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Fitch Raises Ukraine's Credit Rating, Predicts Solid Growth Next Year


International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde approved the dispersal of $1 billion in loans for Ukraine in September after a long delay.

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde approved the dispersal of $1 billion in loans for Ukraine in September after a long delay.

Fitch Ratings upgraded Ukraine's debt rating to B- from CCC on November 11, citing easing financial pressures following Kyiv's receipt of loans from the International Monetary Fund.

Fitch said it expects solid growth to return to Ukraine next year, now that the IMF released $1 billion of loans in September after a long delay due to concerns about Kyiv's implementation of reforms against corruption.

"Macroeconomic stability has improved...as reflected by rapidly declining inflation, slower currency depreciation, and a mild growth recovery," Fitch said.

Ukraine suffered a deep recession last year amid its battle against Russia-backed separatists in the country's east, with its economy contracting by 9.9 percent.

Fitch said it expects growth to accelerate to 2.5 percent in 2017 and 3 percent in 2018, from a projected 1.1 percent this year.

Inflation is expected to average 14.9 percent in 2016, down from 48.5 percent in 2015, and the central bank is working on implementing an inflation-targeting policy to cut interest rates to 5 percent by 2019.

However, "political risks remain significant," Fitch said, and the rating assumes that the conflict with separatists does not escalate.

Based on reporting by AFP and TASS
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