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Ukraine interest rates to hit 30 percent

Ukraine interest rates to hit 30 percent
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Ukraine’s central bank is to hike interest rates to 30 percent from 19.5.

Due to come into effect on Wednesday it is the highest rate for 15 years.

The central bank says the action is needed to control rocketing inflation and continuing currency weakness.

The hyrvnia has halved in value against other major currencies so this year.

Speaking at a media briefing Valeriia Gontareva, the chief of the Central bank, said the decision was taken because the “threat of inflation had risen strongly due to negative consequences from currency market panic”.

The bank will also extend a rule obliging companies to sell 75 percent of their foreign currency earnings, among other measures, to help stabilise the hryvnia, which Gontareva said she hoped would return to a level of 20-22 to the dollar “quickly”.

Political upheaval and destructive conflict with pro-Russian separatist rebels in the east has pushed Ukraine to the brink of bankruptcy.