Following the completion of prior actions by the Ukrainian authorities, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will consider the review of the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) before the end of this year, IMF Mission Chief for Ukraine Thanos Arvanitis has said, the press service of the IMF Resident Representative Office in Ukraine has reported, acording to UKRINFORM.

"The authorities' letter of intent formulated by the government and the National Bank of Ukraine will now be submitted to IMF management. It is expected that following the completion of prior actions by the authorities, the Executive Board will consider the review before the end of the year," he said.

Arvanitis said that the completion of the review would release SDR 1 billion (about USD 1.6 billion), of which USD 1 billion would be provided for budget support.

"Performance under the SBA has been broadly in line with program objectives. All end-September quantitative performance criteria were met and steady progress was made on structural reforms," the IMF mission chief said.

He said that the government remained committed to fiscal consolidation aiming to bring public debt down over the medium term.

"To this end, the general government deficit in 2011 will not exceed 3.5 percent of GDP," Arvanitis added.

He said that the draft Tax Code was expected to be broadly revenue neutral in 2011. He noted that the needed adjustment to achieve the deficit target would be focused on expenditure rationalization, while preserving essential investment projects and social programs for the poorest.

"Spending pressures remain a challenge, and will require prudent execution," the IMF mission chief said.

"The banking system as a whole remains liquid and adequately capitalized. The private bank recapitalization and resolution process is broadly on track. However, restoring credit flows in the economy will require measures to address non-performing loans, which are at elevated levels, and continued efforts to strengthen the financial sector legal framework," he added.

As reported, in late July 2010, the IMF decided to resume its lending cooperation with Ukraine under a new Stand-By Arrangement worth USD 15.8 billion.

An International Monetary Fund mission visited Kyiv during November 3-15 to conduct the discussions on the first review under the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA).

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