Business news from Ukraine

National Bank excludes six more non-bank financial organizations from state register

The National Bank of Ukraine has revoked the licenses of six non-bank financial institutions and excluded them from the State Register of Financial Organizations based on their applications, the regulator’s website reports.

Thus, due to the loss of the license to provide funds and precious metals on credit, Urgent Lending Service LLC, Simple Loans LLC, Modern Ukrainian Capital LLC, Cool Credit LLC, FC Crystal LLC were excluded from the state register with the loss of the right to provide financial factoring services and Tamga Capital LLC – provision of funds and precious metals on credit, factoring and financial leasing.

In addition, based on their own applications, the NBU approved a change in the scope of the license for the activities of the financial company LLC FC Business Orbit Group. Such financial service as financial leasing was excluded from the license, and the right to provide funds and bank metals on credit and factoring was retained. FC “KIF” LLC was excluded from the license for factoring and financial leasing. In the future, the company will have the right to provide funds and precious metals on credit.

The NBU Committee on Supervision and Regulation of Non-Banking Financial Services Markets made these decisions on May 17, 2024.

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National Bank has revoked all licenses of Salamandra IC

The National Bank of Ukraine has decided to apply to PJSC Insurance Company Salamandra (Kiev) a measure of influence in the form of revocation of all licenses, according to the regulator’s website.

Also, in compliance with the requirements of the law “On Insurance”, in connection with the presence of the company’s obligations under insurance (reinsurance, coinsurance) contracts on May 14, 2024 decided to appoint a temporary administration in PJSC “IC “Salamandra” and removal of the governing bodies from the management of the company.

These decisions have been taken according to the results of planned inspection, conducted in October-December 2023, during which it was established the fact of realization by IC of risk activity, threatening the interests of creditors and insurers, namely formation of insurance reserves in insufficient amount (more than 10% of their sufficient amount, determined by the legislation of Ukraine) three times during the calendar year.

The decision on application of the measure of influence came into force on May 14, 2024.

After taking this decision, the temporary administrator should immediately begin to fulfill his duties, is noted in the message.

IC “Salamandra” (formerly – “DIM Insurance”) is part of the eponymous non-banking financial group, the ultimate beneficiary and owner of which is Yuri Yavtushenko.

IC Salamandra is a member of the Motor (Transport) Insurance Bureau of Ukraine.

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Net sale of foreign currency by National Bank of Ukraine rose to $533 mln this week

Net sale of dollars by the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) increased this week to $533.4m from $507.8m a week earlier, according to the regulator’s data.

According to them, the central bank sold $533.6m on the interbank market and bought back $0.15m.

The official hryvnia exchange rate weakened by 37 kopecks during the week, in particular, on Friday the national currency exchange rate fell by 17 kopecks to UAH 39.7206/$$. – to 39.7206 UAH/$1.

In the cash market, the dollar also rose in price during the week: by about 12 cents to UAH 39.95/$1. – up to UAH 39.95/$1, including on Friday – by 6 kopecks.

As evidenced by the data, which the NBU managed to publish for this period, from Monday to Wednesday, the negative balance between the volume of currency purchases and sales by the population increased from $30.2 million to $56.9 million.

Last Friday, May 3, the National Bank announced the largest package of easing of currency restrictions for businesses since the beginning of the full-scale war, which provides for the abolition of all currency restrictions on imports of works and services, provides the ability of businesses to repatriate “new” dividends, provides an opportunity to transfer funds abroad on leasing and rent.

In addition, the new steps of currency liberalization provide for the easing of restrictions in terms of repayment of new foreign loans and interest on “old” foreign loans, as well as easing restrictions for the transfer of foreign currency from representative offices in favor of their parent companies.

As reported, the NBU increased its net foreign exchange interventions on the interbank market in April by 27.7% to $2.283bn, compared to $1.370bn in the same period last year.

On April 24, Ukraine received the second tranche of transitional financing in the amount of EUR1.5 billion (UAH 63.32 billion in hryvnia equivalent) under the European Union’s Ukraine Facility instrument, and the country also received UAH 2.7 billion in grants from international partners last month.

Ukraine’s international reserves in April decreased by 3.1%, or $1.4 billion – to $42 billion 399.5 million. On April 25, the NBU raised their forecast for the end of this year to $43.4 billion from $40.4 billion and to $44.3 billion from $42.1 billion – at the end of next year.

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National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) fined Bank 3/4 (Kyiv) for UAH 10 mln

The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has fined Bank 3/4 (Kyiv) UAH 10m for improper financial monitoring of client operations within the framework of the implementation of anti-money laundering legislation, the regulator said on its website.

According to the release, Universal Bank (mono) received a written warning for violation of the established deadline for providing information at the request of the authorized body.

