BEIJING, Sept 30 Mongolia has sought financial
assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as it
grapples with balance of payments woes and looks to stabilise
its economy, the IMF said on Friday.
Mongolia's government, elected in a landslide at the end of
June, has been plunged into turmoil after years of collapsing
foreign investment, unsustainable fiscal expansion and a decline
in demand for commodities like coal and copper.
Mongolia, a former Soviet satellite landlocked between China
and Russia, raised its benchmark interest rates by 450 basis
points to a record 15 percent in August in an attempt to
stabilise a currency that had been in free-fall.
Discussions about financial assistance from the IMF will
begin next week when Mongolian officials visit Washington D.C.
to attend the annual meetings of the IMF, the organisation said
in a statement, without saying how much was sought.
"The Mongolian authorities have made a request for financial
assistance from the IMF to support their economic programme,
which is intended to address balance of payments pressures and
stabilize the economy," spokesman Gerry Rice said in the emailed
The IMF would also send a team to Ulaanbaatar in late
October to continue discussions, it added.
Mongolia's currency, the tugrik, has slumped 15 percent
since June and the government has even fallen behind on payouts
to Olympic athletes.
(Reporting by Sue-Lin Wong; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and