Business news from Ukraine

EBRD TO PROVIDE EUR 10 MLN LOAN EQUIVALENT TO UKRAINIAN ELECTRICITY AND GAS SUPPLIER ERU TRADING

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will provide a EUR 10 million two-year committed local currency-denominated working capital loan to the Ukrainian electricity and gas supplier ERU Trading LLC.
As stated in a report of the bank, the decision was made by the board of directors on June 9.
“EBRD funds will be used to support growing gas trading operations of ERU Trading in order to secure low cost gas from EU during summer season and store it in Ukrainian gas storages with further sale in Ukraine,” the EBRD said.
According to EBRD, the proposed project supports a private, independent trader in competing with the dominant player, Naftogaz, in an increasingly liberalised market, and facilitates increased liquidity and competition on the private energy exchange UEEX following the MoU signed by the EBRD in July 2020.
The EBRD will become the first international financial institution in the existing loan portfolio of ERU Trading.
ERU Trading LLC, established in 2016, belongs to Yaroslav Mudry and Dale Perry. According to the information on the company’s website, gas supplies to the population are an important part of its strategy. In February of this year, the company received the license from the energy regulator.

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STATE-OWNED OSCHADBANK PREPARING FOR DUE DILIGENCE IN PRE-PRIVATIZATION DEAL

The state-owned Oschadbank (Kyiv) is preparing for a due diligence by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to prepare for a pre-privatization deal, Oschadbank CEO Serhiy Naumov has said.
“The bank is actively negotiating and preparing a pre-privatization deal with the EBRD. Currently, we are completing negotiations on signing a mandate letter and preparing for due diligence,” he told Interfax-Ukraine on Tuesday.
According to Naumov, the bank expects that a bill that was registered in the parliament, aimed at joining Oschadbank to the Deposit Guarantee Fund, will be passed soon. The document will ensure the fulfillment of one of the important conditions for continuing successful cooperation with the EBRD.
As reported, the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine in February 2018, as part of an updated strategy for reforming the public banking sector, planned to gradually include Oschadbank into the Deposit Guarantee Fund system. According to the memorandum with the IMF, concluded in December of the same year, the full state guarantee of deposits of individuals in Oschadbank was supposed to be canceled by the end of 2019. This step will open the way for the EBRD to enter the capital of Oschadbank.
Oschadbank was founded in 1991. Its sole owner is the state. According to the statistics of the National Bank, as of March 1, 2021, Oschadbank ranked second in terms of total assets (UAH 279.702 billion) among 73 banks operating in the country.

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EBRD TO PROVIDE EUR 20 MLN SENIOR SECURED LOAN TO WINNER IMPORTS UKRAINE

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will provide a EUR 20 million senior secured loan to Winner Imports Ukraine LLC, Ukrainian importer and retailer of several well-known international vehicle brands. The money will be invested in sustainable dealerships for Renault and Volvo.
As reported on the bank’s website on Tuesday, the loan was approved by the EBRD’s board of directors on May 18. Financing will focus on green economy transition and circular economy through investments in dealerships, expansion of client’s logistic capacities, distribution and service infrastructure for vehicles, including electric.
“All building financed by the Bank will obtain BREEAM or EDGE sustainable certification. Project contributes to the adoption of advanced green practices in a country where such standards and practices are still uncommon, for instance, according to the latest data, only 12 BREEAM certificates have been issued in Ukraine to date with only one certificate issued in the retail category,” the EBRD said.
The total cost of the project is EUR 43 million, but the sources of co-financing are not given.
Winner Imports Ukraine LLC, part of Winner Group, is the official importer of Ford, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Porsche and Bentley, SAIC Motor vehicles in Ukraine.
In addition, in 2020, the company became an official dealer of the Renault auto brand, since the spring of the same year it began to provide services for cars of this brand in its multi-brand center Winner Automotive, and has planned to open a Renault concept dealership this year.
Winner Group Ukraine has been operating in the Ukrainian market for over 28 years, during this time more than 140,000 cars have been sold and more than 50 dealer centers have been opened in Ukraine.

