The transfer of Ukrsotsbank’s business to Alfa-Bank (both based in Kyiv) has completed in fact: Ukrsotsbank has around 6% of clients of the number of clients as of early 2017 left on its balance sheet, and the legal merger is expected this autumn, General Manager of the board of the Alfa-Bank banking group, Board Chairman of Ukrsotsbank Ivan Svitek has said. “The merger has actually ended, as all the time we focused not on a legal merger, but on transferring the active business of Ukrsotsbank to the platform of Alfa-Bank Ukraine,” he said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
He said that only 11,000 of these 6% of clients are active.
Svitek recalled that in 2018, 80% of customers and 90% of balances were transferred from Ukrsotsbank, and the more complex issue of a unified IT system was completed a few weeks ago.
“At Ukrsotsbank, we have migrated more than 8 million accounts to Alfa – both opened and closed, and closed almost 90% of all IT systems and servers, including disconnection of all mobile applications and Internet banking from the system. We have already closed all branches of Ukrsotsbank and almost all of its employees were transferred to Alfa Bank. Only cash collection and one branch of Ukrsotsbank remained,” the head of the banking group said, describing the current situation.
He said that the migration of up to 90% of clients is a very high figure for the merger of banks.
“For us in this process, quality was more important than quantity. Therefore, we are pleased with the result,” Svitek said.
According to him, the largest portfolio that remained on the Ukrsotsbank’s platforme is a portfolio of bad loans, but debtors of the bank should not hope for relief after joining Alfa-Bank.
“Therefore, the legal merger de facto will not affect either the clients or the creditors of Ukrsotsbank,” Svitek said.
He said that the issue of the legal merger is still open and will be discussed at a meeting of the supervisory board in the coming weeks. The head of the group predicted that legally the merger will occur this autumn.
Asked about the brand of the merged bank, Svitek said that there is still no final decision on this matter. He said that new Strategic Marketing Director Natalia Palina, who earlier worked for Jacobs Douwe Egberts and has extensive experience in FMCG, recently joined the team. Until the end of September, she is conducting another in-depth study, the results of which will again weigh all the pros and cons of the decision to change the brand,” the head of the banking group said.
“…it would be very easy to make a decision if Alfa-Bank’s brand lost its value and strength, but this is definitely not the case. Now, only the coming legal merger is actually pushing us to rebranding. Therefore, we are weighing this step again and again,” Svitek said.
He said that rebranding is a very serious procedure and a major stress for the company, so the task is to make the right decision.
Ukrainian agrarians as of November 5 had sowed 7 million hectares with winter grains with the projected area being 7.2 million hectares for the 2019 harvest.
According to a report on the website of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food, 6 million hectares of the area were sown with winter wheat, with the forecast being 6.2 million hectares, 120,000 hectares with rye with the forecast standing at 150,000 hectare, and 870,000 hectares with winter barley with the forecast being 870,000 hectares.
In addition, one million hectares were sown with winter rapeseeds, with a forecast of 890,000 hectares.
“We are reaching the projected result of 7.2 million hectares under winter crops for grain. As of November 5, about 150,000 hectares more were sown than on the same date last year,” First Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Maksym Martyniuk said on Facebook.
According to him, the work was carried out within the best terms, the level of soil moisture was sufficient both for sowing and to ensure the best conditions for growth and development.
“The availability of material and technical resources was at the level or above the need. The availability of mineral fertilizers for the autumn field work amounted to 776,000 tonnes or 108% of the application, in particular phosphate fertilizers amounted to 207,000 tonnes (109% of the need),” Martyniuk reported.
Ukraine would calmly pass this autumn and winter thanks to the assistance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ukraine’s Alternate Executive Director in the IMF Vladyslav Rashkovan has said. “I am sure that we would calmly pass this autumn and next winter, including thanks to assistance from the IMF,” Rashkovan said in an interview with the Novoye Vremia magazine.
He said that Ukraine would soon receive the next tranche from the IMF under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF).
“I still hope that Ukraine will receive this money. I would think in terms of how it will help us to further implement the reforms that have been launched. Over the past four years it has been done more than in 23 years. The World Bank, the EBRD [the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development] and all international investors admit it, but we have lost a lot of time and we need to develop faster. The IMF is able to help us,” Rashkovan said.