НБУ очікує підписання нової програми співпраці з МВФ у 2020 році

Національний банк України очікує підписання нової програми співпраці з Міжнародним валютним фондом у 2020 році, йдеться в інфляційному звіті регулятора.

«Ключовим припущенням цього прогнозу є співпраця з МВФ за програмою EFF у 2018 році та підписання нової програми у 2020 році. Це дасть змогу зберегти доступ до міжнародних ринків капіталу на прогнозному горизонті», – заявили в Національному банку України.

У НБУ зазначили, що очікують отримати у 2018 році від Міжнародного валютного фонду 2 мільярди доларів.

У березні 2015 року між МВФ і Україною була затверджена чотирирічна програма розширеного фінансування на суму близько 17,5 мільярда доларів США. Наразі МВФ надав Україні за цією програмою близько 8 мільярдів 380 мільйонів доларів.

Міністерство фінансів України очікувало на надходження нового траншу кредиту МВФ на початку 2018 року. У квітні в НБУ заявили, що очікують траншу від Міжнародного валютного фонду в третьому кварталі.



Scientists Coax Plastic-Munching Enzyme to Eat Faster

Recently, the world was stunned to learn that an island of mostly plastic trash, floating in the Pacific Ocean, grew to the size of France, Germany and Spain combined. Because plastics take centuries to decompose, could civilization someday choke in it? Scientists at Britain’s University of Portsmouth say they may have found a way to speed up the decomposition of plastics. VOA’s George Putic reports.



Reports: $1B Fine for Wells Fargo for Illegal Sales

U.S. news reports say Wells Fargo will be fined as much as $1 billion for illegally selling customers car insurance policies they did not want or need, and for charging unnecessary fees in connection with mortgages.

This would be the largest fine ever imposed by federal bank regulators and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The fine is part of a settlement regulators negotiated with the bank.

Wells Fargo and federal officials have not commented on the reports.

The San Francisco-based lender admitted selling the unwanted insurance policies to hundreds of thousands of car loan customers. In many cases, the borrowers could not afford both the insurance and car payments and their cars were repossessed.

Many U.S. banks have enjoyed looser federal regulations under President Donald Trump’s pro-business administration.

But Trump denied reports that Wells Fargo would not be punished, tweeting in December that fines and penalties against the bank would, if anything, be substantially increased.

“I will cut regs but make penalties severe when caught cheating,” he wrote.

Wells Fargo previously paid a $185 million fine for opening bank and credit card accounts in its customers’ names without telling them.



US-China Trade Row Threatens Global Confidence: IMF’s Lagarde

The biggest danger from the U.S.-China trade dispute is the threat to global confidence and investment, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Thursday.

The IMF chief said the tariffs threatened by the world’s two largest economies would have a modest direct impact on the global economy but could produce uncertainty that choked off investment, one of the key drivers of rising global growth.

“The actual impact on growth is not very substantial, when you measure in terms of GDP,” Lagarde said of the tariffs, adding that the “erosion of confidence” would be worse.

“When investors do not know under what terms they will be trading, when they don’t know how to organize their supply chain, they are reluctant to invest,” she told a news conference in Washington where world financial leaders gathered for the start of the IMF and World Bank spring meetings.

In its World Economic Outlook released on Tuesday, the IMF cited 2016 research showing that tariffs or other barriers leading to a 10 percent increase in import prices in all countries would lower global output by about 1.75 percent after five years and by close to 2 percent in the long term.

In Beijing, China’s Foreign Ministry warned that the Trump administration’s tariff threats and other measures to try to force trade concessions from Beijing was a “miscalculated step” and would have little effect on Chinese industries.

In the latest escalations in the trade row, Washington said this week that it had banned U.S. companies from selling parts to Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE for seven years, while China on Tuesday announced hefty anti-dumping tariffs on imports of U.S. sorghum and measures on synthetic rubber imports from the United States, European Union and Singapore.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office also is planning to soon release a second list of Chinese imports targeted for an additional $100 billion of U.S. tariffs, tripling the amount of Chinese goods under a tariff threat.

Lagarde said the trade tensions would be a major topic of discussion among finance ministers and central bank governors at the IMF and World Bank meetings.

“My suspicion is that there will be many bilateral discussions to be had between the various parties involved,” Lagarde said, adding that the issue would also be discussed in larger sessions involving the Fund’s 189 member countries.

“Investment and trade are two key engines that are finally picking up. We don’t want to damage that,” Lagarde said.

If the tariffs go into effect, the hit to business confidence would be worldwide because supply chains are globally interconnected, she added.




Unsold Aluminum Piling Up at Russian Sanctions-Hit Rusal Factory

Russian aluminum giant Rusal is stockpiling large quantities of aluminum at one of its plants in Siberia because U.S. sanctions imposed this month have prevented it from selling the metal to customers, five sources close to the company said.

With the firm’s own storage space filling up with unsold aluminum, Rusal executives in Sayanogorsk, in southern Siberia, have had to rent out additional space to accommodate the surplus stock, one of the sources told Reuters.

“Aluminum sales have broken down. And now the surplus aluminum is being warehoused in production areas of the factory itself,” said someone who works on the grounds of one of Rusal’s two plants in Sayanogorsk.

