Appointment of NBU head may strengthen Ukraine's positions in talks with IMF
The appointment of a new governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) may strengthen Ukraine's positions in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), investment experts have said.
"Such a decision will put an end to current uncertainty regarding the candidacy of the head of the central bank... The official appointment may also strengthen Ukraine's positions in its intention to restart cooperation with the IMF," Vladimir Osakovsky, an economist for Russia and the CIS at the Merrill Lynch investment bank, said.
He said that since Yakiv Smolii is already a member of the board of the central bank and currently fulfils the duties of the NBU head, his approval in office inspires confidence in the continuity of the central bank's cautious monetary policy.
A similar opinion is shared by the head of research at the ICU group, Oleksandr Valchyshen.
"The current program of cooperation with the IMF is coming to an end. The Ukrainian economy is in great need of a large creditor in foreign currency, so preparations for a new round of cooperation are overdue. Against this backdrop, the existence of an approved head, rather than an acting one, would be a stronger position in talks with the fund," the expert said.
At the same time, the head of research at the Concorde Capital investment company, Oleksandr Parashchiy, believes it is premature to talk about a new program of cooperation with the IMF and about the appointment of a new NBU governor in this context.
"The president can introduce Smolii in Davos as an official candidate for the post of NBU head, but Ukraine must first resolve issues on the revision of the current cooperation program. This week we moved to this goal - the Rada adopted a law on privatization, and new initiatives were put forward to address the open question on the price of gas. It is obvious that the Ukrainian authorities will have something to talk about with IMF representatives in Davos," he said.
As reported, on January 18, 2018, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko tabled in the Verkhovna Rada draft resolutions on Valeriya Gontareva's dismissal as NBU governor and on Smolii's appointment to this post.
Gontareva tendered her resignation in April 2017. Gontareva currently remains on vacation and does not plan to return to work at the NBU.
According to the Constitution of Ukraine, the NBU head is appointed by the Verkhovna Rada on the proposal of the president for a period of seven years.