Ukraine’s cash-strapped government failed to reach agreement on Wednesday with a visiting IMF mission on a $15bn bailout, according to local officials. Having realised that a deal was unlikely, Kiev moved on Tuesday to patch up short-term financing needs. Ukraine raised $1.25bn through a fresh 10-year eurobond at 7.5 per cent on Tuesday, helped by international investors’ hunt for yield.
And so, Kiev has bought itself more time, though at borrowing rates much more expensive than the IMF has offered. It’s a strategy Ukraine has stuck to in recent years, but one that may not be possible if market confidence shrinks and the country’s economy continues to deteriorate. Continue reading »
News headlines about a Cyprus-crisis contagion have so far focused largely on Slovenia, Malta, Italy and Spain.
But Ukraine could also take a hit. While Ukrainian businesses are said to have possibly just $1-3bn in Cyprus – much less than the $30bn that has been estimated for Russia – if this money gets confiscated by the bailout levy or tied up by financial transaction limitations, it could be enough to tip the country’s troubled economy deeper into crisis. Continue reading »
It’s not a pretty picture on the ground in Kiev.
The Ukrainian capital is still crawling out from under a record weekend snowfall that has muddied streets, paralysed traffic and upset basic services including rubbish collection.
It will do nothing to prevent the economy falling into recession in the first quarter of 2013, after GDP growth of 0.2 per cent in 2012. But it does increase the urgency for Kiev to find external economic support, if not from Russia, then from the International Monetary Fund, which had a delegation arrive in town on Wednesday. Continue reading »
In slapping fresh import duties on car imports, Kiev may achieve its short-term goal of partially reducing Ukraine’s trade deficit while simultaneously providing a boost to slumping domestic car output.
But the protectionist move — announced on Thursday by a cash-strapped government in talks with the IMF on a $15bn bailout — could carry costlier long-term consequences. It may infuriate fellow WTO member countries already shocked by Ukraine’s plans announced in September to renegotiate 371 tariffs just five years after becoming a member of the international trade organization. Continue reading »
The news from Ukraine is that it doesn’t matter which came first, the chicken or the egg, as long as you profit from both.
The country’s top poultry and egg producers, both leading blue chips listed on the London Stock Exchange, released impressive 2012 results on Tuesday. Continue reading »
If you’re an international energy major eyeing opportunities in Ukraine, you may want to speak with DTEK, the energy group owned by Rinat Akhmetov, the nation’s richest man (pictured).
He’s looking for a partner for a huge Black Sea hydrocarbon exploration project. Continue reading »
Sometimes, you shouldn’t read too much into what a politician says on television with voters watching closely. A televised question-answer session with citizens held on Friday by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich is a case in point. Continue reading »
Ukraine’s financially-stretched government has capitalised on high global liquidity, raising an additional $1bn to a 10-year eurobond that it sold last November.
Kiev bought time as talks with the International Monetary Fund on $15bn bailout programme appear set to drag on for weeks, possibly longer. Continue reading »
Ukraine’s government has provided the first sign that it is willing to further reduce costly – some say unsustainable — subsidies by raising natural gas prices on households.
The unpopular austerity move is a key condition set by the International Monetary Fund for unlocking billion-dollar bailout loans that Ukraine needs to stay afloat this year. Continue reading »
It’s not a rush for the exit. But it’s rather more than a shuffle to the door. A noticeable number of European banks – Austria’s Erste being the latest – are giving up on Ukraine.
Like other European banks that are busy cleaning up troubled balance sheets back home, Erste announced on Thursday that it had agreed to sell its loss-making, 100 branch Ukrainian subsidiary to a domestic businessman. Domestic banker Oleksandr Adarich bought the business for a mere $83m. Continue reading »
Another cliff hanger in the long-running saga of Russia’s gas dispute with Ukraine. Viktor Yanukovich was expected to sign an agreement in Moscow this week that would have drawn Ukraine closer to the Russia-backed Customs Union in exchange for concessions on gas prices.
But the Ukrainian president backed out at the last minute. Did he get cold feet or is he playing a game? And will the drama affect Gazprom’s gas supplies to the European Union, most of which are piped across Ukraine? Continue reading »
Any dollars under there?
With Ukraine’s currency plunging to a three-year low of 8.27 hryvnia to the dollar, and central bank reserves dwindling, the administration of President Viktor Yanukovich has turned to hardball tactics to preserve stability.
A series of new currency market rules adopted early this week aim to force impoverished citizens and oligarch-owned exporters into coughing up their hard currency cash. Continue reading »
Ignoring predictions of waning European gas demand, Russia’s Gazprom is pressing ahead with plans to build costly new pipelines to bypass Ukraine. Moscow wants to squeeze Kiev by funnelling EU-bound gas exports around what it sees as a troublesome neighbour.
But the policy is inadvertently driving Ukraine to do what it should have done long ago – reduce dependence on Russian-supplied gas by diversification and energy efficiency. Annual gas imports from Russia have already plunged from 50bn cubic metres a decade ago to under 30bcm this year – and are set to fall further. Continue reading »
There’s bad economic news on Wednesday from Ukraine, where political tensions are high with opposition politicians accusing President Viktor Yanukovich’s ruling Party of Regions of falsifying last Sunday’s parliamentary election.
Ukraine’s central bank reserves plunged 8.4 per cent in October to $26.8bn, as households rushed to dump a depreciating hryvnia amid concerns about the gloomy economic and political outlook. The drop since the beginning of the year is now a worrying 15.7 per cent. Continue reading »