Several people connected to Rusal said that Oleg Deripaska, the company’s main shareholder who along with the company was included on a U.S. sanctions blacklist, visited Sayanogorsk this week for a closed-door meeting with staff.

Asked if the firm was stockpiling aluminum in Sayanogorsk, a Rusal spokeswoman declined to comment.

Rusal and Deripaska were included on a U.S. sanctions blacklist this month, scaring off many of its customers, suppliers and creditors who fear they too could be hit by sanctions through association with the company.

A number of traders and customers of Rusal’s aluminum have stopped buying the firm’s products, citing the sanctions risk, and Rusal has stopped shipping some of its products for export, according to a logistics firm and a railway operator that used to carry much of its aluminum.

While shipments have stalled, Rusal cannot readily reduce its production of aluminum because the electrolysis pots that are at the heart of the manufacturing process can be irreparably damaged if they are shut down.

At Rusal’s two plants in Sayanogorsk — which together accounted last year for about a quarter of the firm’s production — aluminum is now stacking up in ad hoc stockpiles dotted around the factory grounds, the sources said.

An employee with a Rusal subsidiary described how the unsold aluminum ingots were being stored in garages in the plant. He said his company had just agreed to rent out space to Rusal so it could store more of the ingots.

A contractor at the Sayanogorsk plants said the stockpiled ingots, stacked on pallets, were building up fast. He said two days’ worth of production would fill up a five-car train, but already a week had gone by with aluminum piling up.

“Can you imagine a week?” he said. “There’s a hell of a lot there, a hell of a lot. It’s being stockpiled, it’s not being shipped.”

An electrician working for Rusal said the ingots were being squeezed into all available space.

“The storage is not quite full,” said the electrician, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal company affairs. “Something is still being loaded all the same, some stuff is being shipped.”

Deripaska, who started his metals industry career in Sayanogorsk in the 1990s, visited the town this week and held a closed-door meeting with staff, according to several people with links to Rusal.

Deripaska himself was included on the U.S. sanctions blacklist, along with Rusal and other businesses where he has a controlling stake.

Washington said it took the measure against Deripaska and others because, it said, they were profiting from a Russian state engaged in “malign activities” around the world.

Since the sanctions were imposed on April 6, Rusal’s share price has slumped, the value of its bonds has plummeted and partners around the world have distanced themselves from Deripaska and his business empire.

U.S. customers cannot do business with Rusal any more under the sanctions, while major Japanese trading houses asked Rusal to stop shipping refined aluminum and other products and are scrambling to secure metal elsewhere, industry sources said.

Rusal is encountering problems at the other end of its production cycle too, with the sanctions affecting the overseas operations that supply it with the raw materials it uses to produce metal.

Rio Tinto, which supplies bauxite to some of Rusal’s refineries and buys refined alumina, said it will declare force majeure on some contracts.

Further besieging Rusal, creditors and bond-holders are trying to offload the firm’s liabilities because many financial market players believe that to handle Rusal debt could leave them too susceptible to U.S. sanctions.



Russia Demands Compensation for US Tariffs on Aluminum, Steel

Russia demanded compensation from the U.S. for its worldwide tariffs on foreign aluminum and steel Thursday, becoming the third influential member of the World Trade Organization to do so.

China, the European Union and India have also objected, arguing the tariffs are a “safeguard” measure to protect U.S. domestic products from imports, which require compensation for major exporting countries.

The Trump administration has rejected that argument and says the tariffs are for national security reasons and are therefore allowed under international law.

The U.S. has agreed to negotiate with China and has informed the EU and India it is willing to discuss any other issue, while maintaining their compensation claims are unwarranted.

It is unclear what Moscow’s demand means in practice because it did not challenge the tariffs through a WTO appeals mechanism through which the organization’s 164 members can negotiate solutions to trade disputes.

China is the only country that has pursued that course and India has asked to be present at negotiations with the U.S. on the issue.

U.S. allies Australia, Canada, the EU, Mexico and South Korea have received temporary exemptions from the tariffs, pending negotiations with the U.S.




«Нафтогаз» затвердив оцінку вартості оператора української ГТС – майже 328 мільярдів гривень

Національна акціонерна компанія «Нафтогаз України» затвердила оцінку вартості оператора газотранспортної системи України державної компанії «Укртрансгаз» на рівні 327,9 мільярда гривень. 

Про це у Facebook повідомив заступник начальника департаменту енергоефективності НАК «Нафтогаз України» Олексій Хабатюк, опублікувавши фотокопію відповідного рішення.

«ТЮВ (очевидно, «Тимошенко Юлія Володимирівна» – ред.) майже вгадала. Тільки з валютою помилилась», – вказав чиновник.

Оцінку затверджено на підставі звіту компанії Ernst & Young.

На початку грудня 2017 року уряд оголосив початок процедури відбору міжнародних партнерів для спільного управління ГТС України.

У лютому 2018 року президент Петро Порошенко повідомив, що понад 10 всесвітньо відомих компаній заявили про бажання взяти участь у спільному управлінні українською газотранспортною системою.

«Коли ми визначимо коло компаній, які зможуть забезпечити транзит газу, забезпечити ефективну модернізацію газотранспортної мережі і забезпечать найбільшу вигоду для української держави щодо експлуатації газотранспортної системи, та й переможе. Я впевнений, що в напрямку цього зроблено дуже і дуже багато», – заявив Порошенко.