Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk and Finance Minister Natalia Yaresko in Kiev (Reuters)
Ukraine failed to convince its biggest creditors to significantly reduce its debt obligations during a ‘last chance’ two-day negotiation in San Francisco, California. The delegation from Kiev hoped to restructure some $19 billion in debt.
The Ukrainian delegation was headed up by Illinois-born Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko. Meanwhile, the creditors were represented by Franklin Templeton Investments, which holds about $8.9 billion worth of Ukrainian debt in the form of bonds.
The two sides said they had conducted “detailed discussions” in the city, but no progress has reportedly been achieved.
Even though there have been no official statements concerning the negotiations, Ukraine had previously asked for a 40 percent debt write-off, Bloomberg cited sources as saying. Reportedly, Franklin Templeton Investments was only willing to offer a 5 percent reduction to bond principal conditional on economic performance. Ukraine described the talks near Templeton’s headquarters as the “final opportunity” to agree on something prior to next month’s due date for $500 million worth of bonds.
Even lobbying by influential US hedge fund billionaire George Soros, who recently had an article published in the Wall Street Journal titled ‘Ukraine Deserves Debt Relief,’ did not seem to make an impact. […]