UPDATED: UK Labour leader Starmer: govt must recall parliament and abandon budget

UPDATED: UK Labour leader Starmer: govt must recall parliament and abandon budget

LONDON, Sept 28 (Reuters) - British opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer said on Wednesday the government should recall parliament and abandon plans to slash taxes and ramp up borrowing which have sent financial markets into turmoil. "The government has clearly lost control of the economy ... this is self-inflicted," Starmer told Sky News. "What the government needs to do now is recall parliament and abandon this budget before any more damage is done." The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and ratings agency Moody's criticised Britain's new economic strategy, as investors braced for more havoc in bond markets that has already forced…
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IMF calls for EU fiscal capacity, rules to be linked to risk

IMF calls for EU fiscal capacity, rules to be linked to risk

BRUSSELS, Sept 5 (Reuters) - The European Union should set up a fiscal capacity to pay for EU public goods, link the pace of debt cuts to individual country risk and let independent fiscal councils play a bigger role in policy, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday. The IMF proposal is timed to coincide with the start of discussions among EU finance ministers later this week on how to adapt the EU fiscal framework to the new reality of huge public debt and large investment needs to limit climate change. The EU's fiscal rules are to safeguard the value…
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ECB, IMF call on climate standard setters to align company disclosures

ECB, IMF call on climate standard setters to align company disclosures

A global standard setter for company climate disclosures should align with European and U.S. alternatives for easier implementation across jurisdictions and to avoid fragmenting information to investors, the European Central Bank and IMF have said. The Frankfurt-based International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) has proposed global "baseline" reporting standards, which attracted over 1,300 responses just published.  The aim is for more rigorous reporting to make 'greenwashing' or inflated climate-friendly claims, harder. While widely backing the creation of global norms, many call for better definitions of key concepts, a longer phase-in, and stress the need for them to be 'interoperable' with standards being written by the European Union and U.S.…
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IMF’s Georgieva warns against ‘complacency’ on global debt problems

IMF’s Georgieva warns against ‘complacency’ on global debt problems

 (Reuters) - IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva is pushing China and other Group of 20 economies to speed up debt relief for a growing number of heavily indebted countries, warning that failure to do so could unleash a damaging "downward spiral." Georgieva told Reuters it was crucial to jumpstart the largely stalled Common Framework for debt treatments that was adopted by the G20 and the Paris Club of official creditors in October 2020 but has failed to deliver a single result thus far. "This is a topic we cannot have complacency on," she said. "If trust is eroded to a point that…
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IMF chief says ‘cannot rule out’ possible global recession

IMF chief says ‘cannot rule out’ possible global recession

 (Reuters) - The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the outlook for the global economy had "darkened significantly" since April and she could not rule out a possible global recession next year given the elevated risks. IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told Reuters the fund would downgrade in coming weeks its 2022 forecast for 3.6% global economic growth for the third time this year, adding that IMF economists were still finalizing the new numbers. The IMF is expected to release its updated forecast for 2022 and 2023 in late July, after slashing its forecast by nearly a full percentage point…
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Crisis-hit Ghana changes its mind and turns to IMF for help

Crisis-hit Ghana changes its mind and turns to IMF for help

ACCRA, July 1 (Reuters) - Ghana, one of West Africa's largest economies, will hold formal talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a support package, the government said on Friday, after hundreds took to the streets to protest against mounting hardship. The cabinet gave its support for the decision at a meeting on Thursday, following a phone conversation between President Nana Akufo-Addo and IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. Ghana, a gold, cocoa and oil producer, has until now refused to seek IMF support to rescue an economy crippled by the pandemic, rampant inflation and a depreciating currency, despite analysts warning it…
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World Bank, IMF, WTO leaders urge quick action on action plan to address food security

World Bank, IMF, WTO leaders urge quick action on action plan to address food security

The leaders of the International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization and the World Bank called for quick work on a new action plan on food security to be prepared by international financial institutions. "It is truly pressing to get it to move so we avoid people dying unnecessarily," IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told an event held as part of the spring meetings of the IMF and the World Bank. World Bank President David Malpass said one critical step would be to get greater transparency about countries' food stockpiles to help markets function better.
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IMF warns Russia sanctions threaten to chip away at dollar dominance – FT

