Turkey says IMF review to be completed soon

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ANKARA, Oct 23 (Reuters) An International Monetary Fund delegation is expected to come to Turkey in the coming days to complete talks for the seventh review of the country's economic programme, the Turkish Treasury said in a statement today.

State Minister Mehmet Simsek, in charge of the Treasury, is currently holding talks with IMF officials in the United States.

The statement also said the Treasury expected Turkey's current account deficit to stabilise and to stay below eight per cent of gross national product this year.

It said the key overall primary surplus would be 4.3 per cent of GNP, rather than 6.5 per cent as the government had hoped.

''Lower than anticipated budget revenues, making some payments delayed from the previous years in 2007 and deterioration of the performance of local administrations and state companies caused a lower primary surplus,'' the statement said.

The IMF has urged Turkey to keep a high primary surplus, which excludes interest payments, to lower its debt and shield itself against external shocks to its economy.

But it said it expected the year-end budget deficit to be under forecast and the ratio of public debt to GNP to keep falling.

Turkey would implement a series of structural reforms starting from the last quarter of 2007, while a strategy for the second stage of the privatisation of Halkbank would be set out.

REUTERS GL HS2134

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