Today, the European Commission, on behalf of the EU, disbursed €260 million to Ukraine as part of the EU Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) for the country.
This loan disbursement adds to the €600 million disbursed earlier this year under the two ongoing EU MFA programmes. Following today’s disbursement, €750 million remain available under the two current programmes for Ukraine.
The objective of the MFA programmes is to support Ukraine financially in the current difficult situation the Ukrainian economy is going through, while encouraging structural reforms that will improve governance, raise sustainable economic growth and legislative harmonisation with the EU. Specifically, the EU's MFA supports a programme of reforms in the areas of public finance management and anti-corruption, trade and taxation, the energy sector and the financial sector.
Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici said: "This disbursement is a further concrete sign of Europe's solidarity with the Ukrainian people. We are helping the country address its urgent financing needs, while supporting an ambitious process of reforms to stabilise the economy and create the conditions for sustainable growth and employment in Ukraine."
The funding for today's disbursement was raised by the European Commission on the financial markets on 5 November, when a €660 million benchmark bond was issued with 15-years maturity, and with yields at around 1.5%. These funds were also used to finance a European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism (EFSM) loan to Portugal.
Financial assistance to Ukraine
The EU MFA loan support for Ukraine currently amounts to €1.61 billion. Two disbursements were made earlier this year: €100 million on 20 May and €500 million on 17 June. Further disbursements of €500 million and €250 million are intended to be made by the end of the year and by spring 2015, respectively, provided Ukraine shows satisfactory progress with the accompanying reforms. The assistance is part of a wider package of support for Ukraine announced by the European Commission on 5 March and endorsed by EU leaders at the European Council on 6 March 2014.
MFA is an exceptional EU crisis-response instrument available to the EU's neighbouring partner countries experiencing severe balance of payments problems. It is complementary to the assistance provided by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other donors in the context of the stabilisation and reform programme launched by the beneficiary country.
The EU as a borrower
Since January 2011, the EU has raised in total €48.86 billion from the bond market, used mainly for the EFSM (€46.8 billion) and the remainder for Balance of Payments and the Macro-Financial Assistance loans.
The EU is rated AAA/Aaa/AA+/AAA by the major rating agencies (Fitch, Moody's, Standard & Poor's, DBRS), all rating outlooks are stable.
The EU funds its loans by issuing debt instruments in the capital markets. Funds raised are lent to beneficiary countries under almost exactly the same terms, i.e. with the same coupon, maturity and for the same amount.
Issuances by the EU are carried out by the European Commission's financial operations department located in Luxembourg.
Information on MFA operations, including annual reports:
EU investor relations website: