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China backs aid for Ukraine, worried by IMF funding capacity

By David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China said on Saturday it backed IMF financial support for Ukraine, but expressed concern about the global lender's funding capacity given the failure of the U.S. Congress to ratify a program of reforms for the institution. Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao told a small group of Western journalists on the sidelines of the IMF-World Bank spring meetings in Washington it was a "worry" that more than 85 percent of IMF lending was currently focused on Europe.

G20 urges US to ratify IMF reforms by year-end

The G20 pressed the United States Friday to ratify crucial IMF reforms after four years of waiting, suggesting they would find an alternative if Washington does not deliver by year-end. "We are deeply disappointed with the continued delay in progressing the IMF quota and governance reforms" agreed in 2010, the group said. "The implementation of the 2010 reforms remains our highest priority and we urge the US to ratify these reforms at the earliest opportunity," the group said.

Iran economy stabilizing, to soar if deal reached

Iran's economy is stabilizing and will post substantially stronger growth if the Islamic republic reaches a comprehensive deal with world powers on its nuclear program, the IMF said Friday. The International Monetary Fund estimates that Iran's economy shrank by 1.7 percent in 2013, the second straight year of contraction after the United States and its allies imposed sweeping sanctions.

US prods world's nations, institutions for Ukraine aid

The United States on Friday urged the international community to contribute more to Ukraine's economic rescue, stressing the "immediate" need to fund a huge IMF program for Kiev. "The United States is bolstering the IMF program through a complementary aid package, which includes a $1 billion loan guarantee and additional technical assistance," Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said in a statement to the IMF.

Britain to trumpet economic recovery

British finance minister George Osborne will later Friday hail the nation's economic recovery, one year after the International Monetary Fund had warned that his austerity policies were "playing with fire". Osborne will defend his economic policies in a key speech in Washington, where he is attending the annual World Bank/IMF spring meetings. "Our economy has grown faster than any other in the G7 over the last year and is now forecast by the IMF to do the same in 2014," he will tell the American Enterprise Institute, according to advance extracts from his speech.

IMF 'collateral' victim of US politics

The International Monetary Fund has become a "collateral" victim of US politics, preventing it from completing a sweeping funding increase and reform plan, IMF chief Christine Lagarde said Thursday. Lagarde said the Fund was still hoping the US Congress would ratify the plan, with the approval of the Fund's largest stakeholder necessary to implement it. But she acknowledged that, four years after being agreed by the Fund it has become stuck on Capitol Hill.

IMF cuts world growth outlook amid Ukraine worries

The International Monetary Fund cut its growth forecast for the global economy Tuesday, pointing to the threat from the Ukraine crisis and the slowdown in major emerging economies. The IMF said the world's two largest economies, the United States and China, continue to anchor expected growth of 3.6 percent this year and 3.9 percent in 2015. But those figures were rolled back by 0.1 percentage points from January's forecast, when the Fund was more optimistic before Ukraine plunged into crisis with an anti-government revolt and Russia's annexation of Crimea.

IMF cuts world growth outlook amid Ukraine worries

The International Monetary Fund cut its growth forecast for the global economy Tuesday, pointing to the threat from the Ukraine crisis and the slowdown in major emerging economies. The IMF said the world's two largest economies, the United States and China, continue to anchor expected growth of 3.6 percent this year and 3.9 percent in 2015. But those figures were rolled back by 0.1 percentage points from January's forecast, when the Fund was more optimistic before Ukraine plunged into crisis with an anti-government revolt and Russia's annexation of Crimea.

China's GDP growth to slow to 7.5% this year, 7.3% next

The International Monetary Fund said Tuesday China's economic growth would slow to 7.5 percent this year and 7.3 percent in 2015, avoiding a "hard landing" if the government addresses risks and undertakes reforms. Releasing its latest World Economic Outlook report, the IMF also said India, South Korea and Indonesia among broader Asian economies should benefit from an improving export environment, though Thailand's prospects remain hostage to political instability.

Eying Ukraine, IMF lowers emerging Europe growth forecast

Recovery of economies in emerging Europe will slow this year, the IMF said on Tuesday, warning that any escalation of the Ukraine crisis would weigh on the region. "Despite positive spillovers from advanced Europe, the recovery (in emerging Europe) is expected to weaken slightly in 2014," the International Monetary Fund said. The IMF revised down its 2014 growth forecast for the region to 2.4 percent from the 2.75 percent it estimated last October.
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