Business news from Ukraine

EBRD and 19 development finance institutions sign Memorandum of Understanding on Investment in Ukraine

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and 19 financial development institutions (DFIs) signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the Conference on Reconstruction of Ukraine in London to promote joint investments in the private sector of the Ukrainian economy.
“The signing of this memorandum … was the next step in the implementation of the agreement between the EBRD and the G7 DFIs to create a common platform for investment in Ukraine, which was announced at the G7 meeting in Tokyo last month,” the bank said in a press release.
It is noted that the main goal of creating the joint platform between the EBRD and DFI is to promote co-financing by strengthening cooperation and dialogue between partners in the context of providing assistance for reconstruction of Ukraine.
It is noted that the priority of investment initiatives will be given to the private sector of Ukraine’s economy.
“Ukraine’s financial needs during the recovery phase will be very significant, and therefore will require the combined efforts of financial institutions. To maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of their activities, Ukraine’s partners must ensure careful coordination among themselves. The private sector will play an extremely important role in the recovery of the Ukrainian economy,” stressed the EBRD.
The Bank points out that it is ready to work together with the DFI to improve the efficiency and quality of assistance to Ukraine and neighboring countries affected by Russia’s military aggression.
It is specified that the memorandum was signed by British International Investment, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, DEG (Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft), Development Finance Institute Canada (DFIC), Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Proparco, USA International Development Finance Corporation, Belgium Investment Company for developing countries.
Also in this list are Compañía Española de financiación del desarrollo (Cofides), Finnfund, Investment Fund for Developing Countries, Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden, Norfund, Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank, Sociedade para o Financiamento do desenvolvimento, instituicao financeira de credito, Swiss Investment Fund for Developing Markets and Swedfund international.

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Denmark opened investment fund for Ukraine worth 1 bln Danish kroner

Friday, May 26, at the Ukrainian Investment Forum in Copenhagen, it was announced the launch of a Danish investment fund social program for Ukraine totaling DKK 1 billion, which is about $133 million, the press service of the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine reported.
“Denmark is one of the leaders in financial assistance to Ukraine. Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion the total military support amounted to $1.4 billion and the total humanitarian aid, including macrofinancial assistance – $212 million. The Ukrainian government highly appreciates Danish support and looks forward to deepening bilateral cooperation and further involving Danish businesses in the reconstruction projects in Ukraine. Thus, special investment fund, created for Ukraine, will finance projects with the use of the best Danish technologies and innovative solutions and will be available for both public and private sectors”, – noted the First Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Economy of Ukraine Yulia Sviridenko.
As Deputy Minister of Economy Alexander Griban noted, the main cooperation between Ukraine and Denmark is establishment of mutually beneficial relations, when Ukrainian companies not only import Danish products, but also localize the production of such products in Ukraine.
“We are interested in Danish technologies and we see big prospect in application and localization of Danish companies in Ukraine in priority branches. In particular, these are renewable energy, construction materials, technologies of municipal economy renovation as well as defense and dual-purpose technologies”, he said.
In addition, the forum announced funding approval of two pilot projects in the field of agriculture and agro-processing. The question is about the affected companies of the southern region – “Nibulon”, which will receive a credit of 25 mln Euros, and “Agrofusion” – 15 mln Euros. Also, loans will be granted to agricultural companies located near the front line in Mykolayiv, which will restore the destroyed production facilities, buying equipment from Danish exporters.
According to Griban, the Danish fund will not only provide financial guarantees, but will also directly carry out lending, which puts it on a separate level of financial institutions that have opened their programs for Ukraine. Also, the Danish government plans to significantly increase the limits and expand the financial assistance program for Ukraine.
“We don’t have to wait for the war to stop. We would like to attract Danish business in the early stages of Ukraine’s recovery. We must act and support the Ukrainian economy,” stressed Morten Bedskov, Minister of Entrepreneurship of Denmark.

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Investment company Horizon Capital has raised $254 million in a new fund for Ukraine

Kiev-headquartered investment firm Horizon Capital has raised $254 million in a new Horizon Capital Growth Fund IV (HCGF IV, the “Fund”), exceeding its $250 million target, the company said in a statement Friday evening.

