: Bloomberg: IMF-sized hole too big for Ukraine's central bank to fill

13:42 Aug. 5, 2016

Bloomberg: IMF-sized hole too big for Ukraine's central bank to fill

A bank worker rolls up uncut sheets of ten and one hryvnia banknotes at the headquarters of the National Bank of Ukraine in Kyiv, Ukraine, March 22, 2016 (Vincent Mundy/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Bailout delays slowing efforts to rebuild financial defences

Hold-ups in Ukraine's USD 17.5 billion bailout have left the central bank treading a lonely path to rebuild the nation's financial defenses. While foreign reserves are creeping up, the former Soviet republic isn't out of the woods yet.

Read also IMF announces further delay in Ukraine bailout

Ukraine sealed an International Monetary Fund rescue last year to shore up the economy after political and economic shocks ravaged its stash of gold and currencies, as well as the hryvnia. Since then, only USD 6.6 billion has reached Kiev, with disbursements on hold for a year because of government wrangling and delays in reforms.

The central bank has plugged some of the gap by buying dollars on the market: reserves have advanced beyond three months of imports - a key threshold for economists determining a nation's financial health. While a Bloomberg survey predicts they'll swell to billion by year-end, that's well short of the USD 20 billion they could have reached with the IMF on board, according to investment bank Dragon Capital.

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