Qatar has approved a $500 million loan to the Tunisian central bank in a private placement.

According to a statement by the Tunisian Central bank, the money has been lent to Tunisia to support government finances  recover after last year’s political uprising

The five-year loan carries an interest rate of 2.5 percent, the central bank added.

A finance ministry official said last month that Qatar would subscribe to $500 million in five-year Tunisian treasury bonds at 2.5 percent but did not say when the transaction would be completed, Reuters report.

Last year’s protests ousted veteran Tunisian leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali  after months of unrest, strikes and protests discouraged tourism and hit the economy, which shrank 1.8 percent. The newly-elected government expects the economy to return to growth in 2012 but has sought external support, Reuters report.

Tunisia has also secured U.S. guarantees for a planned bond issue this year. This should allow the nation borrow, at favourable rates, on international market.


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