5 May 2010 16:35

Ukrainian public debt rises 4% to record $41.29 bln in Q1

KYIV. May 5 (Interfax) - Ukraine's public debt grew 4% or $1.605 billion to a record $41.29 billion in Q1 2010, the Finance Ministry said on its website.

The ministry has revalued the debt as of the start of this year, raising it $1.925 billion from the original $37.76 billion.

The adjustment indicates that the debt rose 61.3% or $15.086 billion last year to $38.7 billion and not, as originally estimated, by 53.5% or $13.151 billion to $37.749 billion.

The ministry did not say why it revalued the debt, but experts think it had re-qualified funds received in its IMF Special Drawing Rights (ADR) allocation. The previous Ukrainian government treated these SDR as revenue, even though they are repayable, while the new government has categorized them as budget financing in this year's budget.

The Finance Ministry said the debt in hryvnia rose 3.3% or UAH 10.335 billion in Q1 2010 to UAH 327.219 billion. The debt in national currency equivalent as of the start of this year was also revised up, to UAH 316.885 billion from UAH 301.513 billion (UAH 7.9259/$1 on May 5).

The ministry said most of the debt growth occurred in March, when the debt rose 3.7% or $1.47 billion and 2.8% or UAH 9.059 billion.

It said 62.5% of the debt consisted of foreign borrowing as of April 1, when that borrowing totaled $25.811 billion and domestic borrowing stood at $15.478 billion. The foreign debt decreased by 2.7% while the domestic debt increased by 17.6% during Q1 2010.

Direct public debt grew 6.4% during the quarter to $30.259 billion, including $16.553 billion foreign debt, down 2.8%; and $13.705 billion domestic debt, up 20.2%.

Guaranteed debt fell 2% during Q1 2010 to $11.031 billion, including a drop of 2.5% to $9.257 billion for foreign debt but a rise of 0.7% to $1.773 billion for domestic debt.