Business news from Ukraine

More than UAH 11 billion for budget and increased business activity. What else has last privatization five-year period demonstrated?

Vitaliy Koval, Head of the State Property Fund of Ukraine

Small-scale privatization has been systematically gaining momentum over the past 5 years (from 2019 to 2023) with some interruptions, in particular due to a full-scale invasion. Last year’s performance largely surpassed all previous results and demonstrated the effectiveness and timeliness of privatization in general.

Budget revenues

As a result of small-scale privatization in 2019, which was carried out by the State Property Fund of Ukraine, the budget received approximately UAH 561 million. The following year, this amount increased almost 5 times and exceeded UAH 2.69 billion. In 2021, the budget received UAH 3.5 billion. In 2022, when there was a break in privatization until September, the Fund transferred assets worth UAH 1.74 billion to private investors in less than six months.

Last year, proceeds from the privatization of state property amounted to UAH 2.84 billion. The state has fully resumed this process and is helping to support the state budget with funds that ensure our protection and defense against the aggressor. In total, over the past 5 years, privatization revenues, excluding large-scale privatization objects, amounted to UAH 11.34 billion.

As for the price of the assets sold by the Fund, the final value of the property increased the most compared to the starting price in 2020.

Increase in the sale price of assets relative to their initial value

After the fall of this indicator in 2021, it has been growing over the past two years. Thus, in 2023, the sale price was 2.7 times higher than the initial price.

Competition in auctions

The increase in budget revenues and the growth of the final price indicate an important thing. Participants in the auctions held by the SPFU through the Prozorro.Sale system are interested in state assets and are ready to fight for them. The indicators of competitiveness in 2023 leave no doubt about this.

Average competition in privatization auctions

Over the past 5 years, competition in successful auctions has been growing steadily. But while from 2020 to 2022 its level was in the range of 3.1-3.6 bidders per auction, in 2023 almost 5 bidders competed for each lot on average.

This year, there is every chance of exceeding even such strong results: in the first quarter of 2024, more than 5 bidders took part in each successful auction on average.

Business interest in state assets

Business activity in privatization auctions is driven by many factors. Some companies need to relocate to regions far from the front line. Some entrepreneurs want to build a business on a ready-made material base, with the infrastructure, equipment and communications offered by the state when it sells, for example, single property complexes. Others need real estate, warehouses, workshops, garages, etc. to expand their current capacities.

So entrepreneurship in Ukraine is developing even in the face of war and other difficulties. And the government is striving to provide business with resources that will help it do so.

There are lots in which the market sees such great prospects and value that dozens of participants compete for them at once. The record was set in 2020, when 48 bidders competed for an unfinished garage for 50 cars in Kyiv. The second  lot was non-residential premises in Uzhhorod. This auction, which had 47 bidders, took place in 2023.

As a result of this demand, the price of the first property in Kyiv increased almost 35 times (from just over UAH 1 million to UAH 36 million). And the cost of the second lot in Uzhhorod increased 818 times (from UAH 12.2 thousand to UAH 10 million).

Businesses are interested in assets of different sizes, but the vast majority of lots sold through privatization cost up to UAH 1 million.

Distribution of successful auctions by the final value of the privatized object

In 2020, the share of auctions where the sale price of an asset was up to UAH 1 million reached a maximum of 86%. At the same time, in 2022, the share of auctions with the final value of the object from UAH 1 to UAH 10 million and even in the range of UAH 10-100 million increased significantly. Last year, the trend went in the opposite direction again: the number of assets sold for up to UAH 1 million began to grow.

It is also important to understand the overall economic context in Ukraine. A sharp drop in the hryvnia exchange rate, the crisis in many markets, the occupation of territories, and many other things have affected the ability of businesses to operate. This has hit small businesses particularly hard, as their already scarce material resources have been significantly depreciated and other problems have been added.

The return of demand for inexpensive, small state assets suggests that small and medium-sized businesses are resuming activity and continuing to grow after the first shocks of the full-scale invasion.

