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BANKING

Ukraine: Realities of burden sharing

Bulgaria: Has the IMF got it right in Sofia?

India: Essar's woes mark end of easy credit

Hungary: Teething troubles of pension reform


So is this what the IMF had in mind when it talked about private-sector burden sharing? The Republic of Ukraine's attempts to restructure a $155 million bond arranged by ING Barings would seem a significant step in the IMF's campaign to squeeze more accountability from private investors in crisis-hit emerging markets.

After missing the bond's redemption date on June 9, Ukraine eventually negotiated an agreement involving a partial repayment and a swap for new bonds to be issued on August 2. The new bonds will be a tap issue from the republic's existing Dm1 billion international bond maturing in February 2001.

For good measure Ukraine extended the swap offer to holders of a $500 million zero-coupon issue, which is itself the product of the restructuring of domestic treasury bills last September.

The negotiations over the ING bond restructuring were not without incident. Regent Pacific Group, which holds three-quarters of the issue, accused the IMF of "moving the goalposts" and of attempting to force a plain-vanilla restructuring.


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