The Ukrainian Business Council has proposed that business activities are resumed from April 3, the introduction of additional measures should not be quitted and gradually cancel the restrictions imposed, the Council has said on its website. “We must save the economy. Business must work and pay taxes – everyone. We must support healthcare as a whole and doctors… Therefore, we propose to partially resume business activity from April 3, by no means introducing new measures and gradually canceling the current restrictions,” the Council said in the statement.
At the same time, the Ukrainian Business Council offers the following steps to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease COVID-19: extensive testing and isolation of infected people, enhanced control of infected people in self-isolation using electronic means, specific restrictions on public transport for risk groups – cancellation of benefits for risk groups, equipment of medical facilities and protection of doctors.
According to the Council, the state should move from banning the operation of a wide business segment to banning only certain segments, which involve large crowds.
“The introduction of a state of emergency at this time does not seem appropriate, it is enough to introduce a state of emergency in some regions,” the Ukrainian Business Council said.
“Representatives of the Ukrainian Business Council coalition, which includes 84 Ukrainian associations, urge the president, parliament and government to immediately consider the proposed measures, initiate a joint meeting and create a Crisis Response Center with the participation of experts from the Cabinet of Ministers, the Office of the President, the Verkhovna Rada, business and independent experts to discuss and work on the actions that will ensure effective response to the epidemic and do not harm the economy,” the Council said.
Ukrainian banks in the fourth quarter of 2019 reduced interest rates on hryvnia loans for businesses by 2.4 percentage points (p.p.), to 15.7% per annum, following a reduction in the refinancing rate by the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU). According to the banking sector survey posted on the National Bank’s website, the reduction in the cost of hryvnia loans for individuals was less noticeable: in the fourth quarter of 2019 the rates fell by 0.5 percentage points, to 33.6% per annum.
At the same time, according to the document, the rates on foreign currency loans to business entities are at a historically low level of 4.6% in December 2019.
The report also notes that the rates on deposits of individuals began to decline only in December, following the reduction in rates by state banks.
“During the year, state banks kept deposit rates at a high level due to inertia in the management of liabilities and assets and legal risks of PrivatBank,” the document says.
So, according to the report, the value of 12-month hryvnia deposits of individuals in the fourth quarter of 2019 decreased by 0.7 percentage points, to 15.1% per annum, in January 2020 it continued to decline by 1.1 percentage points, and in the first week of February by another 1 percentage point, to 13% per annum.
At the same time, the value of 12-month household deposits in U.S. dollars for the fourth quarter of 2019 decreased by 0.6 percentage points, to 2.6% per annum, and in 2020 by another 0.7 percentage points.
In addition, according to the document, the cost of hryvnia funds of corporations during the fourth quarter of 2019 fell by 2.7 percentage points, to 10.3% per annum.
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On the basis of Small and Medium Entrepreneurship School (SME School, the project of Vasyl Khmelnytsky’s K.Fund), UFuture opens UNIT School of Business in UNIT.City. The first open day at the new educational institution will take place on October 10 in UNIT Factory, Kyiv.
UNIT School of Business works in a new format for Ukraine: the program includes 119 hours of practical work on each participant’s real business instead of theoretical lectures. Entrepreneurs bring their daily tasks and look for profitable ways to solve them together with teachers. For this, the school’s experts have developed short practical programs for business modeling, marketing, sales, brand building, effective innovative tools that are easy to apply in the work of a small and medium Ukrainian business.
“We’ve created UNIT School of Business because in Ukraine, we haven’t found any entrepreneurship school organized at a really great level. We understand how difficult it is for an entrepreneur to take a break even for two months, not to mention two years. Therefore, our programs are short and effective,” Artem Makeev, CEO of the project, said.
Creators of UNIT School of Business have taken into account the experience of the educational business project “Superludi” (“Superpeople”) and SME School (1.5 thousand graduates in the past three years). The mentors of the institution are market experts and business practitioners of UFuture, UNIT.City innovation park, UDP development company, Biopharma innovative pharmaceutical company, ITernal group of IT companies and an ecosystem of tech solutions, Lean Institute Ukraine, and “Superludi”.