IMF warns Russia sanctions threaten to chip away at dollar dominance – FT

March 31 (Reuters) - Financial sanctions imposed on Russia threaten to gradually dilute the dominance of the U.S. dollar and could result in a more fragmented international monetary system, Gita Gopinath, IMF's First Deputy Managing Director, told The Financial Times. Russia has been hit with a plethora of sanctions from the United States and its allies for its late-February invasion of Ukraine. Russia has called the invasion a 'special operation' to disarm its neighbour. "The dollar would remain the major global currency even in that landscape but fragmentation at a smaller level is certainly quite possible," Gopinath told the newspaper in an…
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Climate-related disasters pose ‘major’ growth threat in Middle East, Central Asia – IMF

Climate-related disasters pose ‘major’ growth threat in Middle East, Central Asia – IMF

WASHINGTON, March 30 (Reuters) - The frequency and severity of climate-related disasters are rising faster in the Middle East and Central Asia than anywhere in the world, posing a "major threat" to growth and prosperity, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said. A new International Monetary Fund paper showed that climate disasters in the region injured and displaced 7 million people in an average year, causing more than 2,600 deaths and $2 billion in physical damage. "Droughts in North Africa, Somalia and Iran. Epidemics and locust infestations in the Horn of Africa. Severe floods in the Caucasus and Central Asia. The list of…
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Russia’s war in Ukraine may ‘fundamentally alter’ global economic, political order – IMF

Russia’s war in Ukraine may ‘fundamentally alter’ global economic, political order – IMF

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Russia's invasion of Ukraine will affect the entire global economy by slowing growth and jacking up inflation, and could fundamentally reshape the global economic order in the longer term, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said. Beyond the human suffering and historic refugee flows, the war is boosting prices for food and energy, fuelling inflation and eroding the value of incomes, while disrupting trade, supply chains and remittances in countries neighbouring Ukraine, the IMF said in a post on its website. It is also eroding business confidence and triggering uncertainty among investors that will depress asset prices, tighten financial conditions…
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IMF agrees to give Moldova more financial support after refugee influx

IMF agrees to give Moldova more financial support after refugee influx

CHISINAU, March 11 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund will increase financial support to Moldova to help it withstand the extra pressure created by the arrival of over 270,000 refugees from Ukraine, an IMF representative said on Friday. Speaking at a joint news conference with Moldova's prime minister, IMF mission chief to Moldova Ruben Atoyan said discussions on the amount of support were underway with the government. The funds will be in addition to the $590.6 million aid package the Fund approved for Moldova in December, when it disbursed a first tranche of around $84 million to support reforms in one of…
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IMF backs ECB’s easy policy as it sees inflation easing

IMF backs ECB’s easy policy as it sees inflation easing

FRANKFURT, Feb 17 (Reuters) - The European Central Bank has been right to maintain its easy money policy as inflation is set to fall after "transient boosts" from supply snags that may extend into next year, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday. Backing from her former employer was likely to bring some relief to ECB President Christine Lagarde as she struggles to persuade investors that she is not about to jack up interest rates in the face of record inflation.  The Washington-based institution said past data suggested that wages in the euro zone would rise only modestly and that inflation, which…
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Greece to repay last IMF loans by March, achieve primary surplus in 2023-FinMin

Greece to repay last IMF loans by March, achieve primary surplus in 2023-FinMin

ATHENS, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Greece will repay the final tranches of bailout loans owed to the International Monetary Fund by the end of March, two years ahead of schedule, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras told Reuters on Monday. The country, which received more than 260 billion euros in bailout loans from the European Union and the IMF during its decade-long financial crisis, has relied solely on bond markets for its financing needs since exiting its third bailout in 2018. Since then, it has also made several early repayments to the IMF and now owes 1.9 billion euros ($2.15 billion) in…
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IMF says euro zone should keep supporting economy, high inflation is temporary

IMF says euro zone should keep supporting economy, high inflation is temporary

Euro zone governments should continue to spend to support the COVID-19 economic recovery, though in an increasingly focused way, and consolidate public finances only when it is firmly under way, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday. In a regular report on the euro zone economy presented to the group's finance ministers, the IMF noted, however, that while consolidation itself could wait, a credible way of how it would be done in the future should be announced already now. "Policies should remain accommodative but become increasingly targeted, with a focus on mitigating potential rises in inequality and poverty," the IMF…
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IMF chief says Omicron could dent global economic growth

