HIGHLIGHTS-IMF, World Bank 2014 spring meetings in Washington

Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:22pm EDT

(Adds comments from G24 communique)

WASHINGTON, April 10 (Reuters) - The following are highlights of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings in Washington, where finance ministers, central bankers and other top officials are gathering this week.

FROM GROUP OF 24 COMMUNIQUE:

ON CAPITAL FLOWS:

"We remain highly concerned about the adverse impact of disruptive capital flow and exchange rate volatility resulting from the potentially abrupt changes in monetary policy in a few major advanced economies. We urge policymakers, especially in countries that issue reserve currencies, to pursue multilaterally coordinated actions to mitigate adverse spillover effects of monetary policy, including through effective communication."

"We also emphasize the necessity of ensuring that emerging market and developing countries have adequate access to financial safety nets, including from international financial institutions."

ON IMF REFORMS:

"We are deeply disappointed that the IMF quota and governance reforms agreed in 2010 have not yet come into effect due to non-ratification by its major shareholder."

PEOPLE'S BANK OF CHINA VICE GOVERNOR YI GANG:

ON IMF REFORMS:

"I think failure to deliver the 2010 IMF reform is a serious damage to the G20 leadership. ... And I think failure to deliver this reform ... is a threat to IMF legitimacy, and also for the (IMF's) future resources, it's also become a problem, it creates some uncertainty for the future resources of the IMF."

ON CHINA'S SLOWING GROWTH

"I think the base for GDP in China is getting larger and larger, and also we are trying to do the transformation from investment-led growth happening to consumption-led growth; I think there is transformation from the double-digit growth to ... a 'medium-high' growth period. And I think that's perfectly normal. They should expect it, and they should be comfortable with it."

ON ECONOMIC STIMULUS

"If you believe (in) market mechanism, then any kind of stimulus package should be very cautious in the sense that you should believe that the market driver is the natural and the most efficient way to grow, and a stimulus growth driver is not as efficient as the natural market driver. And the government and the central bank should be very cautious."

ON CHINA'S GROWTH

"And around 7.5 percent (growth)  around that number a little bit more, a little bit less, I think all is acceptable. It's not a big deal. The important thing is that we should increase the quality of that growth, and we should emphasize environmental protection and also inclusive growth, as most people benefit from it."

ON CURRENCY VOLATILITY

"In the first quarter of this year, we had several things happen. The U.S. Federal Reserve had the tapering, and (we) have the increase for our trade deficit. ... So that I would say that the two-way fluctuation of the renminbi would be a normal phenomenon."

ON HOW MUCH THE FED SHOULD CONSIDER SPILLOVERS:

"The U.S. economy is the largest economy (in the world), and the U.S. dollar is the largest reserve (currency). So what the Fed does is really important. And a lot of people have wishful thinking that the Federal Reserve monetary policy should consider the global economy, and should consider the spillover effect. But the reality, I think,  is every central bank, they probably have to first consider their domestic situation. And I think that's really  the reality."

TURKISH DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER ALI BABACAN

ON THE THREAT OF DEFLATION IN EUROPE:

"Deflation is a risk and it is a risk that has to be avoided. And we have already observed Japan, a country which suffered for a very long time. And some analysts think that what is happening with Europe now looks like what happened in Japan 10years ago. And I think ECB is probably hearing all these comments and listening to these analyses."

PRAVIN GORDHAN, FINANCE MINISTER OF SOUTH AFRICA

ON IMF REFORMS:

"We've discussed our mutual concerns about the slow pace of the IMF reforms and the kind of stalemate that we find ourselves in currently and we hope to work with everyone to find an equitable solution but clearly a lot depends on the U.S. We believe it's in the collective interest of all us to have a strong and well-resourced IMF but also an IMF that is increasingly even-handed in the way it approaches both advanced economies and emerging markets as well."

"I don't think anyone can do it on their own (propose solutions) but clearly (what we) are talking about is firstly progress on the 14th reform; secondly, from the African continent point of view we want better representation for Africa. We want the board to change so we have a chair for Africa as well."

BOJ GOVERNOR HARUHIKO KURODA

ON UKRAINE:

"As the IMF managing director pointed out, it's one of the geopolitical risks. But so far, it hasn't developed into something that threatens to delay a global economic recovery projected by the IMF. In any case, such various risks are likely to be discussed (at the G20)."

WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISER JASON FURMAN

ON PROSPECT OF G7 PUSHING FOR MORE FINANCIAL AID FOR UKRAINE:

"I don't want to characterize that discussion but you certainly know where we are coming from on the broader issue involving the Ukraine. It's something that we approach very much from the perspective of national security, but we also understand what the economic implications are for the global economy and that's something we take seriously as well."