The average number of bidders in privatization auctions, relative to the final value of assets

At the same time, large market players are also interested in large state-owned assets when they come up for sale. Thus, in 2023, an average of 14.1 bidders participated in auctions with a sale price of more than UAH 100 million. At the same time, the average competition in auctions up to UAH 1 million last year amounted to 3.9 participants.

Efficiency of privatization processes

Overall, privatization auctions attracted thousands of players from different markets. The highest number of bidders, namely 2035, was in 2023. This is 3.3 times more than in 2022 and almost twice as many as in 2021. In 2020, this figure exceeded 1340 bidders. And in 2019, when privatization had just intensified, there were about 800 of them.

Legislative changes, business activity, competitive bidding, and their transparency and openness have helped to increase the efficiency of privatization processes. At the same time, the State Property Fund has also changed its approach in recent years and improved the process of preparing objects for sale. Information about the availability of state assets for privatization was disseminated through various communication channels to draw attention to these lots. In general, all information about the current lots, how to participate in the auction, and the results of privatization is collected on a separate special resource.

The Fund has developed a mechanism for sorting (triage) state assets, depending on their condition and market needs. The property that has no value or exists only on paper will be liquidated or bankrupt. Those objects that can work for the benefit of the economy in private hands will be privatized.

Effective steps taken by the SPFU and the interest of private investors have yielded results: in 2023, the share of successful auctions increased many times over compared to previous years.

Increase in the share of successful SPFU auctions

The lowest rate of successful auctions was recorded in 2021-2022: it was 17% of all announced auctions. Therefore, the peak result of almost 47% last year is a difference of 2.8 times.

Over the past 5 years, privatization has become more efficient, increased revenue, and attracted the attention of more and more entrepreneurs. This proves the success of Ukraine’s privatization strategy, when the state, instead of subsidizing unprofitable assets, gives them a new life and helps generate funds for the state budget at a time when the survival of our country depends on these revenues.

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Ukraine has exported almost 35 million tons of grain since beginning of 2023/24 marketing year

Ukraine has exported 34.862 million tons of grain and leguminous crops since the beginning of the 2023/24 marketing year and as of April 1, of which 5.192 million tons were shipped in March, Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine for Digital Development, Digital Transformation and Digitalization Denis Bashlyk said in Telegram.

According to the report, in terms of crops, 18.765 million tons of corn, 13.842 million tons of wheat, 1.962 million tons of barley, and 1,000 tons of rye have been exported since the beginning of the current season.

The total export of Ukrainian flour since the beginning of the season as of April 1 is estimated at 79.3 thousand tons, including wheat flour – 75.1 thousand tons.

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Two new industrial parks should attract UAH 1.5 bln of investments – ministry

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has approved the creation of two new industrial parks (IP) – “Dnister” on the territory of Yampol city territorial community of Mogilev-Podolsky district of Vinnytsia region and “Galicia” on the territory of Kalush in Ivano-Frankivsk region.

According to the Ministry of Economy, total investments in the two industrial parks for the next three years should amount to more than UAH 1.5 billion.

Prime Minister of Ukraine Denis Shmygal at a government meeting on March 29 announced the inclusion of the two new parks in the Register of industrial (industrial) parks, and the creation of the State Office for the development of industrial parks.

According to the Ministry of Economy, the concept of IP “Dnister” assumes the creation of 265 jobs in the processing industry on an area of 17.2 hectares.

“It is assumed that the park will specialize in the production of paper and paper products, processing of plant products and other activities compatible with those listed,” the report explains.

In turn, IP “Galicia” will be located on an area of 19.8 hectares and will provide the creation of up to 1000 jobs.

The main directions of activity are determined by the manufacture of construction materials.

On the territory of the park will be created production of building materials from clay, production of cement, lime and gypsum mixtures, as well as manufacturing of products from concrete, gypsum and cement.

