Wednesday 21 March 2018

Lagarde moves to reassure IMF is adequately funded

IMF chief Christine Lagarde
IMF chief Christine Lagarde

Graeme Evans and reporters

HOPES of a plan to resolve Europe's debt crisis ensured London's FTSE 100 Index staged a rally beyond the 5500 barrier today.

A meeting of G20 finance ministers has reinforced hopes that eurozone leaders will this weekend agree the recapitalisation of Europe's banks and unveil a plan to protect other countries from Greece's debt woes.

The FTSE 100 Index, which is already at a two-month high, rose by 72.6 points to 5538.8 as market heavyweight BP lifted by more than 5pc, up 21.6p to 438.1p.

The oil giant was boosted by an agreement that will see rival Anadarko pay $4bn (€2.8bn) into BP's Gulf of Mexico clean-up fund. The US firm held a 25pc share in the Macondo well which blew out in April last year.

The other big stock market development involved security firm G4S after the London Stock Exchange's biggest employer unveiled a £5.2bn deal to buy facilities management firm ISS.

The move, which will see G4S develop its services into catering and cleaning, is being part-funded through a £2bn cash call to shareholders.

The rights issue and scale of the deal spooked investors as shares slumped 16pc or 45.35p to 236.75p.

Meanwhile IMF chief Christine Lagarde said today that she was happy the IMF was adequately funded to deal with the debt crisis.

"I believe that today the IMF has adequate resources," Lagarde said speaking to a radio station after some member nations of the G20 called for increased resources for the world body.

However when asked what she considered an adequate level of resources for the International Monetary Fund, Lagarde would not give figures.

"What is essential is that the IMF's resources are adequate to face the needs of its members" in dealing with the crisis, is all Lagarde was prepared to say.

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