Moldova signs 150 million-euro loan accord with Romania to bolster currency, investments

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Moldova has signed a 150 million-euro ($168 million) loan agreement with neighbor Romania which it hopes will bolster its currency and promote investment.

Moldova Prime Minister Valeriu Strelet said the five-year loan, which has a 1.5 percent annual interest rate, was a reminder of the close relations between the neighbors.

He said Wednesday that Romania is "the only country in the world which constantly says: tell us how we can help you."

Moldova's currency has shed about 20 percent of its value this year, after up to $1.5 billion disappeared from three banks before parliamentary elections in November 2014.

The International Monetary Fund said last month it would not negotiate a new loan program with Moldova, dashing the government's hopes of an immediate agreement to help cover pensions and salaries.