The IMF on Nov. 4 approved a long-delayed review of Iceland's economic performance under an IMF loan program and said the crisis-hit economy could begin to turn the corner by the middle of next year. With the approval of the first review, the IMF said it would disburse a USD 167.5 million loan tranche to Iceland and extend the USD 2.2 billion program by six months to May 31, 2011 to compensate for delays. Iceland has been waiting since February for its IMF review and, including the money approved Nov. 4, has received about USD 1.06 billion from the lender in the past year. The IMF had made the release of more funds contingent on a resolution of creditor claims stemming from the collapse of Iceland's banks. (Reuters, Bloomberg)

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