BELGRADE, Oct 17 (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates will lend Serbia $1 billion to help the indebted Balkan country refinance its existing debts and to help it finance its ongoing budget deficit, Serbian Finance Minister Dusan Vujovic said on Monday.
Speaking at a conference in Belgrade, Vujovic said the 10-year loan would bear an interest rate of 2.25 percent and be ratified by parliament “in coming days”.
Serbia’s economy has performed strongly this year, with its budget deficit forecast to come in at 2.5 percent of GDP this year, lower than the 4 percent planned for. Serbia has been pushing for the International Monetary Fund, with which it has a$1.2 billion loan deal, to authorise higher spending next year. (Reporting By Ivana Sekularac, writing by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Toby Chopra)