FinMin wants SPP money for home debt

THE FINANCE Ministry has recommended that some Sk50 billion ($1.1 billion) from the $2.7 billion sale of a minority stake in gas utility SPP be used to pay down domestic rather than foreign state debt.

The ministry justified the proposal, which flies in the face of recommendations from the central bank and the International Monetary Fund, by the higher interest rates (and thus higher costs) on domestic debt, and on its expectation that the crown will strengthen.

The central bank and economic analysts warned, however, that if the money is not used to pay down foreign debt, the decision in itself could create pressure on the crown to weaken.

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