Also, the National Bank fined FC Phoenix and FC Activitis for UAH 6.33 million and UAH 595 thousand, respectively.

Bank ¾ was registered in 2008. According to NBU information, as of March 1, 2024, it ranked 48th (UAH 1.55 billion) in total assets among 63 operating banks. Net profit for last year amounted to UAH 3.03 mln grnatsbank

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National Bank has fined IC “Arsenal Insurance”

The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has fined PJSC IC Arsenal Insurance (Kiev) for 255 thousand UAH for violation of requirements in the sphere of financial monitoring. As reported on the regulator’s website, the measure was applied for violation of the requirements of the law “On prevention and counteraction to legalization (laundering) of proceeds of crime, financing of terrorism and financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction” (VAT/FT). In particular, the company was fined for improper fulfillment of the obligation to develop and implement internal documents, as well as for insufficient customer due diligence, including failure to verify clients in accordance with the procedure established by law.

In addition, the fine has been imposed for non-implementation of additional measures in the proper verification of the client, the ultimate beneficial owner of which is a politically exposed person, and insufficient application of risk-oriented approach, including improper fulfillment of the obligation to carry out an assessment of risks inherent in its activities.

IC “Arsenal Insurance” is the legal successor of IC “Arsenal-Dnepr”, operating in Ukraine since 2005. It is represented in all regional centers and some large cities of the country.

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National Bank estimates Ukraine’s GDP growth in first quarter at 3.1%

The National Bank of Ukraine has estimated Ukraine’s real gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the first quarter of 2024 by the same period last year at 3.1%, while in January it forecast it at 7.1%.

“Real GDP growth in the first quarter of 2024, according to NBU estimates, was weaker than expected, primarily due to restrained budget expenditures amid uncertainty about the receipt of external financing. An additional factor was the blockade of the western border, which restrained the activity of certain types of activities,” the National Bank explained in the Inflation Report published on its website.

At the same time, as the NBU pointed out, stable operation of the sea corridor, favorable weather and increased domestic demand supported economic growth. The central bank added that fiscal policy remained accommodative and, together with the effect of a significant increase in fiscal spending at the end of 2023, significantly fueled aggregate demand.

Earlier, in late April, the Economy Ministry estimated Ukraine’s GDP growth at 4.5% in the first quarter of this year.

As the National Bank notes, moderate GDP growth rates will remain until the end of 2024. “The main factors of growth will remain the preservation of soft fiscal policy, revitalization of external demand, as well as further adjustment of business and population to the conditions of significant security threats. However, the pace of economic growth will slow given the impact of the war and the depletion of growth momentum from the low base of 2022,” the NBI pointed out.

It added that the recovery will also be constrained by the impact of the destruction of energy infrastructure.

According to the updated forecasts, GDP growth will accelerate to 3.7% in the second quarter (the NBU expected it at 4.8% in January) before slowing to 1.3% (1.7%) in the third quarter and accelerating again to 4.1% (2.0%) in the fourth quarter.

Overall, for 2024, the NBU worsened its growth forecast for the Ukrainian economy to 3% from 3.6% in its January report, and for 2025 to 5.3% from 5.8%.

“The negative contribution of revised estimates of the e/e deficit to the change in real GDP in 2024 is estimated at 0.6 percentage points (pp), and 0.5 pp in 2025. Instead, the impact on GDP of a smaller grain harvest in 2024 will be insignificant due to the reorientation of agricultural producers to more marginal crops, particularly oilseeds,” the central bank said.

According to the regulator, the balance of risks of the baseline forecast is shifted towards deterioration of Ukraine’s economic growth rates and increased price pressure.

The National Bank in the updated Inflation Report increased the number of key risks of the forecast (with a strong impact and probability of 25-50%) to three: to the risk of a longer period and intensity of the war added the risk of large budgetary needs (a quarter earlier the NBU estimated its probability at 15-25%) and large damage to energy and port infrastructure (a quarter earlier the impact of this risk the central bank considered moderate).

At the same time, the probability of the risk of reduction of volumes and loss of rhythm of international aid receipts and continuation of partial blocking of cargo traffic across the border by some EU countries was reduced from 25-50% to 15-25%, but the degree of impact of the latter risk was increased from weak to moderate.

In addition, the NBU added a new risk – aggravation of the situation in the Red Sea, but estimated its probability at 15-25% and the degree of influence as low, as well as excluded the risk of increasing the capacity of maritime export routes, which is positive for the forecast.

Earlier Experts Club analytical center and Maxim Urakin released a video analysis of how the GDP of the world’s countries has changed in recent years, more detailed video analysis is available here – https://youtu.be/w5fF_GYyrIc?si=BsZmIUERHSBJrO_3 Subscribe to Experts Club YouTube channel here – https://www.youtube.com/@ExpertsClub.

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