November 7, 2014 / 4:57 PM / in 4 years

IMF mission to visit Kiev in November

KIEV (Reuters) - An International Monetary Fund mission will visit Kiev from Nov. 11 to 25 to check on the status of Ukraine’s conflict-hit economy and its progress under a $17 billion bailout program, the IMF’s Ukraine representative Jerome Vacher said on Friday.

The IMF program was agreed in April to shore up the ex-Soviet state’s foreign currency reserves and support the economy, which was blighted by years of corruption and economic mismanagement and is now struggling with the extra costs of fighting a separatist rebellion in its eastern territories.

“The mission will discuss with the authorities the current economic situation, progress under the program, and their policies to maintain macroeconomic and financial stability and revive growth,” Vacher said in a statement.

Kiev had expected that the next loan tranche, worth $2.7 billion, of the bailout would come in December, but last month Finance Minister Oleksander Shlapak said the IMF would not make a decision on the payment until the formation of a new government, which is unlikely to happen before the end of the Fund’s November visit.

Vacher appeared to confirm this, saying “discussions will continue after the new government is formed.”

The mission is also expected to decide how much additional financial aid Kiev may need, after warning in September that if Ukraine’s conflict with the separatists runs into next year, the country may need as much as $19 billion in extra aid.

Earlier on Friday, Ukraine’s central bank said foreign currency reserves had plummeted by almost a quarter month-on-month in October to $12.6 billion, their lowest since 2005.

Ukraine has so far received two tranches under the IMF program, worth a total of $4.6 billion.

Reporting by Natilia Zinets; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; editing by Ralph Boulton

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