“Today Horizon Capital and our esteemed group of investors made history as the first and largest fund raised since the start of a full-scale invasion,” the statement quoted company founder and CEO Olena Kosharnaya as saying from a private signing ceremony with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and international investors from the United States, EU and international institutions.

In January this year, she told Interfax-Ukraine news agency that after raising $125 million in the first round of HCGF IV formation in September last year, it was planned to increase its size to $200 million by the end of March, and tentatively by mid-summer to completely close the formation of the fund in the originally planned amount of $250 million.

As noted in the message of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which contributed $30 million to the fund at the initial stage of its formation, it has increased its contribution to $60 million, becoming the largest participant in the fund.

“We urge other investors to follow IFC’s lead and not let the newspaper headlines fool you. Financing sectors that others are hesitant to invest in can create tremendous investment opportunities with equally significant potential returns,” Kosharna said.

Among the new investors in HCGF IV, according to releases by Horizon Capital and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Société de Promotion et de Participation pour la Coopération Économique (Proparco), the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), Swedfund International AB (Swedfund), the Finnish Industrial Cooperation Fund (Finnfund) and the Danish Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU).

“In the context of the war with Ukraine, HCGF IV’s ambitions are unprecedented, and we are encouraged by its fundraising success,” Hassan El Khatib, managing director of equities, said in an EBRD release.

In addition to the EBRD, which contributed $40 million to HCGF IV in the first phase, its investors also included Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) and its subsidiary KfW Group, the Dutch Enterprise Development Bank (FMO), the Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets (SIFEM) ), Western NIS Enterprise Fund and Zero Gap Fund, formed in collaboration between The Rockefeller Foundation and John D. and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation.

“The fact of exceeding the original ambitious goal of $250 million demonstrates a high level of investor interest in attractive opportunities in high-growth, high-impact technology and export-oriented companies, including those in the light and food processing, innovative consumer products, fintech, etc. sectors,” noted Horizon Capital.

It is also noted that HCGF IV was the first fund in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and one of about ten funds in the world to achieve 2X Flagship Fund status, including one of only two that are founded and led by women. The 2X Challenge was launched at the 2018 G7 Summit as a bold commitment by companies to invest in women in the world and promote gender equality in finance.

IFC specified that the fund would invest $10-30 million to acquire minority stakes in 10-15 mid-cap and $50-150 million companies in Ukraine and Moldova. HCGF IV is the $200 million successor to EEGF III, which was completed in 2017, and will follow a similar investment strategy focused on IT services and products as well as e-commerce, innovative consumer products and fintech, according to corporate materials.

IFC recalls having invested in EEGF III and EEGF II (2008), while EBRD was an investor in EEGF III and EEGF II as well as HCGF II.

Horizon Capital is a large investment company managing 6 private equity funds (more than 40 institutional investors) with assets of $1.4 billion, among which are WNISEF ($150 million), Emerging Europe Growth Fund (EEGF, $132 million), EEGF II ($370 million) and EEGF III ($200 million), as well as HCGF II ($258.3 million). The funds of these funds were invested in more than 160 companies, which employed more than 77 thousand people, in Ukraine and Moldova.

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Josep Borrel said need to attract private investment for reconstruction of Ukraine

European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrel said it is necessary to attract private investment both from Ukraine itself and from the European Union to rebuild post-war Ukraine, for which favorable conditions must be created.

He said this on Thursday in Stockholm at the end of a meeting of the European Council at the level of development ministers. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure of Ukraine Oleksandr Kurbakov also attended the meeting by video link.

“It is clear that we must prepare ourselves for recovery and reconstruction, which go hand in hand with the process of reform on the way to European membership. These processes reinforce each other. Ukraine needs to move forward on fighting corruption, reforming the judicial system, which will increase the efficiency of spending in Ukraine and create a predictable and fair economic environment to attract private investors. This must be mobilized to ensure that the private sector can play a key role for civil society and local authorities. We must use our funding to attract private investment, both from Ukraine and the EU,” Borrell said of his vision.