IMF chief says Omicron could dent global economic growth

The International Monetary Fund is likely to lower its global economic growth estimates due to the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the global lender's chief said at the Reuters Next conference in another sign of the turmoil unleashed by the ever-changing pandemic. Omicron has spread rapidly to at least 40 countries since it was first reported in South Africa last week, officials say, and many governments have tightened travel rules to try to keep it out. "A new variant that may spread very rapidly can dent confidence, and in that sense, we are likely to see some downgrades of…
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IMF cuts global growth outlook as supply bottlenecks hobble pandemic recovery

IMF cuts global growth outlook as supply bottlenecks hobble pandemic recovery

Persistent supply chain disruptions and pricing pressures are constraining the global economy's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday as it cut growth outlooks for the United States and other major industrial powers. In its World Economic Outlook, the IMF trimmed its 2021 global growth forecast to 5.9% from the 6.0% forecast it made in July. It left a 2022 global growth forecast unchanged at 4.9%. "This modest headline revision, however, masks large downgrades for some countries," the IMF said in the report. "The outlook for the low-income developing country group has darkened considerably due to worsening pandemic dynamics. The downgrade also reflects more difficult…
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Georgieva’s future at helm of IMF still unclear after marathon board meeting

Georgieva’s future at helm of IMF still unclear after marathon board meeting

The International Monetary Fund's executive board ended a five-hour meeting about the future of Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva without a decision on Friday, saying it would seek more information about claims she pressured World Bank staff to alter data to benefit China in her previous role. The IMF said the board had made "significant progress" in its review of the World Bank data-rigging scandal, but agreed to request "more clarifying details with a view to very soon concluding its consideration of the matter." It was not immediately clear if the board would meet again before the start of next week's…
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IMF’s Georgieva accuses former World Bank President Kim’s office of manipulation

IMF’s Georgieva accuses former World Bank President Kim’s office of manipulation

IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva criticized as "false and spurious" the findings of an independent probe into allegations that as World Bank head she pressured staff to manipulate data to make China's business climate appear more favorable. In a statement she plans to present to the executive board of the International Monetary Fund, Georgieva also accused the office of the World Bank's past president, Jim Kong Kim, of manipulation. She said she intervened to block a proposal from a member of Kim's staff to include Hong Kong data in China's ranking in the World Bank's Doing Business 2018 report, which would…
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IMF lauds Malta’s bold response to Covid, calls for urgent action towards exit from grey-list

IMF lauds Malta’s bold response to Covid, calls for urgent action towards exit from grey-list

The International Monetary Fund expressed positive feedback on what it describes as Malta's "swift and bold response" to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement, the Fund said that economic growth is expected to gain momentum in the coming months, although uncertainty remains high and downside risks cloud the outlook. It insisted that coordinated policy support should continue until the recovery firmly takes hold, balancing near-term growth with long-term stability while pursuing structural reforms to strengthen the economy’s resilience. While noting recent progress in strengthening the AML/CFT framework, the IMF called for urgent action to address the remaining deficiencies in the…
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IMF chief called out over pressure to favor China while at World Bank

IMF chief called out over pressure to favor China while at World Bank

World Bank leaders, including then-Chief Executive Kristalina Georgieva, applied "undue pressure" on staff to boost China's ranking in the bank's "Doing Business 2018" report, according to an independent investigation released Thursday. The report, prepared by law firm WilmerHale at the request of the bank's ethics committee, raises concerns about China's influence at the World Bank, and the judgment of Georgieva - now managing director of the International Monetary Fund - and then-World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. Georgieva said she disagreed "fundamentally with the findings and interpretations" of the report and had briefed the IMF's executive board. The World Bank…
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IMF sees “critical role” as world transitions to digital money

IMF sees “critical role” as world transitions to digital money

The International Monetary Fund must ramp up its resources as it seeks to "monitor, advise on, and help manage this far-reaching and complex transition" to digital money, according to an IMF paper published this week. Digital money can make payments more accessible, faster and cheaper, the paper said. But to make that happen, policymakers must step up to key challenges: digital cash must be trustworthy, must protect domestic economic and financial stability, and the stability of the international monetary system should remain. "The Fund has a critical role to play to help its members harness the benefits and manage the…
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Malta: IMF calls for tapering of business support measures

