COMMENT: Ukraine’s slow but steady westward trade path

Iana Dreyer of Borderlex in Paris July 18, 2019

Five years after the Maidan revolution, the DCFTA between the EU and Ukraine is turning out to be an important vehicle in the East European country’s gradual economic decoupling from Russia. It is also buttressing the its slow but steady reform path.

Russia's president eases path to citizenship for all residents of Ukraine's Donetsk, Luhansk regions

Sergei Kuznetsov in Kyiv July 18, 2019

Kyiv views the move as illegal and Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman will appeal to other states to declare invalid such "fake" documents as well.

Ukrainian oligarch Firtash continues legal battle in Austria despite Vienna's final extradition decision

bne IntelliNews July 16, 2019

In June, the Supreme Court of Austria cleared the way for Firtash to be extradited to the US to face corruption charges, but he is allowed to stay in Austria while a court considers a defence motion to re-open the case against him.

COMMENT: Southeast Europe the growth star in CEE banking, but the profit pool is elsewhere

Gunter Deuber of Raiffeisen Research in Vienna July 16, 2019

The core message for bankers and investors active in the CEE region should be: close to old records, potential for more but watch out for late cycle phenomena.

Ukraine's natural gas monopoly raises €600mn, $335mn via Eurobonds placement

Sergei Kuznetsov in Kyiv July 16, 2019

Naftogaz says it's better able to prepare for the next winter season by accumulating gas in its underground gas storage facilities after raising funds on attractive terms.

Poll shows high hopes ahead of Ukraine’s weekend general election

Ben Aris in Belrin July 15, 2019

Zelenskiy’s Servant of the People party still riding wave of popularity. Looks set to win by far largest share of vote and possibly outright majority.

Moldova seeks to wipe out cigarette smuggling on eastern border

bne IntelliNews July 15, 2019

New government in Chisinau claims cigarette smuggling via the separatist republic of Transnistria was allowed to flourish under the previous administration.

Ukraine's president under fire over plan to expand lustration

bne IntelliNews July 15, 2019

Newly elected President Volodymyr Zelenskiy wants to change the law to extend lustration to officials who held high-level posts following the 2014 Euromaidan, including former president Petro Poroshenko.

COMMENT: Ukraine poised for a new strong start after July’s elections

Tim Ash of BlueBay Asset Management July 12, 2019

Ukraine heads to the polls again for parliamentary elections on July 21, and expectations are building of another pro-reform vote to follow Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s landslide victory in the run off of the presidential election in April.

Consumer prices in Ukraine declined 0.5% in June

bne IntelliNews July 11, 2019

Prices of food (down 1.1% m/m), clothes and footwear (down 3.0%) and utilities (down 1.4%) dragged the headline figure down in June.

Ukraine’s balance of payments to support the hryvnia, despite growing trade deficit

bne IntelliNews July 9, 2019

A positive balance of payments will support the value of Ukraine’s currency, the hryvnia, largely thanks to $5bn worth of remittances sent home by Ukrainians working abroad, despite the swelling trade deficit.

Construction of the Turkish Stream pipeline 90% finished

Ben Aris in Berlin July 9, 2019

Last week Russian state-owned gas giant Gazprom invited bank analysts on a trip to inspect the construction work of the Turkish Stream (aka TurkStream) pipeline. They report work on the pipeline is on schedule and that it is 90% complete.

Central, Eastern and Southeast European sovereigns to return to debt markets on large scale in 2020, Raiffeisen says

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow July 9, 2019

Governments of Central and Southeast Europe have already secured most of the funding they need for this year, but with more obligations maturing in 2020 they are expected to return to the markets on a large scale next year

Rainbow flag flies over CEE, but attitudes to LGBT vary vastly

Ben Aris in Berlin July 4, 2019

North Macedonia held its first ever gay pride march on June 29 with up to 1,000 people attending the event. There were pride marches in nearly all the CEE countries but the experience in each country is vastly different.

CEE monthly bond wrap: the number of issues in both CE and EE pick up in June as sentiment improves

Ben Aris in Berlin July 4, 2019

The total of $5.3bn from seven issues in June was the most issued in the last four years. Eastern Europe and Russia also had a good month with issues of $5.1bn and $3.2bn respectively.

Cooperation with IMF remains a priority for Ukrainian authorities, Zelenskiy says

bne IntelliNews July 3, 2019

Cooperation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a priority for the Ukrainian authorities, the nation's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told IMF first deputy managing director David Lipton in Toronto on July 2.

Ukraine takes “world’s large grain exporter” title from Russia

bne IntelliNews July 2, 2019

Russia has been the global grain exporter top dog for the last three years, but as the agricultural marketing year ended on June 30, it looks like Ukraine has snatched the title back from its erstwhile rival.

Ukraine Railway gets a $500mn Eurobond away on second attempt

bne IntelliNews July 2, 2019

Ukrainian Railway followed the government into the international debt capital market with a $500mn Eurobond issued to high demand on June 2.

Non-residents share in Ukraine's domestic bond market tops 7% and is still growing

Ben Aris in Berlin June 30, 2019

The hook-up of Ukraine’s bond market to the Clearstream international payments and settlements system is turning out to be a stunning success.

Ukraine’s banks continue to make progress and profits, but slowly

Ben Aris in Berlin June 30, 2019

In May Ukraine's banking sector’s profit was up again to a cumulative $876mn over the first five months of this year. The sector continues to recover, but slowly.