Ukraine asks IMF for help on new financial aid program

KIEV Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:26am EST

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KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine has asked the International Monetary Fund to help prepare a new financial aid program, its central bank chairman said on Wednesday, adding that the new government would soon have its own anti-crisis program ready.

Stepan Kubiv told reporters the bank was taking measures to stop capital flight from Ukraine, which has spiraled since protesters took to the streets in November against President Viktor Yanukovich's rejection of an EU trade deal.

Yanukovich was ousted by parliament on Saturday.

"There were meetings with IMF representatives, there was an exchange of information, (and) they were invited to come to Ukraine to work on a new program to support Ukraine," Kubiv said.

He said an anti-crisis plan would be adopted "tomorrow or the day after" and that the central bank would not intervene in the foreign currency market to defend the hryvnia in the coming days.

Earlier in the day, a senior official at the central bank said it had abandoned a managed exchange rate policy in favor of a flexible currency..

The hryvnia hit a record low of 10.00 per dollar earlier, bringing its losses this year to 19 percent.

(Reporting by Natalia Zinets, writing by Elizabeth Piper, Editing by Lidia Kelly/Timothy Heritage) nL6N0LV3GJ

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