Malta: IMF calls for tapering of business support measures

Most of the Covid-19 support measures are set to expire by the end of 2021, and according to a report by the International Monetary Fund, as economic growth gains momentum, the authorities should prepare a plan for tapering support measures, including adjusting their size and eligibility criteria. Unwinding of support measures will need to be carefully managed and well-coordinated between fiscal and financial sector policies to avoid “cliff effects” that could derail the recovery, the IMF said. "If health risks reemerge or the recovery falters, some support measures may need to be extended, refocusing on sectors and people that are…
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IMF urges countries to shift from economic rescue to reforms

IMF urges countries to shift from economic rescue to reforms

The International Monetary Fund's No. 2 official on Tuesday called on countries to pivot from saving their economies from collapse to reviving growth-oriented policy reforms to boost their recovery prospects and make them more sustainable. IMF First Deputy Managing Director Geoffrey Okamoto said in a blog posting on the IMF website that the COVID-19 pandemic delayed and reversed some pro-growth reforms and restoring these can help make up for output lost during the pandemic. Reforms that allow for faster restructurings and resolution of unviable businesses and labor policies to help retrain workers and line them up with job openings can help shift workers and capital to more promising,…
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Backing grows for new IMF COVID and climate fund

Backing grows for new IMF COVID and climate fund

Plans for a new IMF "Resilience and Sustainability" fund that would expand its support to dozens more vulnerable countries gained key international backing on Thursday ahead of crucial meetings. IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva this month proposed the new trust to allow rich countries to channel some of their new IMF reserves to poor and middle-income counterparts ravaged by COVID or climate change. "This is something we certainly support" said Lars Jensen, a senior economist on the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the author of a new report on how the IMF's new funding should be directed. The UNDP estimates…
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IMF sees Greek economy growing 3.3% in 2021, boosted by EU funds, tourism

IMF sees Greek economy growing 3.3% in 2021, boosted by EU funds, tourism

The Greek economy should grow by 3.3% this year and 5.4% in 2022, fuelled by European recovery fund investment, pent-up consumer demand and an expected return of tourism, International Monetary Fund officials said. The forecasts, issued following a regular IMF staff visit to Greece, represent a slight cut in the fund’s previous 3.8% forecast for 2021 issued in April but an increase in the previous 5% forecast for next year. The estimates, which follow an 8.2% contraction in Greek GDP in 2020, are slightly below Greece’s own forecasts for 3.6% growth this year and 6.2% growth in 2022. The IMF…
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Tunisia to propose wage, subsidy cuts in IMF talks

Tunisia to propose wage, subsidy cuts in IMF talks

Tunisia will cut its public sector wage bill and replace subsidies with direct support for the needy, according to a government reform proposal written to support talks with the International Monetary Fund and seen by Reuters. The proposal, shown to Reuters by a government source, envisages eliminating all general subsidies by 2024 and cutting the wage bill to 15% of GDP by 2022 from 17.4% last year, partly through early retirement and reductions in working hours. A Tunisian government delegation led by the finance minister is starting talks with the IMF this week and will seek $4 billion in loans,…
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Tunisia has asked for IMF finance programme amidst ailing economy

Tunisia has asked for IMF finance programme amidst ailing economy

TUNIS, April 25 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund said that Tunisia asked it for a financing programme on April 19 and that the government is talking to partners such as the unions about the priorities of an economic programme needed to revive the country's ailing economy. The fund said in a letter signed by Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva to prime minister Hichem Mechichi and seen by Reuters that it would assign a delegation to conduct technical talks with Tunisia when it receives more information about the reform programme. (Reporting by Tarek Amara; Editing by Hugh Lawson)
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IMF warns on rising debt risks in virus-hit Middle East, Central Asia

IMF warns on rising debt risks in virus-hit Middle East, Central Asia

The International Monetary Fund said countries in the Middle East and Central Asia need to curb their financing requirements, as a surge in government debt, exacerbated by the pandemic, threatens recovery prospects. The region, which includes around 30 countries from Mauritania to Kazakhstan, saw an economic rebound in the third quarter as countries relaxed measures to contain the new coronavirus. But the outlook remains highly uncertain and recovery paths will diverge depending on the speed of vaccinations, reliance on heavily impacted sectors, such as tourism, and countries’ fiscal policy. “Recovery has started, but recovery has started in an uneven, uncertain…
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66 new cases and 44 recoveries reported Malta News Briefing – Sunday 11 April 2021

