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Apr 14, 2014

After success on Iran, U.S. Treasury’s sanctions team faces new challenges

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – This is what the modern American war room looks like: the clocks on the wall show the times in Kabul, Tehran and Bogota. The faces around the conference table are mostly young. There is talk of targets, and of middle-of-the-night calls to Europe.

But the meeting one recent morning convened deep within the Treasury Department, not the Pentagon. The weapons at hand were not drones or cruise missiles, but financial sanctions, aimed with similar precision at U.S. rivals’ economic interests.

Apr 14, 2014

Egypt to raise electricity prices before election -minister

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Egypt plans to boost electricity prices for the richest 20 percent of its citizens before the presidential elections at the end of May, as the country has ‘no time to waste’ in starting reforms, the planning minister said.

Ashraf al-Arabi, Egypt’s minister of planning and international cooperation, this week said the decision on raising gasoline prices will be taken “very soon,” but declined to provide further details.

Apr 13, 2014

More Russian incursions would hurt Ukraine economy – central bank

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Russia’s further incursions into eastern Ukraine would have serious macroeconomic consequences, destabilizing banks and crimping Ukraine’s national output, the central bank governor said on Sunday.

Many of Ukraine’s biggest factories and some of its agricultural production lie in the east, where pro-Russian separatists have taken up arms and occupied government buildings.

Apr 11, 2014

West Africa seeks economic integration: Liberia’s finance minister

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – West Africa is moving beyond its violent past to focus on regional economic integration, seeking to become the continent’s economic powerhouse, Liberia’s finance minister said this week.

Finance Minister Amara Konneh also said he was worried about the effect of China’s slowdown and overall market volatility on Liberia’s economy, though he did not foresee any immediate impact on planned bond sales.

Apr 11, 2014

G20 gives U.S. year-end deadline for IMF reforms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Finance chiefs from around the globe on Friday gave the United States until year-end to ratify long-delayed reforms to the International Monetary Fund and threatened to move forward without it if it fails to do so.

The inability to proceed with giving emerging markets a more powerful voice at the IMF and shoring up the lender’s resources appeared the most contentious issue for officials from the Group of 20 leading economies and the representatives for all IMF member nations who met with them.

Apr 11, 2014

Ad hoc reforms for IMF seen unlikely

WASHINGTON, April 10 (Reuters) – Global finance officials
appear inclined to give the United States more time to endorse a
series of long-delayed International Monetary Fund reforms aimed
at giving more weight to emerging economy nations, rather than
trying to implement alternative proposals to get around U.S.
intransigence.

Finance ministers gathering in Washington this weekend for
the twice-yearly meetings of the IMF are set to debate a handful
of ad hoc measures to achieve at least some of the 2010
governance overhaul for the global lender without a formal U.S.
approval.

Apr 11, 2014

Ukraine says fulfilled all conditions for first IMF tranche

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ukraine Finance Minister Oleksander Shlapak said on Thursday that Kiev has fulfilled all conditions to receive the first portion of the financial aid package from the International Monetary Fund.

“We’re here to speak in more specific terms about time and conditions of (international) support,” Shlapak told journalists on the sidelines of the World Bank-IMF spring meeting in Washington.

Apr 10, 2014

IMF tells world to do more on growth ‘marathon’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund on Thursday urged nations around the world to move ahead more quickly on policies needed to secure a stronger recovery and avoid a prolonged global slump.

In a “Global Policy Agenda” for the world’s economies, the IMF outlined a long list of tasks that remain incomplete, from reining in shadow banking risks in China to speeding up financial reforms.

Apr 8, 2014

IMF sees rich nations propelling global growth, but risks linger

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday predicted the global recovery would strengthen this year as output in richer nations picked up, but it warned of rising risks in emerging economies.

In its latest global economic snapshot, the Washington-based IMF said better policies were needed to raise the world’s productive capacity and avoid a prolonged period of sluggish growth.

Apr 2, 2014

IMF loan conditions grow despite vows to limit them: study

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of conditions the International Monetary Fund attaches to its loans has grown in recent years, despite promises to limit what critics see as onerous requirements, a study showed on Wednesday.

The European Network on Debt and Development, known as Eurodad, said nations desperate for cash were at a disadvantage in dealings with the IMF, which were likened to negotiating “at the barrel of a gun.”