“Nine out of ten businesses in Ukraine are closed during the first year of existence. Not because of external reasons, but because of the lack of knowledge. We’ve collected the necessary knowledge and will help to apply it in business,” Vlad Nozdrachev, partner of UNIT School of Business, Founder and Project Manager of “Superludi”, said.
UNIT School of Business is a part of UNIT ecosystem which includes, in particular, Ugrow (a closed community of entrepreneurs with regular events, group coaching and mentoring support, access to which is available to students of UNIT School of Business), INDAX accelerator (helps to build production, including investments), Sector X accelerator (finds clients and partners in IT field and helps businesses enter the western market).
The open day at UNIT School of Business will start on October 10 at 16:00. The program of the event includes speeches by representatives of the business school and Ugrow, informal communication with graduates of SME School. The first 100 people who register at https://forms.gle/nGUDtomazJ3B7KXL7 will be able to take part in the open day.
The launch of the new curriculum of UNIT School of Business will take place on October 21.
UFuture is a holding company of Ukrainian entrepreneur Vasyl Khmelnytsky that integrates his business and impact-investment projects. The company has a diversified portfolio of assets in the fields of real estate, infrastructure, industry, renewable energy, pharmaceuticals, and IT. Currently, UFuture’s assets are estimated at $550 million, and the total capitalization of the businesses it invested in is more than $1 billion. UFuture is a majority shareholder in UDP development company (specializing in large infrastructure projects), Kyiv Sikorsky International Airport (the second international airport in Ukraine by passenger traffic), national operator of outdoor advertising RTM-Ukraine, and a group of IT companies and an ecosystem of tech solutions ITernal. UFuture is a strategic investor in the pharmaceutical company Biopharma and UDP Renewables, renewable energy investment and development company. UFuture is also developing new business projects including UNIT.City innovation parks in Kyiv and Kharkiv, LvivTech.City in Lviv; Bila Tserkva industrial park and a manufacturer of modern electrotechnical systems, Plank Electrotechnic. UFuture supports social projects in the fields of education and economics, including the Kyiv International Economic Forum (KIEF), Lean Institute Ukraine, UNIT School of Business, UNIT Factory innovative IT-schools in Kyiv and Kharkiv, Secondary education institution Novopecherska School, the all-Ukrainian online platform iLearn, and others.
The decision of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) to cancel mandatory sale of currency by business could result into active use of derivatives, such as forwards, futures, options, and swaps, Senior Associate Lawyer of Evris Law Firm Kateryna Breduliak has said. She recalled that the regulation on mandatory sale of 30% of currency on the interbank currency market was canceled on June 20, 2019. Mandatory sale of currency from clearing accounts was canceled on June 19, 2019.
Breduliak said that the NBU’s decision to cancel mandatory sale of currency was “rather predictable” taking into account the law on currency and currency transactions, which took effect on February 7, 2019, as well as the NBU’s course towards currency liberalization.
“Despite another relaxation of currency rules by the NBU, several approved currency liberalization measures have no significant effect on the financial market. However, the regulator took a timely decision as long as demand for U.S. dollar and at the same time for currency earnings is expected in summer,” the lawyer said.
She added that as a result of such changes businesses could actively use derivatives (forwards, futures, options, swaps).
“Bankers also hope for improvement as long as businesses will transfer currency in Ukraine more actively because now they can withdraw it any time,” she said.
The lawyer stressed that “in such situation it will be much more difficult to make dollar rate forecasts and the volume of currency on the market is also unknown.”
Breduliak added that “cancellation of mandatory sale of currency will not have a dramatic effect on businesses.”
“For example, take an agricultural company. The farmers need hryvnias to prepare for the sowing campaign. Hence, there is no point in holding currency back and the agricultural company anyway has to sell currency to insure its further work,” she said.
As reported, the NBU canceled the mandatory sale of currency by businesses from June 19, 2019.