66 new cases and 44 recoveries reported Malta News Briefing – Sunday 11 April 2021

Covid19 Update Malta's health authorities have reported 66 new coronavirus cases. There were 44 recoveries. https://www.facebook.com/sahhagovmt/posts/317227819995768 Political Speech by PM Abela A summer of tourism will be crucial for Malta's economic recovery, and in turn a cautious reopening will be necessary to allow this, Prime Minister Robert Abela warned. During an interview on the Labour Party-owned TV station ONE, Abela admitted that the economy could face serious problems if Malta loses out on another summer of tourist activity. He explained that by focusing on three priority areas during the relaxation of COVID-19 preventive measures, Malta will be en route to…
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IMF chief worried about middle-income countries, urges expanded definition of ‘vulnerable’

IMF chief worried about middle-income countries, urges expanded definition of ‘vulnerable’

The head of the International Monetary Fund said she would discuss with IMF members whether they back offering low- and no-interest financing to middle-income countries hit hard by the pandemic, not just the poorest countries. Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said she was concerned about tourism-dependent and other middle-income countries that had weaker fundamentals and high-debt levels, even before the pandemic, and generally backed adoption of a broader definition of what makes a country "vulnerable." The IMF's Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust can currently only lend to the poorest countries, which limits the ability of developing countries with higher income levels…
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IMF sees stronger global growth as some COVID clouds begin to clear

IMF sees stronger global growth as some COVID clouds begin to clear

The International Monetary Fund said unprecedented public spending to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily by the United States, would push global growth to 6% this year, a rate unseen since the 1970s. The IMF raised its 2021 growth forecast from 5.5% less than three months ago, reflecting a rapidly brightening outlook for the U.S. economy, which the IMF now sees growing by 6.4% in 2021 -- the fastest since the early 1980s. The U.S. forecast was raised by 1.3 percentage points from the IMF’s 5.1% 2021 projection in late January and nearly double the rate it estimated last October. IMF…
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Euro zone banks have enough capital to withstand pandemic hit -IMF

Euro zone banks have enough capital to withstand pandemic hit -IMF

Euro zone banks have enough capital to withstand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and finance the economic recovery, even though they are highly exposed to sectors hard hit by the coronavirus, the International Monetary Fund said. "While the pandemic will significantly deplete banks' capital, their buffers are sufficiently large to withstand the likely impact of the crisis," the IMF said in a study. "With the right policies, banks will be able to support the recovery with new lending." The IMF said that based on its January 2021 projections, banks in the 19 countries sharing the euro would stay broadly…
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Turkey’s economy to grow by 6% in 2021 – IMF

Turkey’s economy to grow by 6% in 2021 – IMF

WASHINGTON, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Turkey's economy will grow by about 6% in 2021, before settling back to a growth rate of about 3.5% annually from 2022, International Monetary Fund staff said on Monday, but they urged Ankara to deploy additional targeted stimulus to address COVID-19 pandemic needs. The 6% GDP growth projection in the preliminary findings of the IMF's annual review of Turkey's economy compare with a previous 2021 growth projection of 5% for Turkey issued in October as part of the IMF's last World Economic Outlook. The IMF plans on Tuesday to issue new projections for the WEO, which had previously estimated…
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IMF warns Coronavirus crisis could tip 90 million into ‘extreme deprivation’

IMF warns Coronavirus crisis could tip 90 million into ‘extreme deprivation’

More than 90 million people could be forced into "extreme deprivation" this year as developing and emerging economies are hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned. In its latest World Economic Outlook, the world's lender of last resort predicts the pandemic will undo decades of progress in reducing global inequality and poverty, leaving the poorest nations worst affected. The report forecasts a global contraction in gross domestic product (GDP) of -4.4% in 2020, slightly more positive than its last forecast in June, followed by a recovery of 5.2% in 2021, leaving global output smaller…
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Climate change is a serious threat to global growth – IMF

Climate change is a serious threat to global growth – IMF

Climate change poses a serious threat to global growth, the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Monday, urging the world's top emitters to agree on a floor for carbon prices. IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told finance ministers meeting on climate change that countries should also ensure that green investments are included in the money they are spending to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its economic impact. Doing so, she said, could boost global gross domestic product by 0.7% on average in the first 15 years of the recovery. "Even while we are in the midst of…
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Invest aid funds selectively to overcome crisis – IMF

