Ukraine – after the Russian conflict: special focus
Euromoney's coverage of the economic and financial fallout from the conflict.
Some banks are doing more than others in building local capital markets in frontier countries.
Ukraine's best bank: Raiffeisen Bank Aval
Ukraine’s consistent, gradual improvement could be a gamble worth taking, especially with attention focused on trade wars, the eurozone and North Korea.
Foreign investors eye record NPL stocks; judicial flaws hinder default resolution.
Since the financial crisis, the region has been seen as increasingly irrelevant in a global context. International investors of all stripes have dismissed it as a collection of small and complex markets, tainted by their association first with the eurozone and, subsequently, with Russia and Ukraine.
Ukrainian authorities have received support for their case against former shareholders of nationalized lender PrivatBank from investigators at US consultancy Kroll, according to the country’s central bank.
It is almost a year since the forced nationalization of Ukraine’s biggest bank, whose collapse could have wreaked havoc with the country’s economy. It has cost the country $6 billion and sparked a wave of recriminations and lawsuits. As policymakers try to turn PrivatBank into a viable lender, here’s the inside story of a high-stakes national psychodrama.
Back in June, holders of Eurobonds bailed in during the state takeover of Ukraine’s PrivatBank last year hired a clutch of upmarket American PRs to make the case to western journalists that the nationalization was illegitimate.
The country has turned a corner and is promising stronger growth – and more reforms – but it needs to maintain progress to offer safer returns.
Sanctions and regulatory scrutiny stymie sales; western subsidiaries surge back to profit.
Ukraine’s Gontareva should be lauded for her efforts to clean up Ukraine’s rotten banking system.
It has come a long way since 2014, but policymakers must keep going.
International investors regain appetite for Russian stocks; Sovcomflot privatization on the table again.
Continuing engagement with the IMF is a positive sign, but it’s a long way back as the economic, political and security risks are still sky-high.
Assailed by conflict and politics, Alexander Dubilet admits that the task of running Ukraine’s biggest bank is complicated. But he insists that PrivatBank can cope with the loss of large parts of its network and dismisses rumours about secret loans and the need for state support.
July 7, 2014 loomed as a normal business day for Yulia Vyalova, PrivatBank’s branch network boss in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region.
Banking sector clean-up to continue; UniCredit heads for the exit.
Only time will tell if snapping up Ukrainian bonds before its creditor negotiations are complete is fortuitous or foolhardy, but what cannot be denied are the enormous risks involved.
"When I went anywhere I was told I was crazy – so was moving into Ukraine crazier than moving into Slovakia?"
The crisis in Ukraine shows no sign of abating and its impact is being felt across the rest of emerging Europe. Phil Bennett, deputy head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, explains why this is bad news for the region’s companies and what multilaterals can do to help.
The Ukrainian hryvnia has been ravaged in 2014, with the conflict with Russia exacerbating the challenges faced by this highly indebted economy.
As sanctions and falling oil prices force the rouble’s slide, country risk experts are questioning the ability of privately owned and/or state-backed banks and corporates to obtain credit and repay their debts amid capital flight and an economy in decline.
The latest results of a systemic risk index reveal elevated risks in Russia, Portugal and France but a generally marked improvement across the rest of Europe.
Analysts support the Central Bank of Russia’s (CBR) response to the collapse of the rouble – abandoning the dollar band and providing new channels to funnel liquidity to the market – arguing it will shift market expectations and could stabilize the currency in the medium-term. In an interview with Euromoney before the move, a CBR official discusses the opportunities and challenges in the regime shift.
Politicians have promised that reform is on the way. International investors are apparently ready to step in if the conflict calms. But will it be in time to rescue an economy bedevilled by fighting, corruption and currency shortages? Banks are struggling to survive, hamstrung by lack of funding and capital. On the eve of parliamentary elections, Euromoney visited Kiev to canvass the views of policymakers, bankers and international sponsors. Is there light at the end of the tunnel?
When Ukrainian state energy company Naftogaz paid $1.6 billion to redeem a bond maturing on October 1, one Twitter commentator accused the country’s policymakers of “defaulting on its citizens”.
Sector profitability holding up; central bank adds dollars to liquidity provision.
