Ukraine assembly puts off IMF vote again

18:43, 30 October 2008
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Pending further consultations

Ukraine`s parliament on Thursday put off final approval of financial legislation needed to secure a $16.5 billion IMF loan, pending further consultations, Reuters reported.

Chairman Arseniy Yatsenyuk told deputies when the chamber began deliberations in the morning that committees hoped to produce a single draft of the legislation later in the day.

He later acknowledged that disagreements had persisted and debate on the package to stabilise Ukraine`s financial position and banking system was postponed until Friday.

"The three committees have yet to reach a final agreement on the text," he said.

"It is proposed ... that two additional committees examine this and that we return to the draft tomorrow morning to ensure against a hasty, foolish decision that would fail to win the required number of votes."

There was no fresh attempt to blockade proceedings as had occurred for more than a week in a row over an early election.

The chamber gave initial backing to the package on its first reading on Wednesday, urged on by leaders saying the credits depended on quick approval of measures required by the IMF.

Ukraine`s hryvnia currency, which lost nearly 15 percent of its value on Wednesday, bounced back from historic lows on Wednesday to trade at 5.9-6.07 to the dollar after the central bank offered to intervene with no limits on the currency volume.

IMF demands include helping banks to recapitalise, working to lower inflation and balancing the budget next year, according to the respected Ukrainska Pravda Web site, which published what is said was a memorandum of the IMF-Ukraine agreement. The accord also called for the central bank to abolish a corridor for the hryvnia to trade against the dollar, a demand met by the bank this week, and establishment of an official rate varying no more than 2 percent from the daily market rate.

Battered by a gaping current account deficit, the hryvnia plunged to a record low of 7.2 to the dollar on Wednesday, despite central bank intervention that has sapped 10 percent of its reserves.


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