Tunisia agrees $1.5bln financing deal with Int'l Islamic Trade Finance Corp

The loan is granted over three years and is intended to finance imports of petrol and grains for public companies, among other things.

  
Image used for illustrative purpose An employee of the Korea Exchange Bank counts one hundred dollar notes at the bank's headquarters in Seoul February 24, 2009.

Image used for illustrative purpose An employee of the Korea Exchange Bank counts one hundred dollar notes at the bank's headquarters in Seoul February 24, 2009.

REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak

TUNIS  - Tunisia has agreed a $1.5 billion financing deal with the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation to purchase essential commodities for public companies, a senior government official told Reuters.

The loan is granted over three years and is intended to finance imports of petrol and grains for public companies, among other things.

The deal will be signed on Thursday. The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation is the financing arm of the Islamic Development Bank for trade activities.

Tunisia’s Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said last week that ailing public companies had accumulated losses worth $2.72 billion and needed to be restructured quickly, as the North African country struggles with economic crisis and a ballooning budget deficit. Tunisia has dropped into a deep economic slump following the overthrow in 2011 of autocratic leader Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali. Since then, nine governments have failed to cut the budget deficit and the country needs $3 billion in foreign loans this year.

(Reporting by Tarek Amara Editing by Robin Pomeroy) ((tarek.amara@thomsonreuters.com;))

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