IMF expected to visit Gabon in late Jan, early Feb for Article IV – source

LONDON (Reuters) – A team from the International Monetary Fund is expected to visit Gabon in late January or early February for Article IV discussions, a source told Reuters on Monday.

The IMF had provided support to Gabon in July 2021 to help it weather the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, but the status of the programme has been unclear since a coup in August 2023 overturned the rule of President Ali Bongo.

It will be the first Article IV visit since December 2019, according to the IMF’s website. Article IV discussions usually happen annually and are bilateral discussions where the Fund collects economic and financial information and discusses economic developments and policies.

Ratings agency Fitch put Gabon on ratings watch negative last year following a coup, which it said would make it less likely that an IMF programme resume.

(Reporting By Libby George, editing by Karin Strohecker)