Ukraine

Ukraine’s economy fell back into recession as fallout from the pandemic continued to weigh and interest rates were lifted to tackle soaring inflation, Bloomberg News reported. Second-quarter gross domestic product shrank a seasonally adjusted 0.8% after falling 1.2% in the previous three months, preliminary data Monday showed. On an annual basis, it ended more than a year of contraction, advancing by 5.4%, though that was some way off analyst estimates for a 7.3% increase.
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The Bank of England said on Friday that it had approved the “bail-in” of $595 million of loans that a British-based financial company made to the major Ukrainian lender PrivatBank before it was nationalised in 2016, Reuters reported. The bank’s nationalisation has been subject to lengthy litigation in Ukraine, and the International Monetary Fund last year made successful resolution of the legal issues a condition for financial aid.
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The European Union’s foreign policy chief said Monday that in the face of the big military buildup of Russian troops near Ukraine’s borders, it will only take “a spark” to set off a confrontation, the Associated Press reported. In a glum assessment of relations with Moscow, Josep Borrell also said that the condition of imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was “critical” and that the 27-nation group would hold the Kremlin accountable for his health and safety.
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Ukraine is hoping a post-pandemic recalibration of global supply chains will lure more investment to its battered economy, starting with European companies. Production of mattresses and furniture are already planned, Bloomberg News reported. “Asia was the world’s leading production venue,” Sergiy Tsivkach, head of the state’s UkraineInvest agency, said in an interview. “But because of the coronavirus, it became clear that long supply chains can impact contracts’ effectiveness.

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Ukraine’s recovery from its coronavirus-induced slump may take four years, the International Monetary Fund warned, after approving $5 billion of aid for the eastern European nation this week, Bloomberg News reported. “Under the baseline, the pace of economic growth is projected to pick up only gradually in the years ahead, to around 4%, as some further progress is made in implementing structural reforms,” the IMF said Thursday.

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Ukraine’s largest private power producer, DTEK, which recently suspended its debt payments, is ready to submit proposals on debt restructuring to creditors, the company’s CEO said on Tuesday, Reuters reported. DTEK, owned by the country’s richest man, Rinat Akhmetov, missed payments of coupons on Eurobonds and interest on bank debt as it struggled to minimize effects of the economic crisis.

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Ukrainian lawmakers have proposed thousands of amendments to banking legislation required by the International Monetary Fund, threatening to derail an $8 billion IMF aid package needed to fight the economic fall-out from the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reported. The law, which prevents former owners of banks declared insolvent from regaining their assets, is seen as against the interests of Ihor Kolomoisky, a tycoon and early backer of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s 2019 presidential campaign.

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Ukraine’s largest private power producer DTEK is suspending interest payings on Eurobonds and bank loans and will ask creditors to restructure some of its debt due to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, it said on Saturday, Reuters reported. Ukraine has reported 311 cases of coronavirus, including 8 deaths, and the government last week declared an emergency across the whole country for the next 30 days.

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In January-November 2019, UAH 7.878 billion was transferred to the accounts of insolvent banks, according to the Deposit Guarantee Fund of Ukraine, Ukrinform reported. “In January-November 2019, UAH 7,877.6 million was transferred to the accounts of banks being under liquidation. Of which the largest sum totaling UAH 6,832.0 million was received from the sale of assets of banks being under liquidation, UAH 928.2 million from repayment of loans, UAH 100.9 million from property rent, and UAH 16.6 million from redemption of securities,” reads the report.

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The International Monetary Fund gave tentative approval to a $5.5 billion lending program for Ukraine, after months of prodding Ukraine’s new president to clean up corruption and straighten out the banking sector, the Wall Street Journal reported. A new lending program for Ukraine would be a signal for investors who have worried about Ukraine’s direction under its new president, a former television actor with scant political experience who was elected in April on an anticorruption platform.

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