IMF MANAGING DIRECTOR CHRISTINE LAGARDE

ON LOW INFLATION:

"We are concerned about this potential risk of advanced economies in general, in the euro area in particular, that prolonged low inflation will hurt both growth and jobs. In this context, it is encouraging that the ECB reiterated its commitment to use unconventional measures as needed."

ON CHINA FX:

"I took the recent increase of the band of the renminbi as the move in the direction of internationalization. I won't characterize it as an intended depreciation of the currency. Certainly we welcome the internationalization of the renminbi."

"In terms of China's contribution to international growth, clearly China is playing a clear role with 7.5 pct growth. It is clearly contributing significantly."

RUSSIA/ UKRAINE:

"The Ukrainian program ... has been negotiated on the ground, it has been discussed formally with the board and there has been encouraging, very broad-based support from all corners of the board of the IMF."

JAPAN/ABENOMICS:

"It's fair to say the first arrow delivered has begun to work ... We were very pleased to see the (commitment to raise the) sales tax to 8 percent was delivered upon.

"Medium-term fiscal plan needs to be articulated ... and we hope to see them. In the third arrow, there are many reforms, many changes of structural nature that has been touched on but not completely articulated.... I will certainly discuss what the time table is."

EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK BOARD MEMBER PETER PRAET

ON EURO AREA GROWTH:

"The latest data confirm that the euro area on aggregate is proceeding slowly along the path of economic recovery."

"Yet ... some euro area countries are experiencing steady growth, while in others growth remains anemic."

INDIA CENTRAL BANK CHIEF RAGHURAM RAJAN

ON FED MONETARY POLICY GUIDANCE:

"We have no doubt there is a need for exit... some language on contingency related to what happens to the rest of the world would also be useful."

ON COMPETITION BETWEEN CENTRAL BANKS:

"The current non-system in international monetary policy is, in my view, a source of substantial risk, both to sustainable growth as well as to the financial sector. It is not an industrial economy problem, nor an emerging market problem, it is a problem of collective action. We are being pushed towards competitive monetary easing."

ON EMERGING MARKET ADJUSTMENT TO RICH NATIONS' EASY MONEY POLICY:

"We all have our constraints. It's not that emerging markets have infinite ability to adjust and so we should keep that in mind going forward."

ON DIFFERENCES WITH NEW INDIAN GOVERNMENT:

"I haven't had any discussion with the new government. I think this is all press-invented differences and I think it should be seen as such. It's speculation rather than any actual differences."

ECB VICE PRESIDENT VITOR CONSTANCIO

ON POSSIBILITY OF QE IN EURO ZONE:

"Our experts have been looking into it, and building scenarios, but no decisions have been taken."

"Several members of the Governing Council have made public statements that indicate that private assets will be included in any decision that may be taken. We are looking into what assets would be easier to operate, if indeed we would take such a decision."

ON EURO ZONE INFLATION/MONETARY EASING:

"This is an important consideration in terms of data because there are base effects and to have a better view of where inflation is right now we have to take the average of the two months not just the figure for March."

"The April number will be important to have a view if indeed we have reached on a more permanent basis low inflation levels or the March figure was just a blip, so that's absolutely important."

ON CALL FOR GLOBAL 'SAFETY NET'

"We have to design a better multilateral liquidity safety net so that countries do not feel they are on their own in managing market turmoil, and so that they do not build enormous stockpiles of reserves."

"Multilateral arrangements are tried and tested, and are available more widely, and without some of the possible political pressures that could arise from bilateral and regional arrangements."

"Swap arrangements can be channeled through multilateral institutions like the IMF instead of being conducted on a bilateral basis."

ON ASSET PURCHASES:

"Asset purchases is a possibility we are studying."

MEXICAN CENTRAL BANK GOVERNOR AGUSTIN CARSTENS

ON IMPACT OF FED TAPERING ON EMERGING MARKETS:

"What happened last year was an important wake-up call."

"It's important for emerging markets to keep strong fundamentals, to keep a very strong position."

"If you manage to really separate yourself with these strong policies, I think you might be able to do well. What emerging markets should be looking into is to establish the expectation that you have the policies in place. That in time will compress the country risk and that should, in a way, give ground for the country to absorb higher ... interest rates."

ON WHEN HE SEES U.S. INTEREST RATES RISING:

"I shared Raghuram Rajan's view, which was that he expected it to happen in the second half of next year."

"I think what really makes sense is to see if the Fed is providing enough guidance and information for markets to adjust in a smooth and proper way. I think more than fixating on when or in what particular moment it will be, I think what I'm more interested in is how the process of conducting monetary policy in the U.S. is evolving."

"So far I think they (the Fed) have done things quite well."

"The important thing is if the normalization is handled in such a way that it will allow markets to adjust in an orderly way, not generate a type of crisis that will push us back to a difficult situation." (Compiled by Reuters' G20/IMF team)

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