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Sri Lanka crisis

Sri Lanka makes late push for IMF bailout after unveiling budget

Lender to announce answer Thursday; experts deem president's plan 'positive'

A demonstrator waves a Sri Lankan flag earlier this year: After protests in the crisis-hit country brought down one president, his replacement appears close to securing IMF help.   © Reuters

COLOMBO -- Sri Lanka was locked in late talks with the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday, stoking hopes for a bailout deal less than 24 hours after the crisis-hit South Asian country announced an interim budget.

An IMF team visiting the bankrupt nation had been due to wrap up its mission on Wednesday, but senior officials announced that they were staying an extra day "because discussions are still ongoing." This came as Colombo buzzed over anonymously sourced reports that a staff-level agreement had been secured.

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