Business news from Ukraine

KERNEL SIGNS FIRST NON-DELIVERABLE FORWARD CONTRACT IN UKRAINIAN MARKET

One of Ukrainian banks and the large Ukrainian agricultural holding Kernel signed a first non-deliverable forward (NDF) contract in the history of Ukraine last week, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has said.
“This is the first transaction to hedge currency risks of this type in the Ukrainian market. Earlier, deliverable forward contracts were also concluded in the market, but their share is still insignificant and has great potential for growth,” the regulator said in a statement last week.
NBU Deputy Governor Oleh Churiy said that in the world on the foreign exchange market spot transactions, that is, those that are actually settled on the same day, make up no more than a third of the total foreign exchange market.
“The rest are transactions using hedging instruments: forwards, futures, swaps. Unfortunately, in Ukraine it is the opposite: spot transactions dominate, and cases of hedging currency risks by the business are still isolated,” Churiy said.
According to him, with a floating exchange rate, business owners and financial directors should pay attention to hedging tools that are already available in Ukraine. These are, in particular, deliverable and non-deliverable forward contracts, which can be concluded with banks for export-import operations or loans from nonresidents.
“For four years now, Ukraine has been living in a flexible exchange rate environment that avoids the accumulation of imbalances in the economy, but also requires prudent planning for the business,” the NBU deputy governor said.

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SWISSOTEL HOTEL BRAND TO ENTER UKRAINIAN MARKET

The international hotel operator Accor (France) has signed a management contract for the Swissotel Living hotel at 13 Luteranska Street in Pechersky district of Kyiv, the opening of which is scheduled for 2021-2022. “This will be an aparthotel designed for long and medium-term accommodation (extended stay). The owner of the hotel and Accor believe that this format has good prospects in the city,” Accor New East Europe Development Director Yekateryna Marchenko told Interfax-Ukraine.
The object will be housed in a historic building near Khreschatyk Street, after restoration it will have 58 rooms.
The expert noted that before joining the Accor chain, the Swissotel brand already made attempts to enter the Ukrainian hotel market, but the planned projects were not implemented.
Accor Group is one of the leading hotel operators in the world. It opened its first hotel under the Novotel brand in Lille (France) in 1967.

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BLABLABUS BUS TO ENTER UKRAINIAN MARKET

The BlaBlaBus bus low-cost carrier, founded by the world’s largest international online service of the search for automobile travel companions BlaBlaCar (France), plans to enter the Ukrainian market. “Our first BlaBlaBus bus route has already been launched in Germany. We plan to connect 60 cities across Germany and Benelux with our routes in the first year of operation. Then we will expand the BlaBlaBus coverage to the whole of Europe. In our non-European markets where we have already started connecting professional bus carriers to our platform, we will also redouble our efforts in this direction, with a focus on Russia, Ukraine and Latin America,” co-founder and CEO of BlaBlaCar Nicolas Brusson said in an interview for the Journal.Octobus magazine.
According to him, the BlaBlaBus service will help reduce the number of cars on the roads, as well as reduce the cost of travel.
BlaBlaBus launched its first bus route in Germany on June 11, 2019. In 2018, BlaBlaCar bought the French carrier Ouibus, on the basis of which BlaBlaBus was created. Before the merger, the French service had more than 300 bus routes around Europe.
BlaBlaCar (France) is the world’s largest international online service of the search for automobile travel companions, it was founded in 2006. The company operates in 22 countries, the total clientele of the project exceeds 70 million people.
BlaBlaCar entered the Ukrainian market in early 2014, having bought the Ukrainian startup Podorozhniki.

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LARGE U.S. PRODUCER OF E-CIGARETTES ENTERES UKRAINIAN MARKET

The large U.S. producer of e-cigarettes – JUUL Labs – is entering the Ukrainian market, which will be the 14th international market for the company.
“We will be represented in Ukraine by the original American product. The Cigar House Fortuna will become our distribution partner. We will be represented in the six largest cities of the country – Kyiv, Odesa, Lviv, Kharkiv, Dnipro and Zaporizhia. We plan to enter 1,000 retail outlets. Products in stores will appear in the middle of next week,” General Manager of JUUL Labs for Ukraine and the CIS Ivan Darkov said at a press conference in Kyiv on Tuesday.
According to him, the company intends to oblige each outlet to sign a contract with the distribution partner that it will identify every customer who buys the product.
“If an outlet does not comply with the demand, the company will stop supplying its products. We do not plan to go on Facebook, Instagram, as these channels are aimed at popularizing the product mainly among young people, and also sell products through other online sales channels,” Darkov said.
He said that now the company has no official representation in Ukraine, as well as plans to open its own production.
“In Ukraine, there are more than 8 million adult smokers of traditional cigarettes. Based on the price, our product belongs to the premium segment. We plan to have over 200,000 customers for our products in Ukraine in three years,” the company’s general manager in Ukraine and the CIS said.
In addition, according to him, JUUL Labs intends to participate in the development of bills to regulate the market of e-cigarettes in Ukraine.

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UKRAINIAN MARKET OF IMPORTED ALCOHOL WILL GROW BY 10% IN 2019

The market of imported alcohol in Ukraine in 2019 will grow by 8-10%, Bayadera Group, one of the largest alcohol companies in the Ukrainian market, predicts.
“According to experts, the imported alcohol market in 2019 will grow by 8-10%. Significant development is expected in the segment of foreign wines, while premium and luxury brands will have a steady increase of 2-3%,” the press service of Bayadera Group reported.
According to Bayadera Group, the structure of the import market in Ukraine has changed towards still wines (25%) and whiskey (20%). Sparkling wine and champagne (15% each) rank third among imported alcohol, brandy and cognac (about 12%) rank fourth, while rum (10%) is fifth.
According to the report, Bayadera Group imports almost all categories of alcohol, sales of imported products in 2018 increased by 17%. The main imports are Italian, French, Spanish, Chilean and German wines. The company intends in 2019 to focus on manufacturers, with which it already works, it does not plan to bring new large brands to the market.

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LARGEST PAYMENT SYSTEM OF JAPAN INTERESTED IN ENTERING UKRAINIAN MARKET

Japan Credit Bureau (JCB), the largest payment system in Japan and one of the five largest payment systems in the world, is interested in entering the Ukrainian market, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) said on Facebook.
The relevant intentions were expressed by JCB General Manager Takashi Suetsugu at a meeting with the leadership of the National Bank.
“Mr. Suetsugu announced JCB’s interest in entering the Ukrainian market and the intention to submit a corresponding package of documents to the regulator in the near future. For his part, Yakiv Smolii welcomed JCB’s intention to work in Ukraine, noting that the National Bank stands for a competitive environment in the payment market and uniform rules of regulation for all participants,” the report says.
According to JCB, as of the end of 2017 some 117 million customers were holders of its cards. The total annual transaction volume of the system was $281 billion. To date, JCB payment cards are serviced in 190 countries of the world. Payment cards are issued in 23 countries.
In total, there were 43 payment systems in Ukraine as of October 1, 2018, including the NBU Electronic Payment System, 29 systems for servicing transfers within the country, and 13 systems for cross-border remittance.

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