According to the Ministry of Economy, the investors plan to start production of machinery and equipment, introduce processing of industrial and household waste, engage in scientific and technical activities, as well as create enterprises that will work with alternative energy and energy conservation.

As reported, the state budget-2024 for the first time provided for the allocation of 1 billion UAH for the development of infrastructure of industrial parks.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has indicated 12.4 million UAH of income in his declaration for 2023

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky released the declaration of the person authorized to perform the functions of the state or local government on property, income, expenses and financial obligations for 2023.

According to the President’s website, “according to the declaration, the income of the head of state and members of his family amounted to 12 million 423 thousand 008 UAH, including income from the sale of government bonds – 7 million 455 thousand 972 UAH”.

The income of Vladimir Zelensky’s family in 2023 mainly consisted of wages, bank interest and income from the provision of real estate for rent. In total, this amount amounted to UAH 4 million 967 thousand 036.

“The increase in income compared to last year was due to the resumption of rent payments. The cash balance of the head of state’s family by the end of last year decreased by almost 2 million 800 thousand UAH. There were no other significant changes in 2023 in terms of assets, real estate, vehicles, etc.,” – reports the website of the President.

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Ukraine will create State Office for development of industrial parks

Prime Minister Denis Shmygal says that in Ukraine will create the State Office for the development of industrial parks.

“We increase our self-sufficiency, strengthen the production and industrial potential. One of the key tools in this direction will be industrial parks. This year we allocate UAH 1 billion for their development,” Shmygal said at a government meeting on Friday.

According to Prime Minister, the Cabinet on Friday approved the procedure for the use of these funds: for the construction of infrastructure of industrial parks, for compensation for connection to networks, for compensation of the interest rate on loans taken for development and investment.

“Also, the State Office for the development of industrial parks will be created. We will use the experience of Singapore, Turkey, Poland to make industrial parks the growth points of our industry and economy,” he said.

In addition, on Friday, the Cabinet of Ministers decided to create two industrial parks.

In particular, one of the parks will be created in Vinnitsa region (investments in its creation will amount to more than UAH 50 million), and the second industrial park will be in Ivano-Frankivsk region, (investments in its creation and development may amount to UAH 1.5 billion).

“Thanks to the creation of these two industrial parks, more than 1,000 jobs in the processing industry will be created,” Prime Minister said.

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Kuleba: The number one task is to return Ukrainian-Indian relations to pre-war level

During a visit to India, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba pointed to positive changes in bilateral relations between Ukraine and India, Interfax-Ukraine reports, citing the Foreign Ministry’s press service.

Kuleba emphasized that India is gradually changing its understanding of Russia’s war against Ukraine and clearly realizes that Ukrainian-Indian relations have a great future.

“If we compare the state of our relations in the first year of the war and now, we can observe important positive changes. New Delhi has seen Ukraine as an important partner,” he emphasized.

The minister emphasized that Ukraine appreciates India’s desire to establish sustainable peace in our country and its comprehensive participation in meetings on the implementation of the Peace Formula of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. According to him, Ukraine is working together with India and other countries to involve them in the Global Peace Summit to be held in Switzerland.

Summarizing, Kuleba named three key tasks for the development of relations between Ukraine and India.

“The number one task is to return the level of cooperation in trade and politics to the pre-war level. The pre-war level means multibillion-dollar trade between our countries, which means, first of all, attracting money to the Ukrainian economy, creating jobs, selling Ukrainian goods in the world; it means promising joint developments in high-tech industries; it means the arrival of Indian companies to the Ukrainian market,” the minister explained.

The second task is to work on new projects and programs that should bring Ukrainian-Indian relations to a new level, he said.

“Task number three is the Peace Formula. India’s further participation in the implementation of the Peace Formula will be an important signal to many countries in the region that are focused on New Delhi, convincing them to join this initiative of President Zelensky,” the minister emphasized.

Kuleba also said that Ukrainian diplomacy is working to organize visits by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Ukraine and by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy to India.