Sanctions overs the conflict in Ukraine have closed off western capital markets to some Russian companies, giving Asia an opportunity to take a greater role. But an easy ride in the east is not guaranteed.
Russia’s consumer lenders are the modern face of Russian finance, and could prove resilient to the current crisis.
The escalating conflict in Ukraine and sanctions placed on Russia by the EU and the US are pushing private Russian money into Asian wealth centres and encouraging the country’s corporates to seek new sources of funding in the region.
Russian and foreign companies with substantial exposure to Russia are intensifying their efforts to move their money out of the country amid growing fears there could be a liquidity squeeze, as the European Union and US escalate sanctions.
The terrible calamity of the shooting down of the Malaysia Airlines passenger plane in mid-July and the growing conflict between Ukraine’s pro-west government and the Russian-backed separatist forces highlights the real risk of sharply rising energy prices for European consumers.
From Estonia to Belarus, many sovereigns have been caught up in a crisis their credit ratings fail to reflect.
When Euromoney penetrated the economy and finance ministries in Kiev in late May, as well as the central bank, it found an atmosphere of unease and uncertainty. A supposed dream-team, which in reality is a collection of talented and driven novices, has a battle on its hands to keep Ukraine’s economy afloat. Can Kubiv, Schlapak and Sheremeta make the transition from protest to pro-growth?
The Ukrainian crisis has come at a bad time for Belarus’s state-driven economy, already in urgent need of external financing to fend off a balance-of-payments crisis.
Joint investment fund undertakes new deals; Kazakhstan’s nationalized bank sell-offs set to go.
The Washington-led sanctions on Russia, as well as officials and associates in the Putin circle, are toothless, Oleksandr Shlapak, Ukraine’s post-revolution finance minister, tells Euromoney.
Hopes that Russian issuers can fund all their needs in Asia’s markets are likely to be misplaced. But it will become a more important market for them, sanctions or not.
Fallout from the Ukraine crisis has not yet hurt the country’s planned infrastructure development programme. But sanctions or not, Russia will be hard pushed to meet its long-term target in the domestic finance market alone.
Banks and their corporate clients are scrabbling to get up to speed and comply with a growing slate of US and European sanctions against Russia - or face unlimited fines and imprisonment.
The battle between the west and Russia over Ukraine is intensifying amid a full-on financial war. Euromoney investigates the foreign-currency credit crunch for Russian borrowers.
Russia’s adventures in Ukraine are adversely affecting its international issuance. And at home they will stifle ambitions to develop an international financial centre.
The crisis in Crimea should give the west pause for thought in its relations with eastern European states and with Russia.
Russia-US tensions over Ukraine could be the 'first major political conflict that is played out in international financial markets', according to Citi, as sanctions take their bite.
Russia is expected to launch its own nationwide card payment and processing system within months, potentially breaking the dominance of US companies Visa and MasterCard for making electronic payments in the country.
As the political tensions morph into economic problems for Russia and Ukraine, other regional states are becoming embroiled in the crisis, notably Kazakhstan, which had been improving in Euromoney’s Country Risk Survey.
Five CIOs discuss asset allocation changes in light of the tension in the border countries.
While OTP and Raiffeisen are vulnerable to FX losses and a slowdown in Russia and Ukraine, the impact should be manageable, though there are some exceptions.
Russia’s muscular posture on the Crimean region of Ukraine, re-awakening Cold War tensions, threatens to tip the economy into a mild recession and has put a spotlight on the country’s structural weaknesses amid political risk, say analysts.
Although current account deterioration, persistent capital outflows and the Ukraine crisis would seem to weaken rouble, the central bank’s flexible FX regime should keep the currency out of turmoil, say analysts.
Euromoney’s Country Risk Survey points to limited regional impact of the crisis in Ukraine, in spite of potential spill-over effects.
The scale of Ukraine’s challenge to correct economic balances is staggering, even if a political consensus is reached that would see an IMF support package. What’s more, markets might be understating sovereign default risk given strict debt covenants in the 2015 Russian-backed dollar bond that is sure to be used in a regional chess game, say analysts.
With civil unrest on the streets of Ukraine showing few signs of stopping, we ask four ECR experts if a solution can be found to the divided country’s problems.