Greece seeks permission to repay part of IMF loans early

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's finance minister says he has asked his country's European creditors to approve the early repayment of part of its bailout loans from the International Monetary Fund.

Christos Staikouras says paying off the IMF loans ahead of schedule would reduce debt servicing costs by about 70 million euros ($77 million).

He said Monday the average annual interest rate of the IMF loans is 4.9%, while the country can currently borrow raise money much cheaper in the markets — the interest rate on Greece's 10-year bonds is just 1.6%.

Greece owes the IMF about 9 billion euros after it was bailed out on three occasions this decade because of the parlous state of its public finances.

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It owes far more to European creditors, who must approve the early repayment.

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