Business news from Ukraine


The rating agency Expert-Rating has affirmed the financial stability rating of KSG Agro SA (Switzerland), the holding company of the agricultural holding KSG Agro, at the level of “uaA+” on the national scale (corresponds to the BBB level on the international scale), the company said in a press release on Wednesday following an audit of its activities over the first half of the year.
According to the rating agency, this assessment of the company’s performance in the first half of 2021 is due to an increase in the level of coverage by its own capital of its debt obligations, the company’s profitability and a good level of its EBITDA to available loans.
“Throughout the period from June 30, 2020 to June 30, 2021, KSG Agro’s equity capital grew by 52.46%, up to $14.47 million, including due to its profitable activity and the reduction of retained loss. For the same period the liabilities of KSG Agro S.A. decreased by 12.52%, down to $55.7 million. The decrease in liabilities of KSG Agro S.A. was mainly due to selling three subsidiary companies in May, 2021,” the rating agency said in the report.
According to it, debt obligations of KSG Agro S.A. as of June 30, 2021, decreased by 12.52% compared to June 30, 2020, to $55.69 million. Long-term loans predominated in the structure of the company’s debt obligations as of that date: their volume increased by 7.52%, to $27.25 million, whiles the volume of short-term liabilities decreased by 54.19%, to $2.91 million.
The agency noted that EBITDA of KSG Agro SA in the first half of 2021 decreased by 22.49% compared to January-June 2020, to $2.69 million. At the same time, the ratio of EBITDA to its loan obligations as of June 30, 2021 decreased by 2.03 p.p. versus the same date last year, to 8.95%, which indicates the company’s ability to service its debt obligations.
The agency’s report indicated that the current macroeconomic situation in Ukraine did not significantly affect the sales volumes of the agricultural holding’s products, in particular, its revenue in the first half of 2021 decreased by 12.1% compared to the same period in 2020, to $6.81 million. During the specified period, the net profit of KSG Agro increased 48 times, to $13.7 million, mainly due to the sale of its subsidiaries.
“Therefore, according to the results of the first half of 2021, KSG Agro S.A. demonstrated high profitability indicators,” the rating agency said.
The agency recalled that the borrower or the particular debt instrument with rating “uaA+” is characterized by a high creditworthiness compared to other Ukrainian borrowers or debt instruments.

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Rating agency Expert-Rating has affirmed the financial stability rating of the agricultural holding KSG Agro S.A. at the level of “uaA +” on the national scale, according to the agency’s website.
The agency notes that a borrower or a separate debt instrument with a “uaA +” rating is characterized by high creditworthiness compared to other Ukrainian borrowers or debt instruments.
According to the agency’s data, as of March 31, 2021, the share of loans in the liabilities of KSG Agro was 47.70%, of which short-term loans – 5.12%, and long-term loans – 42.58%.
As of the beginning of 2021, the equity capital of KSG Agro S.A. covered loans from banks by 44.16% and by 19.64% – the total volume of loans from banks and the parent company OLBIS Investments Ltd., owned by owner of the agricultural holding Serhiy Kasianov.
“In 2020-2021, the management of the holding took measures to improve its credit history by fully repaying and restructuring overdue debts on bank loans, and also reduced the impact of foreign exchange risk on the KSG Agro’s creditworthiness by changing the lending currency from the U.S. dollar to the functional currency, that is the main currency that a company conducts its business,” the agency said in a report.
Expert-Rating also notes that in 2020 the ratio of the company’s EBITDA to its total liabilities increased by 8.04 percentage points (p.p.) compared to 2019, to 11.35%, EBITDA to loans received – by 16.70 p.p., to 23.94%, and EBITDA to bank loans – by 34.81 p.p., to 54.28%.
“The current level of EBITDA of KSG Agro S.A. covers a significant share of interest bearing liabilities in 2020, it exceeds the cost of paying interest on loans by over 4 times and the total financial expenses of the holding by over 3 times,” the report said.
The agency clarifies that as of December 31, 2020, the agricultural holding did not issue debt securities, except for short-term bills, the amount of debt on which was estimated at $2.35 million.
According to Expert-Rating, due to the listing of shares of KSG Agro S.A. on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE), the agricultural company can issue new shares, thereby increasing the liquidity and value of its shares.
According to the agency, as of March 31, 2021, some 64.62% of the company’s shares belonged to Kasianov, who manages it through OLBIS Investments Ltd., 35.17% of the shares were in free circulation on the WSE, and 0.21% accounted for treasury shares.

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President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has made changes to the composition of the Council for Financial Stability of Ukraine, the website of the head of state has said.
In accordance with decree No. 60/2021 “On Amendments to the Regulations on the Financial Stability Council”, the Council includes the Deputy Head of the President’s Office, which is responsible for economic policy issues, as well as another Deputy Head of the National Bank of Ukraine (previously there was one deputy) who take part in its work on a voluntary basis.
Also, according to the new amendments, from now on, a meeting of the Council will be legally qualified if at least six members of the Council are present, including at least one representative from the National Bank of Ukraine and the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine.
In addition, decisions of the Council will be made by a qualified majority of votes of the members of the Council present at the meeting (at least five votes – if six members of the Council take part in the meeting, or at least six votes – if seven or eight members of the Council participate in the meeting).
It is noted that the decree comes into force on the day of its publication.

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Financial stability in Ukraine will be kept even if the second wave of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) begins, and all major banks in the country will be able to survive it, Board Chairman of Raiffeisen Bank Aval Oleksandr Pysaruk has said.
“All major banks – systemic, large, medium – I am sure they will survive… Some of the small banks may suffer, but it will not affect anything… I don’t see any threat to financial stability,” he said in interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
According to Pysaruk, after the work that the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) did to reform the banking sector, fairly stable banks have remained on the market.
“The Ukrainian banking system, like Ukraine as a whole, from the point of view of macroeconomic indicators has entered this crisis in better condition than at any moment in the past 30 years since independence… Largely thanks to the work of the NBU and the Ministry of Finance, by the way, with the IMF support,” he said.
He said that, according to the NBU Financial Stability Report, nine banks in the country may need additional capitalization, and two of them are state-owned. “Two well-known state-owned banks, which often lack capital, because their management quality is not good enough, the story is complicated. If they do not have enough capital again, the state will contribute it again,” he said.