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IMF Says Ukraine Loan Talks Will Continue as Mission Leaves Kyiv

Volodymyr Verbyany and Daryna Krasnolutska

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The International Monetary Fund said talks over a new loan for Ukraine will continue after a mission from the lender left Kyiv without agreeing on a deal.

“The mission made significant further progress in the discussions on policies and reforms that can underpin a new IMF-supported program, including monetary, fiscal, and financial sector policies, as well as reforms to improve the business environment, strengthen the rule of law, and increase economic growth,” the Washington-based fund said Saturday in a statement.

Ukraine is seeking a new program of about $5 billion and had targeted a staff-level agreement originally in September. IMF assistance in recent years has helped underpin the economy and lure foreign investors to the government’s local bonds, with benchmark interest rates eastern Europe’s highest.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has touted market-friendly reforms that include offloading state assets, boosting economic growth to at least 5% a year and liberalizing the sale of farmland in one of the world’s biggest grain exporters.

Obstacles to a new loan have included attacks on an ex-central bank governor and uncertainty over the country’s biggest lender, Privatbank. The bank’s 2016 nationalization is being challenged by its former owners, which include a billionaire former business partner of Zelenskiy.

A Ukrainian appeal court is set to rule Dec. 19 on the legality of the state’s takeover of Privatbank after the government lost an initial case.

To contact the reporters on this story: Volodymyr Verbyany in Kiev at vverbyany1@bloomberg.net;Daryna Krasnolutska in Kiev at dkrasnolutsk@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrea Dudik at adudik@bloomberg.net, Andrew Langley, Stephen Kirkland

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