Business news from Ukraine

BLACK SEA TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT BANK TO PROVIDE EUR 900 MLN TO HELP ECONOMY

The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) has said that the bank is ready to send around EUR 9000 million to help the sectors affected by the coronavirus disease COVID-19 spread.
“The bank intends to refocus its financing of approximately EUR 900 million, planned for new operations in 2020, to assist the sectors and industries most affected by the turmoil caused by the COVID-19 infection,” the bank said in a press release issued on Tuesday.
The bank said that in these difficult times the BSTDB is sympathetic to the efforts its member states make to contain the spread of the coronavirus and reduce the negative impact it has on human lives, societies and economic activity.
“We will offer additional technical assistance to affected clients to facilitate project preparation, including business plans, feasibility studies, environmental impact assessments, etc. The Bank will focus on assisting municipalities, utilities, manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies being on the front line of the fight against COVID-19,” the bank said.
The BSTDB is an international financial institution established by Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine.

,

RATING AGENCY FITCH EXPECTS ACCELERATION OF GROWTH OF UKRAINIAN ECONOMY FROM 3.2% IN 2019 TO 3.5% IN 2020 AND 3.8% IN 2021

The international rating agency Fitch Ratings expects acceleration of growth of the Ukrainian economy from 3.2% in 2019 to 3.5% in 2020 and 3.8% in 2021 due to private consumption and investment. “According to official estimates, the economy grew by 3.2% in 2019 and Fitch expects growth of 3.5% in 2020 and 3.8% in 2021 supported by private consumption and investment. The revised version of the land market legislation will be positive for economic growth in the near term through increased consumption (as result of land sales) and expected increase in the demand for credit for the agricultural sector. Nevertheless, the scale of potential investment and productivity improvements will be constrained by limits on foreign investors’ participation,” the agency said on its website.
“Fitch considers that growth and investment prospects depend on the adequate and timely implementation of reforms to address constrains such as the rule of law, corruption, customs and taxation and law enforcement. As with other emerging markets, downside risks to the growth outlook have increase due to uncertainty of the impact of COVID-19 on global growth and commodity prices,” according to the report.
“Fitch considers that the NBU’s (the National Bank of Ukraine) easing cycle, lower portfolio inflows, a wider current account deficit and increased global uncertainty will lead to a weaker hryvnia in 2020 relative to 2019. External financing needs will remain high relative to peers (70% of international reserves) due to still large debt repayments and wider current account deficits. External sovereign amortizations (government plus NBU) will rise to $5 billion in 2020 and $4.8 billion in 2021 (external bond repayments averaging $2.4 billion). Fitch expects the current account deficit to widen to 3% and 4% of GDP in 2020 and 2021, respectively, from a low 0.7% in 2019, driven by continued import growth boosted by domestic demand and reduced gas transit fees,” the document states.
“As inflationary pressures remain subdued (3.2% in January), Fitch expects inflation to average 4.6% in 2020 and 5.3% in 2021,” Fitch experts said.
“Risks from international financial market volatility, delays in the IMF program approval or stronger-than-anticipated domestic demand pressures will determine the future pace and scale of the easing cycle. Fiscal risks for 2020 stem from weaker revenue growth due to a stronger than budgeted hryvnia and lower privatization revenues in addition to still to be defined social expenditure increases announced by the incoming authorities. Receipts from the Naftogaz arbitration award will help cushion government revenues and provide room to accommodate expenditure commitments under the 2020 budget, targeting a 2.1% of GDP deficit,” Fitch stated.

, ,

DRAGON CAPITAL PREDICTS ACCELERATION OF UKRAINE’S ECONOMY TO 4%

Real growth of Ukraine’s GDP in 2020 would accelerate to 4% from 3.2-3.3% in 2019 with a flight rise in inflation from 4.1% to 5.2%, Dragon Capital Investment Company (Kyiv) has said. “Now the situation is very good in Ukraine, one of the best for 20 years of our stay here,” Tomas Fiala, the head and founder of the company, said at the presentation of the macroeconomic forecast of the European Business Association (EBA) in Kyiv.
According to him, in 2021, the company expects a slight slowdown, to 3.7% with inflation of 6.1%.
Fiala said that Dragon Capital predicts that the hryvnia will strengthen this year on average to UAH 24/$1 compared to UAH 25.80/$1 last year.
He added that, according to the company’s expectations, the exchange rate at the end of this year will be about UAH 24/$1, and at the end of the next – UAH 25.5/$1.
According to Fiala, such an economic growth with the hryvnia strengthening has already increased its U.S. dollar-pegged GDP from $90 billion in 2015 to $150 billion in 2019 and, tentatively, to $175 billion this year.
He said that this allowed reducing public debt from 80% of GDP to 51% of GDP and allows us to expect an increase in the credit rating of Ukraine by another 1-2 points in 2020.
The head of Dragon Capital said that among the main risks for the forecast is the refusal to cooperate with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is extremely dangerous in the conditions of Ukraine’s dependence on external financing and the deterioration of the global situation, especially in the grain and metal markets.

,

GROWTH OF UKRAINE’S ECONOMY IN Q4, 2019 WAS 2.2%

The growth of Ukraine’s economy in the fourth quarter of 2019 slowed down to 2.2% and will again exceed 3% in the first quarter of 2020, Dmytro Sologub, the Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), has stated. “According to our estimates, behind the growth figure [GDP] of 3.3% in 2019 is the fourth quarter growth of 2.2% … Regarding the first quarter, we currently have an estimate of GDP growth above 3%,” he said at a briefing in Kyiv.
As reported, the NBU worsened the forecast for GDP growth in 2019 to 3.3% from 3.5% and kept it at 3.5% in 2020 and 4% in 2021.

,

WUHAN CORONAVIRUS TO HAVE MINIMUM EFFECT ON ECONOMY OF UKRAINE

The Wuhan coronavirus will have a minimum effect on the economy of Ukraine due to low international tourist inflow in the country, Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture Minister of Ukraine Tymofiy Mylovanov has said.
“Usually it may directly affect tourism – tourism slows down. Unfortunately, or in this case fortunately, international tourism inflow is low in Ukraine – a mere 2% of GDP,” he said at a press briefing following the government’s meeting on Wednesday, adding that transporters and tour operators, who are working on foreign markets, including China, might suffer some expenses on the evacuation of people, however, in general, the effect will be minimal.
“We are not forecasting a negative effect [of the coronavirus] on goods turnover. Actually, using the opportunity, we have eliminated several trade barriers for export to China, but this is not related to the coronavirus,” the minister said.

,

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT ZELENSKY DISCUSSES SWEDISH INVESTMENT IN UKRAINIAN ECONOMY

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Löfven on the sidelines of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, and the sides discussed prospects of negotiations on Donbas and Swedish investment in the Ukrainian economy.
The press service of the president of Ukraine reported on the president’s website on Wednesday, Zelensky thanked the prime minister for comprehensive support of Kyiv, in particular, the support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The parties discussed the prospects of the negotiations on Donbas.
“We are not ready to wait five more years for the negotiations in Minsk to yield results,” Zelensky said.
The head of state also noted the importance of Sweden as a partner for Ukraine, in particular in the trade sphere.
Zelensky urged Löfven to facilitate the increase of Swedish investments in Ukraine’s economy, including the spheres of energy efficiency and recycling.

, ,