Business news from Ukraine

FITCH RATINGS AFFIRMS UKRAINE’S RATINGS AT ‘B-‘; OUTLOOK STABLE

Fitch Ratings has affirmed Ukraine’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘B-‘. The Outlook is Stable, Fitch has said in a press release. In addition, Long-Term Foreign-Currency IDR affirmed at ‘B-‘; Outlook Stable; Long-Term Local-Currency IDR affirmed at ‘B-‘; Outlook Stable; Short-term foreign-currency IDR affirmed at ‘B’; and Short-term local-currency IDR affirmed at ‘B’. Country Ceiling affirmed at ‘B-‘.
Ukraine’s ratings balance weak external liquidity, a high public debt burden and structural weaknesses, in terms of a weak banking sector, institutional constraints and geopolitical and political risks, against improved policy credibility and consistency, the sovereign’s near-term manageable debt repayment profile and a track record of bilateral and multilateral support.

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EUROPEAN INSURANCE ALLIANCE INCREASES NET PREMIUMS BY 25% IN Q1 OF 2018

PrJSC European Insurance Alliance (Kyiv) in January-March 2018 collected UAH 40.348 million of net premiums, which is 25.8% more compared to the same period in 2017. According to a company report in the information disclosure system of the National Commission on Securities and the Stock Market, the volume of signed premiums was UAH 49.770 million (an increase of 11%). Premiums worth UAH 8.674 million were transferred to reinsurance against UAH 8.914 million for the same period of 2017 (2.7% down).
During this period insurance claim fee payments rose by 38.4%, to UAH 21.135 million. The net profit of the company for the first three months amounted to UAH 1.135 million, while for the same period a year earlier some UAH 790,000.
According to official reports, the administrative expenses of the company amounted to UAH 5.087 million, which is 3.8% less than in the three months of 2017. PrJSC European Insurance Alliance has been working in the insurance market since September 1994. There are 17 structural divisions in Kyiv and the regions of Ukraine.

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REAL WAGES IN UKRAINE 9.5% UP IN MARCH

Real wages in Ukraine in March 2018 compared to March 2017 increased by 9.5%, compared to February 2018 by 5.9%, the State Statistics Service has said. The average nominal wage of full-day workers in March 2018 compared to February 2018 increased by 7.1%, in annual terms rose by 24.1%, amounting to UAH 8,382, whereas in February it was UAH 7,828, January some UAH 7,711. According to the statistics, the largest increase in the average salary of full-day workers in March 2018 compared with March 2017 was observed in Dnipropetrovsk (30.4%), Zhytomyr (26.7%), Zakarpattia (27.7%), Poltava (26.4%), Zaporizhia (26.2%), Cherkasy (25.4%), Vinnytsia and Chernivtsi (25.1%), Lviv (24.3%), Sumy (24.6%), Ternopil regions (24.1%), and Kyiv (21.6%).
Wage growth in Donetsk and Luhansk regions (excluding part of the uncontrolled territories) was 25.5% and 19.1% respectively.
The highest level of wages in the past month was recorded in Kyiv at UAH 13,388, the lowest one in Ternopil region at UAH 6,394.
In March 2018 compared to the same month in 2017 wages grew in the sphere of state administration and defense, compulsory social insurance (by 41.7%), financial and insurance activities (30%), administrative and support services (29.1%), industry (26.7%), wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (23.4%), education and construction (21.3%), real estate operations (19.8%), rural economy, forestry and fishery (19.7%), transport enterprises, warehousing, postal and courier activities (19.1%), temporary accommodation and catering (18.5%), health care and social assistance (18.4%), professional, scientific and technical activities (16.8%), information and telecommunications (14.3%), in the sphere of art, sports, entertainment and recreation (13.7%).

FLEXIBLE PACKAGING MATERIAL PRODUCER UKRPLASTIC PLANS TO INCREASE SALES BY 10% IN 2018

Public joint-stock company Ukrplastic (Kyiv), the leading manufacturer of flexible plastic packaging for consumer goods in Eastern Europe, plans to increase sales by 10% in 2018, to UAH 2.233 billion. This is outlined in a company annual report for 2017. “In 2018, the development of the company will first aim at retaining financial stability, expanding the range of flexible packages and developing the new market segments,” the company said.
According to the report, in 2017, net revenue fell by 4.7%, to UAH 2.03 billion, and net profit grew by 6%, to UAH 137.26 million. Gross profit shrank by 29.8%, to UAH 346.03 million, and operating profit grew by 10%, to UAH 437.77 million.
Ukrplastic produces flexible packaging materials for the food, cosmetic, pharmaceutical and other industries. According to the report, in 2017, the release of packaging materials by trademarks amounted to: BIPAN – 1,340 tonnes, VIPAN – 589 tonnes, ALPAN -7,150 tonnes, SOLAN – 10,28o tonnes, and TWISPAN – 3,730 tonnes.
PJSC Ukrplastic represents the Immer Group in Ukraine.

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LVIV HOSTES THE SPRING BUSINESS FORUM. TOPIC OF THIS YEAR’S FORUM IS “SUPPORT POINT”

The Spring Business Forum 2018 event gathered more than two hundred professionals, representatives of state-owned enterprises, banking and business circles. For entrepreneurs, the forum is also a good opportunity to talk about cooperation and business development in an informal atmosphere and meet peers. The forum was opened by Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi, who talked about business confidence and cooperation with the authorities. “The basis of any entrepreneurial activity is trust. If it is, then there is development. If it is not, then there is trouble. Therefore, this trust can be built up only when there is communication, when there is an exchange of ideas.”
An interesting statement was made by Country Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for Ukraine Sevki Acuner, who noted the importance of attracting investment. “There is one challenge that we can handle. This is an investment. Foreign or domestic. To do this, we must make products more innovative, look for new approaches and compare our products with those on the global market.”
A success story of a Ukrainian investor was told by Vitaliy Melnyk, the Chief Executive Officer of UDP, a company with a huge number of implemented projects in Kyiv, which launched the LvivTech.City project in Lviv last year. The project is aimed at the development of an innovative ecosystem in Lviv, which includes the construction of modern office space, social and residential infrastructure. The construction is now under way along with talks with potential residents regarding the location of their facilities.

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ERNST & YOUNG: FOREIGN INVESTORS SHOW MORE INTEREST IN UKRAINIAN ASSETS

Foreign investors actively study materials, come to look at assets and meet with owners, which is evidence of gradual resumption of the interest to Ukrainian assets, according to the 18th edition of the Ernst & Young Global (EY) Capital Confidence Barometer (CCB). “So, we should hope for the return of foreign investors to the capital market of Ukraine,” EY said in the press release. EY conducts CCB study twice a year. Over 2,500 senior executives across 43 countries took part in it. More than half of respondents (52%) indicate that they plan to acquire in the next 12 months. The number of executives expecting to complete more deals in the next year has more than doubled (67% in April 2018 versus 33% in April 2017). According to the analysts, this shows trends of rising economic and corporate confidence.
According to the press release of EY, although the global level of activity of mergers and acquisitions has already exceeded the peak period set before the financial crisis in 2007, Ukraine is still lagging behind in terms of investment activity. However, it shows a positive trend: foreign investors, who before the crisis invested money in the Ukrainian business, for the first time since 2014 begin to compete with local companies for attractive assets.
This was thanks to the fact that Ukrainian companies owned by foreign investors joined Ukrainian companies, which are fully owned by local businessmen, since 2017.

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