Business news from Ukraine

UKRAINE AND IMF AGREE ON NEW COOPERATION PROGRAM

Ukraine and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have reached agreement on a new cooperation program in a telephone conversation between Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky and IMF Managing Director and Chair of the Executive Board Kristalina Georgieva, the press service of the head of state reported on Sunday.
“The IMF head praised the new [Ukrainian] administration’s economic achievements and the progress in the introduction of reforms made by the government led by Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk. The sides noted following the discussion that Ukraine and the IMF had come to the Staff Level Agreement on a new cooperation program,” the press service said.
Zelensky said that he and Georgieva had a very constructive discussion.
“I am glad that we have reached full understanding and our turbo-mode has been praised by the IMF. I am grateful to the Parliament, the Government and our entire team for their tireless work for the sake of Ukraine. The new program of cooperation with the International Monetary Fund aims to accelerate economic growth, actively eradicate corruption and improve well-being of every Ukrainian,” the president’s press service quoted Zelensky as saying.
The head of state said that Ukraine is not satisfied with the current rate of economic growth, therefore, in order to accelerate economic growth, “we, together with our international partners, will continue reforms to catch up with our neighbors in terms of economic development and prosperity.”
According to the press service, Georgieva said that she commended the extraordinary progress that Zelensky and his government have made over the past few months in promoting reforms and continuing reasonable economic policy.
“I assured the President of the IMF’s readiness to support the political plan of the government for macroeconomic stability and boosting the economy to higher, sustainable and comprehensive growth, among other things, with new IMF support. IMF staff has reached an agreement with the authorities on a policy of supporting a new three-year arrangement in the amount of four billion Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) within the IMF Extended Fund Facility,” Georgieva said.
According to a statement of Georgieva on the website of the IMF, this agreement is subject to IMF management approval and to approval by the Executive Board.
“I was pleased to note that IMF staff has reached agreement with the authorities on the policies to underpin a new 3-year, SDR 4 billion (about $5.5 billion) arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility. This agreement is subject to IMF management approval and to approval by the Executive Board, and effectiveness of the arrangement will be conditional on the implementation of a set of prior actions,” she said.
She said that the Ukrainian President and she agreed that Ukraine’s economic success depends crucially on strengthening the rule of law, enhancing the integrity of the judiciary, and reducing the role of vested interests in the economy, and that it is paramount to safeguard the gains made in cleaning up the banking system and recover the large costs to the taxpayers from bank resolutions.

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IMF MISSION ENDS VISIT TO UKRAINE

The mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), working in Ukraine during November 14-22, has said that it had constructive and fruitful discussions with representatives of Ukrainian authorities, although more discussions in the near future are needed for signing the Staff Level Agreement.
The mission has made significant further progress in discussions regarding measures and reforms that could form the basis of a new program supported by the IMF. Discussions will continue in the coming weeks, mission Head Ron van Rooden said in a statement released on Saturday.
Among the necessary steps discussed are measures in the monetary, fiscal and financial sectors, as well as reforms aimed at improving the business climate, strengthening the rule of law and boosting economic growth.
According to the statement, the IMF mission commended the significant progress made over the past few months towards reform and adhering to a balanced economic policy.

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ZELENSKY ON IMF: IT IS NECESSARY TO FIND THE RIGHT CONTACT WITHOUT ‘LOSING ONESELF’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said he is trying to find a fruitful friendly format for relations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) without damaging Ukraine’s interests.
“I don’t think that the IMF should impose any other conditions other than economic ones. Is this happening? Not really. I think that we need to try to find the right contact with everyone, friendly contact, a profitable one without losing ourselves,” Zelensky said during a press marathon with journalists in Kyiv on Thursday.
“But at any moment you know what can be done. Just stand up and hit the table with your fist. Dialogue does not start from this, but it’s where dialogue can end,” he said.
Zelensky noted that the IMF “is more about money,” and he is “more about emotions” and thinks dialogue should begin with the latter.

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NATIONAL BANK OF UKRAINE AND IMF BEGIN JOINT WORK ON NEW PROGRAM

The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have begun joint work on a new cooperation program, the NBU press service said on Facebook. According to the report, on September 12 the first meeting of the NBU board with the IMF mission, which arrived in Ukraine, took place.
It was attended by NBU Governor Yakiv Smolii, his first deputy Kateryna Rozhkova and deputy Oleg Churiy, as well as representatives of the IMF mission led by Ron van Rooden.
During the meeting, Smolii emphasized that cooperation with the IMF is extremely important to support macro-financial stability in Ukraine, primarily because it is the key to further reforms in the country, without which a long-term growth of the Ukrainian economy is impossible. Also, cooperation with the IMF provides Ukraine with access to official and private financing.
IMF representatives expressed their intention to continue a constructive dialogue on a new cooperation program, the report said.

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IMF CONFIRMS READINESS TO SEND MISSION TO UKRAINE

The position of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on negotiations with Ukraine on the resumption of funding remains the same: the Fund is awaiting the formation of a new government and wants to see priorities of its policy.
IMF Spokesperson Gerry Rice said at a press briefing in Washington, D.C., on Thursday that the IMF team was ready to return to Kyiv to continue discussions after the parliamentary elections as soon as the new government is able to decide on its policy priorities.

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RAIFFEISEN ANALYSTS PREDICT NEW $6-8 BLN PROGRAM FROM IMF TO UKRAINE

Ukraine will be able to sign a new program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the amount of $6-8 billion by the end of 2019 and make necessary payments on foreign debt in 2020 and 2021, Raiffeisen analysts predict. In the document, they noted a high probability of obtaining the majority by the pro-presidential party Servant of the People, which was leading in polls with an indicator of 41.5-52.30%, which will ensure the implementation of reforms promised by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, due to which Ukraine will be able to receive IMF support.
According to the analysts, even if it fails to independently form the government, the Servant of the People party can form a coalition with Svyatoslav Vakarchuk’s Holos party, which is supported by 5-7% of the respondents.
“Given the commitment of President Zelensky to reforms, the new government will be able to sign a new three-year program with the fund in the amount of $6-8 billion by the end of 2019,” the report says.
Raiffeisen analysts point out that 40% of payments on Ukraine’s gross external debt are in 2020–2021 ($16.8 billion in 2020 and $18.5 billion in 2021), therefore the government needs a new cooperation program with the IMF as soon as possible. “Even given the full rollover of inter-company loans and the refinancing of 50% of corporate credits, Ukraine will have to pay $12.5 billion in 2020 and $15 billion in 2021,” the document says.

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