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Saturday 28 January 2023 Dublin: 6°C
Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP
IMF set to raise $500bn in bid to boost lending power
The IMF says it’s likely to be asked to lend $1 trillion in the next two years – and will set about raising the cash it needs to do so.

THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND is hoping to raise around $500 billion (€390 billion) in a bid to boost its ability to lend to struggling countries, after suggesting it might be asked to lend $1 trillion in the coming years.

The fund already has around $385 billion to lend, but believes it is likely to be asked to play a more active role in funding more and more governments in the years to come.

The confirmation from the IMF that it would seek extra cash from its members came after Christine Lagarde yesterday admitted her staff were looking at ways of boosting its lending power.

The fundraising drive is actually likely to seek $600 billion in order to ensure that it can lend the $500 billion.

Lagarde today said the IMF’s decision would allow it to “fulfill its mandate and to play a full and constructive role in securing global stability”.

Bloomberg quoted a G20 official who said major economies like Japan, China, Brazil, India and Russia were likely to be the main contributors to the extra funding package.

The IMF said the new funding package would include the €150 billion which was pledged by the eurozone member states at last December’s meeting of the European Council.

The Daily Telegraph quoted a Downing Street source who said Britain had received a formal request to increase its contributions, and that it was likely to commit £17 billion (€20.4 billion) to the new fund.

Legislation increasing Ireland’s contributions to the IMF is currently making its way through the Oireachtas, though that legislation is aimed at making Ireland a large enough contributor to benefit from lower interest rates on bailout loans.

The IMF is supplying €22.5 billion of Ireland’s international bailout.

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Ireland faces austerity ‘for as long as anyone can look forward’