Ukraine gets IMF billions

09:55, 11 November 2008
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The first $4.5 billion

Ukraine, struggling to avoid an economic meltdown, on Monday received the first $4.5 billion of a $16.5 billion emergency loan from the International Monetary Fund, AP reported.

Ukraine is reeling from a drastic fall in global demand for steel, the engine of the national economy. The national currency has lost nearly a quarter of its value n recent months. Plants across the country are halting production, laying off workers and slashing salaries. The stock market went into a free fall and the banking sector was hit by a run on banks.

Finance Minister Viktor Pynzenyk told a Cabinet meeting Monday that the first installment, received by the central bank, will help the government to stabilize the hryvna currency and buttress the banking system.

The two-year loan is contingent upon a package of stabilization reforms, such as reducing government spending, taming inflation and allowing a flexible exchange rate.

AP

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