Well, what d’ya know, the SDR steps right up, no big fanfare

Right from the horses mouth.  IMF





IMF Executive Board Approves 2-Year US$17.01 Billion Stand-By Arrangement for Ukraine, US$3.19 Billion for immediate Disbursement

Press Release No. 14/189
April 30, 2014

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today approved a two-year Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) for Ukraine. The arrangement amounts to SDR 10.976 billion (about US$17.01 billion, 800 percent of quota) and was approved under the Fund’s exceptional access policy. The authorities’ economic program supported by the Fund aims to restore macroeconomic stability, strengthen economic governance and transparency, and launch sound and sustainable economic growth, while protecting the most vulnerable.

The approval of the SBA enables the immediate disbursement of SDR 2.058 billion (about US$3.19 billion), with SDR 1.29 billion (about US$2 billion) being allocated to budget support. The second and third disbursements will be based on bi-monthly reviews and performance criteria, and the remainder of the program period will be subject to standard quarterly reviews and performance criteria.

Following the Executive Board’s discussion, Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director and Chair, said:

“Deep-seated vulnerabilities—together with political shocks—have led to a major crisis in Ukraine. The economy is in recession, fiscal balances have deteriorated, and the financial sector is under significant stress.

“Showing unprecedented resolve, the authorities have developed a bold economic program to secure macroeconomic and financial stability and address long-standing imbalances and structural weaknesses to lay a firm foundation for high and sustainable growth. The program focuses on (i) maintaining a flexible exchange rate to restore competitiveness; (ii) stabilizing the financial system; (iii) gradually reducing the unaffordable fiscal deficit; (iv) eliminating losses in the energy sector, while enhancing social safety nets; and (v) decisively breaking with problematic past governance practices.

“Following the floating of the hryvnia, the authorities are committed to maintaining a flexible exchange rate regime and focusing monetary policy on domestic price stability. With Fund technical assistance, they plan to adopt inflation targeting by mid-2015.

“The authorities are determined to stabilize the financial system, maintain confidence in banks, and strengthen balance sheets and financial regulation and supervision. To this end, they have launched diagnostic studies of the largest banks and started reforms which are critical to restore confidence and stem deposit outflows.

“Recognizing the need for fiscal consolidation, the authorities have put in place a package of revenue enhancements and expenditure restraints. Over the program horizon, they target a structural fiscal adjustment of 2 percent of GDP, which will appropriately balance the need to keep public debt on a sustainable path while minimizing the adjustment costs to the economy. To preserve competiveness, the authorities also aim to keep the minimum wage and public wage growth in line with productivity.

“The authorities plan to eliminate the large quasi-fiscal losses of Naftogaz by 2018 and strengthen the company’s transparency and governance. To this end, they have embarked on the path of meaningful, broad-based, and sustained gas and heating increases over several years, starting from May 2014. Enhancing social assistance to protect the most vulnerable from energy price adjustments is a crucial element of the reforms. In this context, it is important to reach an early agreement on repayment of accumulated arrears and the gas price dispute with Gazprom to prevent disruptions in energy trade between Russia and Ukraine.

“A strong and comprehensive structural reform package is critical to reduce corruption, improve the business climate, and achieve high and sustainable growth. The authorities have already enacted a new public procurement law, reducing room for misuse of public resources. They have begun addressing governance issues in state-owned companies and are seeking recovery of stolen assets. They are also planning to build capacity to more effectively conduct enforcement of anti-money laundering and anti-corruption legislation, as well as enhance the effectiveness of the judiciary and tax administration.

“Risks to the program are high. In particular, further escalation of tensions with Russia and unrest in the east of the country pose a substantial risk to the economic outlook. Steady and rigorous

READ MORE HERE:   http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pr/2014/pr14189.htm


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