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IMF approves $20 million loan tranche to Moldova

KIEV (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund approved on Thursday a loan tranche of around $20 million (15 million pounds) to Moldova.

"A key objective achieved was the rehabilitation of the banking sector, which - alongside other reforms - helped entrench macroeconomic and financial stability," the Fund said in a statement.

Moldova's 40-month Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangements to support the country's economic and financial reform program were approved in 2016 and the country has received about $178.7 million.

One of Europe's poorest countries, Moldova plunged into crisis in late 2014 after it emerged that the equivalent of one-eighth of national output had disappeared from Moldova's banking system through three banks.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)