$1.6 BILLION IMF LOAN
TO HUNGARY APPROVEDBUDAPEST, Hungary - The International Monetary Fund has approved a three- year, $1.6 billion loan to help Hungary in its transition to a market economy, a central bank official said Thursday.
Akos Cseres, senior deputy general manager at the National Bank of Hungary, said the IMF board approved the stand-by arrangement at its meeting in Washington on Wednesday.
Around $680 million will be available this year if Hungary meets agreed
Hungarian officials had considered approval of the loan a formality but were still relieved.
Weighed down by Eastern Europe's highest per capita foreign debt, Hungary needed a new deal with the IMF not only to keep it in funds during what could be a serious credit crunch but also to convince other lenders to keep lending, bankers said.
BONN, Germany - Finance Minister Theo Waigel announced here Thursday that Germany will raise taxes from July 1.
He told a news conference that the boost is to finance Germany's
financial contribution to the allied war effort in the Persian Gulf and the cost of German unification.
Wednesday, the German cabinet approved a draft 1991 budget calling for a contribution of more than $7 billion to the war and a federal deficit of about $47 billion.
CZECHS VOTE DOWN BILL
FOR RETURN OF PROPERTY
PRAGUE, Czechoslovakia - The Czechoslovakian parliament narrowly defeated a bill that would have returned property nationalized by the communists to its previous owners, the official CTK news agency said Thursday.
A draft law presented by the government was defeated by three votes late Wednesday after appearing headed for victory in parliamentary debate Tuesday, the news agency said.
Parliamentary leaders met early Thursday to discuss a possible fresh vote in the Chamber of Nations, one of the two chambers of parliament. Under the defeated legislation, factories, stores and buildings confiscated after the communists seized power Feb. 25, 1948, would have been returned to former owners or their heirs who had Czechoslovak nationality and lived in Czechoslovakia.
GUYANA LOWERS VALUE
OF ITS DOLLAR BY 50 PERCENT
GEORGETOWN, Guyana - Guyana's finance minister said Wednesday that the country would devalue its currency by more than 50 percent, and will adjust the official exchange rate on a weekly basis to remain in step with the free market rate.
Effective Thursday, Guyana's official exchange rate went to 101.75 Guyana
dollars to $1.
Finance Minister Carl Greenidge announced the change as he presented a G$17.6 billion budget to the National Assembly.
The devaluation will boost the price of fuel, sugar and other imports.