Ukraine: As the orange era stalls...The banking revolution grows
Ukraine’s financial institutions are thriving despite renewed political upheaval. A surge in M&A and IPO activity could be the next stage.
While the movement for political change has lost momentum, for the financial industry the revolution does not stop here. Local banks are thriving. Foreign banks are busy. And an increase in M&A and IPO activity could be just around the corner. Guy Norton reports from Kiev.
THE DRAMATIC EVENTS of the winter of 2004, when hundreds of thousands of protesters packed the snow-covered streets of Ukraine’s cities to demand a change of government, helped to change the country’s destiny. Almost at a stroke Ukraine went from being viewed as a Russian puppet state to a wannabe member of the European Union. More than three years on since the so-called dream team of president Viktor Yushchenko and prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko first came to power, has it delivered on its promise of wholesale political and economic reform?
Among bankers and investors there is an almost universal belief that the Orange Revolution transformed the political perception of Ukraine for the better. "Before the Orange Revolution, Ukraine had slid into a hole," says Natalie Jaresko, managing partner of private equity firm Horizon Capital and a Kiev resident since the early 1990s.