The Banking & Finance practice of Integrates in Ukraine has had its hands full lately, according to Partner Igor Krasovskiy, mainly thanks to the economic impact of Covid-19, Ukraine’s energy strategy, and the country’s commitments to international financial institutions.
With effect from 27 April 2021, the Ukrainian entities have been granted the right to make regular interest payments and final capital repayment under Eurobonds and other own debt securities traded on foreign stock exchanges in excess of a so called EUR 2 mln e-limit. In addition, the entities are now allowed to accumulate and periodically replenish foreign currency on the bank accounts in the amount of principal and interest due on the notes on the nearest repayment date.
The consequences of the pandemic are also leaving their mark on Ukraine. Ukraine’s GDP declined by 4.6% in 2020, compared to expected growth of 3.7% before the pandemic. However, unemployment has (officially) only risen from 9.0% to 9.9%, which may be related to the fact that a large proportion of the workers affected by redundancies were in the informal sector, i.e. not officially employed.
Integrites has successfully represented the interests of China-based Foshan Vinmay Stainless Steel Co. Ltd in an anti-dumping investigation related to the import of welded stainless pipes, manufactured in China, into the Eurasian Economic Union. The proceedings were initiated by Russian stainless pipes producers.
A new Law “On State Support of Investment Projects with Significant Investments” was adopted. The Law provides for a state agency to be entrusted with the intensive supervision of particularly large investment projects in Ukraine. Earlier in 2020 President Zelenskiy somewhat mockingly referred to this agency as “investment nanny”. However, this is only a small part of the investment promotion.
For some years now, tensions in international trade relations have become more apparent. The pandemic has also created new challenges for companies in their international supply chains. More and more companies are working to make their supply chains more robust. One way of doing this is to bring production closer to their own market, also geographically. The “Made in Europe” label is also already a positive feature among consumers, even though consumers are now looking to regional or even local production, especially for food. And even if consumers are increasingly willing to pay a premium for regional or local production, there are “pain thresholds” here too. Not every product is suitable for regional production. Especially in the area of labour-intensive production and low automation, Ukraine is in the spotlight as a production location.