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U.S. Treasury chief urges IMF, World Bank to be prudent fighting pandemic By Reuters

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© Reuters. Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hearing

By Andrea Shalal and David Lawder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday urged the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to work judiciously within their existing resources to fight the coronavirus pandemic and urged G20 countries to endorse a proposed debt restructuring framework.

In a statement to the two institutions’ steering committees, Mnuchin said they needed to continue to provide financing, advice and capacity development to aid countries hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic. But as they disburse billions of dollars in emergency funds, they need to plan for transitions to normal financing arrangements, he added.

“It is critical that the World Bank manage financial resources judiciously and transparently, with clear justifications for allocations to countries with robust access to other financing sources, so as not to burden shareholders with premature calls for new financing,” Mnuchin said.

Mnuchin’s statement, which comes as the IMF and World Bank hold annual meetings this week, made no mention of calls from other countries for the Fund to issue a new allocation of Special Drawing Rights. The Treasury opposed that move, which is akin to a central bank creating hundreds of billions of dollars in new currency reserves for IMF countries.

The World Bank, which raised $13 billion in new capital from members in 2018, should target its resources where needs are highest and no additional shareholding adjustments are needed, Mnuchin said.

The Treasury chief, who oversees the dominant U.S. shareholdings in both institutions, said the IMF should fully use its existing financing tools but it may need to be more flexible in conditions it imposes on borrowing countries, including for those that need to restructure external debts.

He urged IMF leaders to keep the board updated on the adequacy of the Fund’s $1 trillion in lending capacity and to execute an expansion of its crisis lending fund.

Mnuchin said that the IMF should encourage countries with particularly difficult circumstances to move from emergency financing to traditional IMF financing programs that require structural reforms to boost growth.

“Even as the IMF deploys its resources towards crisis response, it must also remain focused on delivering on its core mandate of global economic and financial stability. In this context, we look forward to the prompt resumption of bilateral surveillance to provide much-needed policy advice,” Mnuchin said

Mnuchin also said that a new debt framework that would help low-income countries restructure debts, should be quickly endorsed by G20 countries. He said the plan, agreed in principle by G20 finance leaders, would “provide debt relief on common parameters, with equitable burden sharing that covers all private and official bilateral creditors.”

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Economy

Israeli blockchain accelerator Collider Labs raises $1m

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In the past two years the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry has shrunk considerably, and many companies have closed, but in the past couple of months there has been something of a revival in the formation of startups and in new investment in this field. This trend finds expression in Israel in the formation of a new accelerator, Collider Labs, launched this week by the founders of venture capital firm Collider Ventures.




An initial $1 million has been invested in setting up Collider Labs. The money was raised from dozens of investors, chief among them the three founding partners Ofer Rotem, Adam Benayoun, and Avishay Ovadia.

Collider says that the $1 million raised for the new accelerator is earmarked for investment in early-stage companies in pre-seed investment in amounts between $25,000 and $75,000 for each company. A first startup has already joined the accelerator – a company set up by Israeli entrepreneurs and operating from London. Collider has not so far released further details.

Ovadia, who is founding venture partner at Collider, is manager of the new accelerator. “Our model is different from that of most accelerators,” he told “Globes”. Generally, when an entrepreneur is accepted to an accelerator, he finds that he is expected to work according to a rigid work plan and a timetable dictated from above. With us, it’s quite different: we tailor a personal program for each entrepreneur, in accordance with the stage he is at, and don’t hesitate to change the program as necessary. The aim is to become genuine partners of the most talented entrepreneurs in the market, in the hope of continuing to accompany them as the ‘home investor’ even after they spread their wings and become sell-established blockchain companies.”

Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on October 22, 2020

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020




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Hapoalim shareholders elect Stanley Fischer to board

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At the conclusion of a stormy process, the shareholders of Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI) today elected Stanley Fischer and Israel Trau as “regular” directors of the bank, and Ronit Abramson-Rokach and Dalia Lev to continue as external directors. The shareholders were required to choose four out of six candidates recommended by the committee for the selection of directors in banks without a controlling core. Now that Fischer has, as expected, been elected a director of the bank, he may be tapped in the future for the role of chairman, a post currently held by Reuven Krupik.




In a statement released this evening, Fischer said, “I am pleased to join the Bank Hapoalim’s board of directors. I intend to study the bank and its activities in depth, as well as the competitive and regulatory environment , so that I can contribute from my experience to the bank and its growth.

“The Israeli banking system faces many challenges, not the least of them resulting from the coronavirus crisis. I believe that Bank Hapoalim’s management and staff will be able to meet these challenges as we move ahead in strengthening the bank for the future.”

Fischer was governor of the Bank of Israel from 2005 to 2013. During his tenure, he demanded, and ultimately obtained, the ousting of then Bank Hapoalim chairman Dan Dankner, against the wishes of Shari Arison, who was the controlling shareholder in the bank at the time and who appointed Dankner to the post. Dankner subsequently served a prison sentence after being convicted on various charges in connection with his chairmanship of Hapoalim.  Fischer is also a former chief economist of the World Bank and First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, and he was vice chairman of the US Federal Reserve Board of Governors. From 2002 to 2005 he was an executive at Citigroup.

The election of Fischer as a director could mean a change in the balance of forces on Bank Hapoalim’s board and perhaps a change in its attitude to the bank’s management.

The shareholders also approved Bank Hapoalim’s last annual report and the reappointment of KPMG Somekh-Chaikin and BDO Ziv Haft as joint auditors until the bank’s next annual general meeting.

Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on October 22, 2020

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020




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China will improve yuan flexibility, central bank governor says By Reuters

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© Reuters. Chinese Yuan banknotes are seen in this illustration

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China will seek to improve the flexibility of its yuan currency and will reduce restrictions on cross-border use of the yuan, the country’s central bank governor Yi Gang said on Saturday.

Yi was speaking at the Bund Summit conference held in Shanghai.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

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