Ukrayna ekonomisi 2014 de yuzde 7 daraldi

Ukrayna merkez bankasına göre Ukrayna ekonomisi 2014 de yuzde 7,5 daraldı.

Central bank says economy fell by 7.5 percent amid Donbas war

big (2)Ukrainian economy shrank by 7.5 percent this year, which is a 0.5-percentage point more pessimistic figure than the forecast, said the National Bank governor Valeriya Gontareva during the Dec. 30 news conference.

Inflation this year is reaching 24 percent, she added, while the next year consumer prices will grow by some 17-18 percent.

Hryvnia devaluation

Commenting hryvnia’s 50 percent devaluation this year, Gontareva said the central bank spent as much as $1.3 billion to meet the demand for the U.S. dollars, but this didn’t help much.

“A rate of Hr 11.7 per dollar is seen as a fundamental, it allows to have a balanced current account,” she explained.

Ukrainian Constitution defines National Bank’s key function as sustaining the stability of the domestic currency, which is a price stability, not hryvnia’s price in terms of dollars, euros or rubles, while many think it’s mostly about the latter, Gontareva emphasized. “This is the reason why we are preparing the amendments to the Constitution to clarify this.”

Banking sector

NBU, an office that regulates an industry of some 160 banks with $14.4 billion in assets, came up with a list of so called “systemically important banks,” which is nothing but a definition of those which are “too big to fail” and will be bailed out by the regulator in case of a negative scenario. The list includes country’s eight biggest banks: Privatbank, Oshchadbank, Ukreximbank, Delta Bank, Raiffeisen Bank Aval, Unicredit, Prominvestbank and Sberbank Rosiyi.

Local lenders lost $8 billion in early deposit withdrawals this year, which is 26 percent of what people kept on their deposit accounts, preferring mostly short-term ones.

Declaring 33 banks insolvent and recognizing seven of them involved in money laundering, the NBU is “cleaning up the banking system,” according to Gontareva who estimated the annual revenue of the illegal businesses at $19 billion.

NBU’s role in covering public deficit

The central bank provided $1.4 billion for the state budget this year as it experiences a fiscal gap of $3.4 billion. Moreover, it sold $8.6 billion to Naftogaz, a state-run energy behemoth that generates huge losses due to populist gas prices.

NBU has $19 billion of government bonds in its portfolio, which is 70 percent of the locally issued public debt securities, and $9.97 of reserves.

Bonds are a part of the tool kit for the inflation targeting policy that aims to keep the growth of consumer prices in the range of predictability. “If we wouldn’t have a war, we would already be implementing the inflation targeting,” said Gontareva, who led a major Kyiv-based bond dealer ICU before joining the NBU staff. “Under such a regime, central bank’s rate will become an effective monetary measure.”

This year, the NBU raised its key rate from 6.5 percent to 14 percent in three moves. “We want the market to think about low rates and long terms,” central bank governor added.

Changing the NBU

Copying the model of the U.S. Federal Reserve, whose Federal Open Market Committee’s meetings are a tool for guiding the financial market, Ukraine’s central bank plans to hold a big meeting on the 25th of each month.

Moreover, the regulator cuts its annual expenditure of $700 million all the way to $316 million. It is also selling BTB, a television station covering finance, and passes the Banking Business University that it manages to the Education Ministry.

Gontareva plans to cut the NBU staff by 6,000 people, while now it is an employer of up to 11,000 specialists. Central bank’s 25 regional branches will be transformed into four regional centers in Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Lviv and Odesa.


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