Invest aid funds selectively to overcome crisis – IMF

Governments need to invest aid funds more selectively to overcome the coronavirus crisis in the long term, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said. They also need to make sure that public procurement is transparent and competitive so as to not lose the trust of citizens, Georgieva said at an Austrian economic forum, which she joined online. "Countries will have to be more selective as to who they support," Georgieva said, listing digital businesses and those that can profit from green climate policy as examples of potentially successful investments. "Up to now we support everybody." More than 100 countries…
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IMF says $10 trillion spent to combat pandemic, far more needed

IMF says $10 trillion spent to combat pandemic, far more needed

Governments around the world have spent $10 trillion in fiscal actions to respond to the novel coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout, but significant further efforts are needed, the head of the International Monetary Fund said. New estimates suggested that up to 100 million people could fall into extreme poverty as a result of the crisis, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said, noting this would erase the past three years of gains made in poverty reduction. The disease has infected nearly 7.4 million people around the world and 415,545 have died. The World Bank this week forecast the coronavirus would…
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Another dire forecast by IMF

Another dire forecast by IMF

The head of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, warned on Friday that economic forecasts could be revised down even further. The IMF’s April projection for a 3% contraction in the global economy would mark the steepest downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. A continuing trade war between the US and China could jeopardize a recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, she added. With no immediate medical solutions, more adverse scenarios might unfortunately materialise for some economies... It is the unknown about the behaviour of this virus that is clouding the horizon for projections,” said Georgieva. On Friday, Georgieva…
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IMF head calls for Brexit trade talk extension

IMF head calls for Brexit trade talk extension

The IMF has suggested the UK and the EU should "not to add to uncertainty" from coronavirus by refusing to extend the period to negotiate a post-Brexit trade deal. Managing director Kristalina Georgieva, when asked what she thought about the prospect of no trade deal this year and no extension to talks, told the BBC that because of the "unprecedented uncertainty" arising from the pandemic it would be "wise not to add more on top of it". "I really hope that all policymakers everywhere would be thinking about [reducing uncertainty]. It is tough as it is, let's not make it…
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IMF says Asia will suffer zero economic growth this year

IMF says Asia will suffer zero economic growth this year

Asia’s economic growth this year will grind to a halt for the first time in 60 years, as the coronavirus crisis takes an “unprecedented” toll on the region’s service sector and major export destinations, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday. Asia’s economy is likely to suffer zero growth this year for the first time in 60 years, the IMF said in a report on the Asia-Pacific region released on Thursday. While Asia is set to fare better than other regions suffering economic contractions, the projection is worse than the 4.7% average growth rates throughout the global financial crisis, and…
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World facing worst recession since the Great Depression – IMF

World facing worst recession since the Great Depression – IMF

The world is heading for the deepest economic slump since the Great Depression, with Britain set to experience the biggest recession in a century, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned. In its latest forecasts for the world economy, the IMF said that the world economy would shrink by 3% this year - a bigger contraction than the -0.1% in 2009 and, according to IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath, likely the "worst recession since the Great Depression". Referring to the fight against COVID-19 as "The Great Lockdown", the Fund also pointed out that the recession could be even deeper than…
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Malta: Failure to fight money-laundering ‘could threaten financial stability’ – IMF

Malta: Failure to fight money-laundering ‘could threaten financial stability’ – IMF

Failure to tackle “significant” deficiencies in Malta’s anti-money laundering regime could potentially threaten financial stability, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned. In its annual assessment of Malta’s economic wellbeing, the IMF charted how a failure to make a dent on shortcomings identified by Moneyval, the Council of Europe’s anti-money laundering body, could have a serious economic impact if the country ends up being grey listed. Source: Times of Malta Updated 16.15pm
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IMF calls for stronger financial integrity and operational independence in Maltese financial services regulation

IMF calls for stronger financial integrity and operational independence in Maltese financial services regulation

Fund welcomes Government’s measures aimed at limiting and containing the adverse social and economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak In its assessment of Malta’s economic and financial performance, the International Monetary Fund has once again warned the Maltese authorities to up their game in safeguarding the integrity of its financial markets, urging them to address deficiencies related to money laundering. The Fund also calls for a strengthening of the MFSA as financial services regulator, most importantly by recommending its operational independence. The report puts its lens on a growing trend among Maltese businesses, that were inter-company lending is gradually displacing…
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IMF predicts global growth to increase from 2.9 percent to 3.3 percent in 2020

