Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC (S&P) predicts that Ukraine will have problems with debt repayment in 2019. Ukrainian News Agency has seen a respective S&P press release. Ukraine's net general government debt remains high for a low-income economy, even after the public debt restructuring in October 2015. In the agency's view, the high level of debt means that targeting a primary budgetary surplus and retaining access to relatively cheap official financing via the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other donors are essential for debt sustainability, alongside sustained GDP growth. "The debt exchange lowered the effective interest rate on the entire outstanding stock of general government debt while increasing the weighted average maturity, giving Ukraine a couple of years during which it can try to improve debt dynamics by improving the fiscal situation and enacting reforms to boost growth. However, big redemptions in 2019, a likely election year, may prove challenging but could be partly mitigated by up-front funding. We expect Ukraine will meet its 2017 sovereign debt obligations using donor funds, bond issuances, existing foreign exchange, and hryvnia balances held at the central bank. We note that Ukraine can also issue dollar denominated (as well as hryvnia) bonds in the domestic markets," S&P said. Overall, the agency forecasts that the annual change in general government debt will average 3.7% of GDP in 2016-2019, with net general government debt to GDP declining to 61% in 2019 from 71% in 2015. As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, S&P predicts that Ukraine will receive the next IMF tranche in H1 2017.