Portugal repays IMF loan early in effort to earn confidence

Markets Associated Press

Portugal's government says it has made an early reimbursement of 2 billion euros ($2.12 billion) to the International Monetary Fund, which was one of the contributors to the eurozone country's 78 billion-euro bailout in 2011.

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The finance ministry says it will save 41 million euros in interest by repaying the amount, which was due by February 2019.

Analysts viewed Tuesday's announcement as part of an ongoing effort by the center-left Socialist government to allay lingering investor fears about the country's debt levels, even though Portugal has had no difficulties raising money from markets.

Portugal's budget deficit is expected to fall to around 2.2 percent this year, but the Bank of Portugal says government debt reached 133.1 percent of GDP in September. That is among the highest in the eurozone.