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13:36
UKRAINE'S ECONOMY REACHES BOTTOM, BANKING SYSTEM TO FACE SHOCK AHEAD, SAYS EXPERT

Kyiv, August 6 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Ukrainian economy has reached the bottom and will stabilize in time, although the banking system is to face shocks in September and October due to a rise in toxic credits, according to the director of the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting, Ihor Burakovsky.

"It's clear that at present the situation in the banking sector is very bad. We can expect that the problems will worsen... It's obvious that some banks will go bankrupt. The first decision on this has been made, but it was a hard one – concerning Ukrprombank. Unfortunately, we can say that other banks will share this fate," he said at a press conference on Wednesday.

He said that the increase in the number of bad credits is influenced by the state of the economy. He said that in 2010 the Ukrainian economy would grow by 3.9%.

Burakovsky said that some positive signs are seen in the metals sector of the country, while the situation with employment is worsening.

He said that the raising of funds from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) allows Ukraine to mitigate the crisis, although the loans are not enough to settle all of the problems the country faces.

The expert does not rule out that some IMF's funds could be lost due to corruption.

He expressed hope that Ukraine would be able to receive a fourth tranche from the IMF this year, adding that talks with the IMF were becoming more complicated: the receiving of the third tranche under the standby program in July is the result of considerable efforts of the government and the prime minister.

"Each revision [of the IMF program] passes with greater problems. The political factor is growing at each stage," he said.

The institute director said that a threat of not receiving funds from the IMF forces the president, government and the NBU to cooperate.

The expert also said that the granting of funds from the IMF in 2010 would hinge on the results of the presidential election and the political situation.

Burakovsky said that the IMF does not demand that Ukraine revise it social standards, but insists on a change in its price formation system.

As for urgent issues that the authorities are facing, these include the expediency of a revision of monetary policy: preparations for a transfer to inflation targeting are needed. In addition, the reform of National JSC Naftogaz Ukrainy and the Ukrainian gas sector is required.

The president of the Ukrainian Association of International Economists, Anton Filipenko, said that the stand-by loan is not the most optimal form of credit cooperation with the IMF: the said program is swift financial first aid, while the fund has the capacity to issue credits for structural reforms, which Ukraine needs.

He said that the IMF's stand-by loan does not present a great threat to the country, as it is rather cheap. He also said that Ukrainian authorities should have a clearer program on emerging from the crisis to be able to pay off the debts in the future.
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