The EU high representative stated that the reconstruction of Ukraine will be “the next huge task.” “And the longer this war goes on, the more destruction there will be and the more work we will have to do to support Ukraine in its reconstruction. It is also very clear that Russia must make up for the incredible destruction and loss it has caused Ukraine and its people. It must pay the price for rebuilding Ukraine. To do this, we are working on how we can use and mobilize frozen Russian assets in accordance with international law,” he added.

Borrell recalled that during Wednesday’s informal meeting of defense ministers, defense chiefs discussed military support for Ukraine and today with development ministers discussed rebuilding Ukraine. “Those two things go together. We have to help Ukraine to avoid destruction and we have to support Ukraine to rebuild it. But the less destruction, the better for reconstruction efforts. So we have to send generators to Ukraine to produce electricity and we have to send missiles to prevent Russia from destroying them,” he detailed.

Referring to the participation in the meeting of Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Development of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure of Ukraine Kurbakov, the High Representative said that he “spoke about his vision of priorities.” “It is absolutely clear that we must continue to support Ukraine to win this war,” Borrell stressed.

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U.S. could ban investment in some Chinese industries

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is preparing a new program that could prohibit investments in certain industries in China, The Wall Street Journal wrote.
Such a measure would be another step by the United States aimed at preserving technological advantages in the face of growing competition between the world’s two largest economies, the article noted.
The Treasury and Commerce departments said in reports to lawmakers that they are considering a new system to regulate U.S. foreign investment in advanced technology that could pose a national security threat. The documents, seen by the WSJ, say the president’s administration could prohibit certain investments and would also gather information on other investments. Specific technology sectors are not listed in the reports, but the focus will be on areas that could improve military capabilities.
The new program will cover private and venture capital investments in the development of advanced semiconductors, quantum computing and some forms of artificial intelligence, sources said. U.S. officials want to prevent U.S. investors from providing funding and expertise to Chinese companies that could, for example, improve Beijing’s speed and accuracy in military decision-making.
The U.S. government has long closely monitored foreign investment in China’s economy, in some cases banning it through an interagency group called the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. But the rules governing U.S. investment overseas will be a new step in a broader effort by the Biden administration to prevent China from developing technology that U.S. authorities believe could pose a national security threat. Last year, the United States imposed new restrictions on exports of semiconductors and chip-making equipment to slow China’s military advancement, the WSJ notes.
At the same time, administration officials are reaching out to close G7 allies to gain their support for the concept of limiting investment in China.
One of the world’s largest venture capital firms, Sequoia Capital, has already begun vetting new investments in Chinese semiconductor or quantum computing companies in preparation for new U.S. rules, according to the article.
In more details the situation in the economy of Ukraine and the world was analyzed by the analytical center “Club of experts“, the video is available at the link

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EUROPEAN RAILWAY TRACK MODERNIZATION PROJECTS FROM BORDER TO LVIV AND KOVEL REQUIRE $ 75 MILLION INVESTMENT

Projects of modernization to the European standard of the track from the border to Lviv and Kovel are described in the National Transport Strategy and require more than $ 75 million investment, said former Deputy Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine for European Integration Viktor Dovgan to Interfax-Ukraine.
As reported, Prime Minister Denis Shmygal at a government meeting on Tuesday said that Ukraine will begin to gradually move to the European track to connect the Ukrainian railway with the EU, first connecting large hubs and large cities, and then gradually expanding across the country .
“Investments in such a large-scale project are unlikely, because 1 km of the European road – 1 million euros plus rolling stock. It is necessary to make short connections Lviv, Mukachevo, Chernivtsi and transfer. It is important to take an action plan of the National Transport Strategy. it is unrealistic to make a European track to Kyiv or Odessa at this stage, “Dovgan commented.
It will be recalled that in the Investment Atlas published by the Cabinet of Ministers at the end of 2020, two potential sections with the European standard of 1435 mm gauge were presented: Sknilov-Mostiska and Kovel-Yagodin-State Border.
The estimated cost of the Sknilov-Mostiska modernization project is $ 20.8 million, Kovel – Yagodin – State Border – $ 54.2 million.
In February 2022, Lviv OVA announced that within the framework of the presidential program “Big Construction” this year work will begin on the restoration of the 8-km Goskolitsa-Rava-Russkaya Eurorail, which they intend to implement within two years.

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