would immediately disburse the first tranche of $787.9 million under the 15-month standby loan deal aimed at stabilizing the country's economy.

"The main objectives of the IMF-supported program are to facilitate an orderly adjustment to external shocks and to address pressing vulnerabilities," the IMF said.

"The program contains strong macroeconomic adjustment measures and addresses a number of structural issues that are critical to the adjustment and mitigation of vulnerabilities," it added.

Juha Kahkonen, the IMF's mission chief to Belarus, said a 20 percent devaluation earlier in January of the Belarussian ruble was appropriate and that it would make exports more competitive.