Ukraine repays record sum of $3.7 billion to IMF in 2012

Jan 15, 2013 12:00 AM

Ukraine's payments to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2012 amounted to SDR 2.43 billion ($3.74 billion at the current exchange rates), including SDR 198 million in interest – a record in the entire history of relations between Ukraine and the fund since 1994.

According to the IMF's materials, a year ago Ukraine did not receive any money from the fund, but its payments were smaller – SDR 230 million.

The fund noted that in 2008-2010 Kyiv had been a net recipient of funds: in 2008 – SDR 2.78 billion, in 2009 – SDR 3.86 billion, and in 2010 – SDR 2.09 billion.

In 1999-2007, Ukraine's payments to the IMF exceeded the funds received from the fund. At that time, net payments averaged SDR 240 million, while the maximum figure was SDR 546 million in 2000.

Over 19 years of cooperation, the IMF had issued SDR 12.26 billion to Ukraine and has been repaid SDR 6.6 billion, including SDR 1.36 billion in interest.

According to the fund, the record high figure of payments in 2012, which was related to the maturity of short-term credits issued after the 2008 crisis, could be surpassed in 2013: Ukraine will have to repay SDR 3.77 billion ($5.8 billion), including SDR 110 million in interest.

Payments have to be made in four tranches from January 30 to February 12, from April 30 to May 8, from July 30 to August 12 and from October 30 to November 12. In the first three cases, Ukraine will have to pay SDR 900 million ($1.4 billion), while in the latter one – SDR 1.05 billion ($1.61 billion).

As noted on the IMF's Web site, in 2014 Ukraine's payments will be reduced to SDR 2.41 billion, in 2015 – to SDR 980 million, and in the next two years they will be less than SDR 1 million.

The Fitch international rating agency in early November last year noted that such a level of payments to the IMF is likely to exceed Ukraine's capabilities on foreign borrowings and the IMF's partial refinancing would be needed.

First Vice Premier Serhiy Arbuzov on January 14 reported that Kyiv intends to strive to open a new Stand-By Arrangement with IMF for SDR 10 billion.

An IMF mission is expected to arrive in Kyiv for talks with the state authorities on January 24.

The previous Stand-By Arrangement for SDR 10 billion between Ukraine and the IMF formally terminated in December 2012.

In late July 2010, the IMF decided to renew its loan partnership with Ukraine through a new Stand-By Arrangement worth SDR 10 billion (over $15 billion). According to the NBU, the country succeeded in getting two tranches worth a total of SDR 2.25 billion.

The new program was frozen at the stage of the second review in the spring of 2011. For a year and a half, Ukraine has been trying to persuade the IMF to drop its objections to the government's subsidizing natural gas tariffs for households until the completion of its gas talks with Russia.

Ukraine's international reserves in 2012 fell by 22.8%, or $7.25 billion, to $24.55 billion.

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