IMF predicts global growth to increase from 2.9 percent to 3.3 percent in 2020

The IMF predicts that the global growth is expected to increase modestly from 2.9 percent in 2019 to 3.3 percent in 2020 and 3.4 percent in 2021. Trade policy uncertainty, geopolitical tensions, and idiosyncratic stress in key emerging market economies continued to weigh on global economic activity—especially manufacturing and trade—in the second half of 2019. Intensifying social unrest in several countries posed new challenges, as did weather-related disasters—from hurricanes in the Caribbean, to drought and bushfires in Australia, floods in eastern Africa, and drought in southern Africa. The projected recovery for global growth remains uncertain. The slight downward revision of…
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IMF lauds Malta’s economic growth but warns of dependency on foreign workers while highlighting anti-money laundering deficiencies

IMF lauds Malta’s economic growth but warns of dependency on foreign workers while highlighting anti-money laundering deficiencies

In a wide-ranging assessment of the Maltese economic and financial sector, the International Monetary Fund has praised Malta’s rapid economic growth, job creation and social cohesion. At the same time it highlighted a number of challenges which should be addressed in a timely manner by the authorities to ensure the sustainability of such growth in the medium to longer term. In the conclusions of its annual mission to Malta, the IMF lauds the country’s efforts to reduce its debt burden and  to attract more women and elderly workers to the employment market. It also highlights the banking’s sector capitalisation and…
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Lebanon asks the IMF for help

Lebanon asks the IMF for help

  As Lebanon’s government grapples with an economic crisis that has fueled increasingly violent protests, the heavily indebted country must urgently decide on how to deal with fast-approaching debt payments, including a $1.2 billion Eurobond due on March 9. “We have recently received a request from the Lebanese authorities to offer advice and technical expertise on the macroeconomic challenges facing the economy,” IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said in a statement. He said the IMF regularly provides advice to its member countries on policies and reforms to restore economic stability and promote growth. The IMF statement made no mention of financial…
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IMF boss says global economy risks return of Great Depression

IMF boss says global economy risks return of Great Depression

The head of the International Monetary Fund has warned that the global economy risks a return of the Great Depression, driven by inequality and financial sector instability. Speaking at the Peterson Institute of International Economics in Washington, Kristalina Georgieva said new IMF research, which compares the current economy to the “roaring 1920s” that culminated in the great market crash of 1929, revealed that a similar trend was already under way. While the inequality gap between countries had closed in the last two decades, it had increased within countries, she said, singling out the UK for particular criticism. She added: “In…
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Unemployment fuels unrest in Arab states: IMF

Unemployment fuels unrest in Arab states: IMF

Unemployment and sluggish economic growth are fuelling social tension and popular protests in several Arab countries, the International Monetary Fund said Monday. The unrest is in turn contributing to slower growth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, alongside global trade tensions, oil price volatility and a disorderly Brexit process, the IMF said in a report on the regional economic outlook. Earlier this month it lowered the 2019 forecast for the region -- taking in the Arab nations and Iran -- to a meagre 0.1 percent from 1.1 percent last year. The IMF slashed its outlook for the…
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Boris Johnson to lobby for Osborne’s candidature for IMF

Boris Johnson to lobby for Osborne’s candidature for IMF

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will lobby for former Chancellor George Osborne to be the next leader of the International Monetary Fund at this weekend's G7 summit, according to a U.K. official. Downing Street wants to nominate a candidate to replace Christine Lagarde as IMF managing director and, while Osborne has not been announced as the preferred choice, an official familiar with the government's strategy said Johnson would have discussions at the G7 about his potential candidacy. Via POLITICO  
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IMF recommends scrapping age limit for Georgieva

IMF recommends scrapping age limit for Georgieva

  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said its executive board recommended the removal of the age limit for its managing director, a move needed for European nominee, the Bulgarian Kristalina Georgieva to be approved for the job. The IMF said its 24-member executive board recommended that the change be approved by the IMF board of governors, which includes representatives from all 189 member countries. It would bring the IMF in line with the World Bank Group, which has no leadership age limit. IMF rules currently require that managing directors be under 65 at the time they take office and cannot…
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Bulgarian Kristalina Georgieva selected by EU for IMF top job