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EUROPEAN BANK FOR RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT TO INVEST IN SCALLAR FROM UKRAINE

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has entered the capital of Scalarr Inc (Delaware, the United States) a company with operations and development center in Ukraine, as part of $7.5 million financing round, the bank has said on its website.
According to the report, the project was approved in September 2020. Today, all the required documents have been signed. The details of the deal are not available.
The EBRD said that Scalarr, a technology company with operations and development in Ukraine, provides the antifraud software solution for mobile application developers. Scalarr’s software, using its proprietary technology such as neural networks, unsupervised and semi-supervised machine learning allows the application developer to detect and prevent fraudulent application installs and avoid marketing expenses spent on purchase of the fraudulent traffic.
Scalarr said on its website that it saved its clients $22 million in ad fraud refunds in 2020.
The project was implemented under the Venture Capital Investment Programme (VCIP) II of the EBRD, which is a dedicated framework facility of EUR 50 million and is a continuation of EBRD’s existing programme, VCIP (EUR 100 million). The bank aims to invest in early and growth stage technology companies via equity and equity-linked instruments (investment size up to EUR 15 million).
In Ukraine, Scalarr Inc established Scalarr Ukraine LLC (Kharkiv) in September 2020. Its beneficiaries in the public register are the head of the company Inna Ushakova with 33.34%, as well as Andriy Ushakov and Yuriy Yashunin with 33.33% each.
Techcrunch publication earlier said that Scalarr’s Series A was led by the EBRD, with participation from TMT Investments, OTB Ventures and Speedinvest. Among other things, the company planned to use the money to expand its presence in Asia and continue developing the product.
Forbes Ukraine included Scalarr in the list of 30 best startups in Ukraine in the April issue of this year, valuing the company at $ 20-40 million, investment in it at $8 million, and the staff of 40 people.

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KYIV MAYOR VITALI KLITSCHKO AND EBRD PRESIDENT DISCUSS FINANCING OF INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko met with a delegation from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) headed by Odile Renaud-Basso, where the sides discussed further cooperation in the implementation of environmental and infrastructure projects in the Ukrainian capital.
“This year, we plan to complete the repayment of loans under the 2007 loan agreements, which allowed us to purchase 202 new trolleybuses, some 185 buses and 50 metro cars,” Klitschko said on the klichko.org website on Tuesday.
In addition to the urban transport renewal program, the meeting also discussed a project worth EUR 140 million to modernize the heating system of the Ukrainian capital. The EBRD provided a loan for the implementation of the project to the city within the Green Cities program.
Renaud-Basso stressed the interest of the EBRD in cooperation with the municipality of Kyiv.
She said the EBRD officials see the same priority areas of cooperation: roads, bridges, transport and environmental infrastructure. They are ready for closer cooperation, as well as they are ready to continue to provide support and attract investments to contribute to the sustainable development of the city in the face of global challenges.

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PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE INVITES EBRD TO JOIN DEVELOPMENT OF INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS IN UKRAINE

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky during a meeting with President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Odile Renaud-Basso invited a financial institution to join the development of infrastructure projects and privatization in Ukraine, according to the website of the head of state.
“It is very important to support infrastructure projects in Ukraine, because high-quality roads, bridges and social infrastructure are important for every Ukrainian. Thanks to infrastructure projects, we created 190,000 jobs at a time when many were losing their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Zelensky said.
The head of state also added that “privatization is one of the priorities today” and invited the EBRD to join this direction.
In addition, issues of development of the agricultural sector of Ukraine were discussed at the meeting. “It is advisable to invest in agriculture. Ukraine needs a lot of investment in the modernization of irrigation infrastructure. Its restoration will be a powerful step in the development of agriculture and Ukraine as a player in the international agricultural market,” Zelensky said.
In addition, Zelensky informed Odile Renaud-Basso about the continued implementation of the reform of law enforcement agencies, about the signing of a law in Ukraine on the creation of the Bureau of Economic Security. The interlocutors also discussed the reform of the energy sector, they talked about the implementation of energy efficiency programs, in particular, the introduction of energy-saving technologies in housing.
In addition, the negotiating parties discussed the continuation of the reform of the financial and banking sectors of Ukraine.
“Ukraine and the EBRD have good relations and many important projects in which Ukraine puts its soul, and the EBRD – its faith and money. We consider you one of the strategic financial partners. These relations are very important for us,” Zelensky said.
In turn, the EBRD President welcomed the reforms that are being implemented in various sectors of the Ukrainian economy.
The meeting was attended by Minister of Finance Serhiy Marchenko, Deputy Head of the President’s Office Yulia Svyrydenko, Advisor to the head of the President’s Office Tymofiy Mylovanov, and Head of Ukravtodor Oleksandr Kubrakov.

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