May 17, 2018 / 7:51 AM / 8 days ago

Serbia's PM to act as finance minister until new one is appointed

BELGRADE, May 17 (Reuters) - Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic has formally taken over the post of finance minister until a new one is named in succession to Dusan Vujovic, who quit this month, the government said late on Wednesday.

A former World Bank economist, Vujovic quit on May 7, citing personal reasons. He had served in two governments since 2014 and negotiated a 1.2 billion euro ($1.4 billion) three-year loan deal with the IMF that Serbia successfully completed in February without drawing on funds.

In a short statement, the government said Brnabic would serve as acting finance minister “until the new one is appointed”.

The statement did not specify who would replace Vujovic’s replacement or when they might take over.

Serbia’s economy expanded 2 percent in 2017 and is expected to grow 3.5 percent this year. It grew 4.5 percent in the first quarter of 2018, according to a flash estimate.

The Balkan country hopes to make a new non-financial deal with the IMF that would be supported by a Policy Coordination Instrument (PCI), a non-financing arrangement to provide policy advice and monitoring.

The Serbian dinar traded at 118.19 to the euro on Thursday, 0.16 percent weaker than the day before, when the central bank purchased 60 million euros to stem dinar gains.

Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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