Bulgarian Kristalina Georgieva selected by EU for IMF top job

Kristalina Georgieva, the Bulgarian chief executive of the World Bank, has been picked as Europe's choice to lead the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after a divisive 14-hour round of voting that split EU capitals and descended into fierce recriminations. The governments picked their candidate after two rounds of voting and prolonged negotiations. Georgieva defeated Dutch candidate Jeroen Dijsselbloem to get the backing of the 28 EU member states. Georgieva has been chief executive of the World Bank since 2017. EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker congratulated Georgieva saying she had all the qualifications to lead the IMF. Other world powers are…
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IMF European leadership hopefuls narrowed to three

IMF European leadership hopefuls narrowed to three

The EU has narrowed down its field of candidates to replace Christine Lagarde at the IMF to three names as European negotiators rush to secure a consensus on who should be the next managing director of the fund. On Friday, the French finance ministry, which is leading negotiations on behalf of the EU, shortlisted five European names for the job but failed to reach a consensus on any candidate. Of the five, Mário Centeno, Portugal’s current eurogroup chair, and Nadia Calviño, Spain’s finance minister, have now been ruled out, according to two senior officials briefed by French negotiators. That leaves Jeroen Dijsselbloem,…
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Acting IMF chief backs monetary easing by central banks in view of slow growth and global risks

Acting IMF chief backs monetary easing by central banks in view of slow growth and global risks

David Lipton, the acting IMF chief, has backed new monetary stimulus by the world’s top central banks to sustain the flagging global economy — in a thinly veiled nod to the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank as they consider easing policy. In an interview with the Financial Times as G7 finance ministers and central bankers prepare to meet this week in France, Mr Lipton said that “in light of sluggish growth and downside risks, it makes sense for monetary policy in the major central banks to remain accommodative”. The IMF in April downgraded its forecast for global…
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Midday Dispatch – Corporate and Financial News

Midday Dispatch – Corporate and Financial News

Inbound tourist trips in Malta, for the first five months of 2019 amounted to 929,979, an increase of 2.8 per cent over the same period in 2018. Total tourism expenditure was estimated at €648.1 million, 3.2 per cent higher than that recorded for 2018. Total expenditure per capita stood at €697, an increase of 0.4 per cent when compared to 2018. NSO  China’s Huawei Technologies will invest $3.1 billion in Italy over the next three years, the chief executive of the telecoms giant’s Italian unit, Thomas Miao, said on Monday. Speaking at an event in Milan, Miao said Huawei would add…
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George Osborne’s ambitions to run IMF

George Osborne’s ambitions to run IMF

George Osborne is considering putting his name forward to replace Christine Lagarde as the head of the International Monetary Fund, according to reports, a move that would see him become the first Briton to lead the Washington-based body. The former chancellor – and current Evening Standard editor – has told allies he would be well suited to succeed Lagarde, the Financial Times reported, after she was picked to lead the European Central Bank this week. Three years ago, Osborne  was unceremoniously sacked as chancellor in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, facing a barrage of criticism over a botched campaign…
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Euro zone remains at risk – IMF

Euro zone remains at risk – IMF

The euro zone remains at risk of being hit by debt-crisis-style country-specific shocks, the head of the International Monetary Fund’s European department said on Friday. “Risk to the euro area’s stability arising from country-specific shocks, risks that were so violently displayed in the euro zone crisis, remain very serious,” the IMF’s Poul Thomsen said in a speech at the London School of Economics. Euronews reports that Thomsen said that this concern is driven by low potential growth rates and high structural unemployment due to a lack of reforms, and had not taken sufficient advantage of several years of relatively robust…
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Fintech is putting the business model of banks and insurance under threat – Christine Lagarde

Fintech is putting the business model of banks and insurance under threat – Christine Lagarde

Global policymakers are wary of fintechs' increasing dominance in mobile payments, as they rethink ways to regulate the banking system. They fear that the stability of the whole economic system might be at risk, as fintechs threaten to disrupt the centuries-old financial industry. The business model of banks and insurance companies is under threat as the growth of service providers and startups ("fintechs") is offering customers easier and more intuitive access to financial services. DW, reports that Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), warned Saturday that the increasing use of big data and artificial intelligence by…
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