Business news from Ukraine

UKRAINE EXPANDS GAS INVENTORIES TO 15.8 BCM

Ukraine has raised natural gas reserves in its underground storage facilities (UGS) by 8.374 billion cubic meters (bcm) after the end of the heating season, JSC Ukrtransgaz has said.
Thus, from April 8 to September 22, gas reserves in storage facilities more than doubled, to 15.81 bcm from 7.435 bcm
According to Interfax-Ukraine’s estimates, gas stocks on September 1 through September 22 increased by 1.17 bcm (53.19 million cubic meters [mcm] a day), in August by 1.793 bcm (57.85 mcm per day), in July they expanded by 1.655 bcm (53.38 mcm a day), in June by 1.622 bcm (54.09 mcm per day), in May by 1.632 bcm (52.65 mcm per day), on April 9 through April 30 by 500.84 mcm (22.77 mcm per day).
Ukraine had the smallest gas inventories after the 2017/18 heating season compared with the previous three seasons. Frosts in March and early April were recorded.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine expects that gas stocks as of November 1, 2018, would reach 17 bcm.
Ukrtransgaz, wholly owned by NJSC Naftogaz Ukrainy, operates the system of trunk gas pipelines and 12 underground gas storage facilities of the country with a total capacity of 31 bcm.

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INDIVIDUALS TO BE ABLE TO BUY GOVERNMENT BONDS VIA MOBILE APPLICATION EARLY 2019 – NBU

Several companies and banks are designing a mobile application for buying government domestic loan bonds, Head of the Depositary Operations Department of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Andriy Suprun has said.
“I think that next year, perhaps at the beginning of the year, the purchase of government domestic loan bonds by individuals can occur in several clicks in a mobile application. Several market players are currently working on the creation of this solution,” he said at the annual Ukrainian Financial Forum in Odesa, organized by the ICU investment group.
Suprun said that the NBU, for its part, provides them with the necessary support.
“We are writing an open API [application programming interface] and allow everyone to get involved in this competition, to provide the corresponding service to the market,” he said.
In addition, the representative of the NBU said there will be an opportunity to submit brokerage applications in the primary government domestic loan bonds market in the near term.
“In fact, the next auction can take place with a possibility for any investor to submit applications to the Finance Ministry through primary dealers. This should improve the indicators of attracting funds, primarily from the population,” Suprun said.
In general, he considers these initiatives to be mutually beneficial for the state and the population.
“The state receives a resource, natural persons – a good percentage, almost tax free, in contrast to deposits, as well as a 100% state guarantee for any amount,” he said.

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SPF WAITING FOR NEW TENDER TO SELECT SUPPLIER OF GAS ON TOLLING TERMS TO ODESA PORT-SIDE PLANT

Odesa Port-Side Plant in October would announce a new tender to select a supplier of natural gas for processing on tolling terms, acting Head of the State Property Fund (SPF) of Ukraine Vitaliy Trubarov has said.
“As are as I understand, the tender will be announced again next month and maybe there are economic entities, possibly foreign ones, that could supply their own gas, and the enterprise could operate,” he told journalists in Odesa on the sidelines of the Ukrainian Financial Forum organized by the ICU investment group.
The head of the SPF said that the final decision on the tender is taken by the company management, since representatives of the SPF are members of the supervisory board and do not have the right to interfere in the economic activities of the enterprise.
Trubarov said that in the current market conditions, the attraction of the supplier of gas on tolling terms is the only opportunity of operating for Odesa Port-Side Plant, since “gas that occupies more than 90% of the production cost is quite expensive, and the prices for end products are subsiding.”
According to him, the conditions of the tender to select the company are absolutely open, and the difficulty to select it is the absence of a large number of interested companies.
He said that the SPF is extremely interested that the plant is operating at the time of the privatization work.
“Our task in this matter is to build the work in a way that at the time of sale this asset was operating, alone or with the help of a supplier of natural gas for processing on tolling terms, but operating. Selling an idle enterprise, in my opinion, is a double problem,” the SPF head said, recalling the even more complex problem of toxic debts of the Odesa Port-Side Plant to the structure of Dmytro Firtash.

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FITCH RATINGS AFFIRMS CITY OF KYIV RATING; OUTLOOK STABLE

Fitch Ratings has affirmed the Ukrainian City of Kyiv’s Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at ‘B-‘, Fitch Ratings said in a press release on September 21. Simultaneously Fitch has upgraded Kyiv’s National Long-Term Rating to ‘A(ukr)’ from ‘A-(ukr)’. The Outlooks are Stable.
Fitch said that the upgrade of the National Rating reflects the improvement in Kyiv’s credit strength following the exchange of $101.15 million of the non-restructured part of $250 million LPN due in 2015 for new LPN due in 2022.
Fitch has also assigned PBR Kyiv Finance PLC’s $115.072 million loan participation notes (LPN) due December 2022 a ‘B-‘ rating.
“The issuer is the city’s financial SPV, and the LPN were issued on a limited recourse basis for the sole purpose of financing a loan made to the city. Thus they represent direct, unconditional, unsecured and unsubordinated obligations of Kyiv and at all times rank pari passu with all its unsecured and unsubordinated obligations,” Fitch said.
As was reported, Kyiv’s 2015 eurobonds were included in the perimeter of the debt operation envisaged by the International Monetary Fund’s Extended Fund Facility (EFF). They included two issues of eurobonds: 10-year $250-million eurobonds maturing on November 6, 2015, with a coupon rate of 8% per annum and five-year $300-million eurobonds maturing on July 11, 2016, with a coupon rate of 9.375% per annum.
On November 23, 2015, Kyiv offered bondholders to exchange its eurobonds for sovereign eurobonds of Ukraine falling due in 2019-2020 and state derivative securities. In keeping with the offer, one bond with a nominal value of $1,000 was to be swapped for two sovereign eurobonds maturing in 2019 and 2020 whose face value is $375 each and a rate of 7.75% per annum and state derivatives with a conditional value of $250. Interest accrued on the bonds was to be capitalized and added to the principal amount of new bonds.
As part of a debt restructuring operation, the government of Ukraine on December 18, 2015, allowed the conversion of Kyiv’s debt on 2015 eurobonds worth $117.394 million and 2016 eurobonds worth $233.672 million into state debt.
The restructuring of the 2015 eurobonds was backed by 59.51% of their holders and that of 2016 eurobonds – by 90.9%. According to a source of Bloomberg, the 2015 eurobond offer was rejected by London-based Franklin Templeton Inv Mgmt Ltd., which held 32% of 2015 eurobonds. After that, according to available information, negotiations were held with that creditor.
Kyiv City Council on September 4, 2018 completed the restructuring of its outstanding foreign debt by exchanging eurobonds with a yield of 8% and maturing in 2015 with a total nominal value of $101.149 million for new loan participation notes (LPN) falling due on December 15, 2022, with a yield of 7.5%

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