Ukraine’s Hryvnia to Rally from Slump, Nomura Says

15:23, 15 September 2009
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Higher industrial...

The hryvnia, the worst-performing currency since June, is poised to rebound as Ukraine’s economic recovery eases concern the International Monetary Fund will refuse further aid, according to Nomura Holdings Inc, according to Bloomberg.

Higher industrial production and the first current account surplus since 2006 in the second quarter signal economic improvements that will stabilize the currency at 8.5 per dollar by the end of this year, Ivan Tchakarov, an economist at Nomura in London, wrote today in a research note. The currency weakened 0.6 percent today to 8.5716.

The IMF agreed a $16.4 billion loan package last year to save Ukraine from defaulting and stabilize its banking industry. The former Soviet Union country has so far received $10.6 billion. The Washington-based IMF delayed some of the payments until the government agreed to limit its budget deficit.

“We see little if any convincing macroeconomic reason for the hyrvnia to lose its value,” Tchakarov wrote in the report. “Our fair-value currency models suggest that the currency is broadly in equilibrium.”

The hyrvnia has depreciated 10.6 percent against the dollar in the past three months, the worst performance among the 175 currencies worldwide tracked by Bloomberg.

Ukraine’s gross domestic product may fall 10 percent to 12 percent this year, the Economy Ministry in Kiev said today. State-run energy company NJSC Naftogaz announced plans today to negotiate a debt restructuring including $500 million of Eurobonds due this month.

The currency has been pushed lower by “uncertainty” about sovereign debt payments, the Naftogaz bond restructuring and “fear that Ukraine may be straying away from it’s only currency pillar of support -- the International Monetary Fund,” Tchakarov said.

“The forces pulling the currency down balance those pushing the currency up,” he said. “We see increasing risks of the November IMF tranche being withheld, but stick to our long- held view that the disbursement will go through.”

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