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Volodymyr Osakovsky, Chief Economist for Russia and CIS at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Recently, the West has invested $ 3 billion in Ukraine, so the question is not so much whether it is "ready or not," but how, under what conditions, and when. Ukraine’s story is a story about reforms, about improving the investment climate. This is exactly the main topic that investors are discussing when considering Ukraine as an investment object.
As the rather successful placement of Eurobonds by the Ministry of Finance has shown, this place is actually good one. Everything is so good in Ukraine that the main risk in such conditions is that the government might refuse from further implementing of the reforms. Unfortunately, the history of interaction with the IMF is not very good.
Serhiy Voloboev, Director for Investment Strategies in the Transition Economies of Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (Nomura International)
In recent months, interest in Ukrainian domestic debt has been shown. As for direct investment, that is, investments in the shares of Ukrainian enterprises or Ukrainian banks, little progress could be seen here. The fact is that the total amount of such investments is less than in other countries of the region. Among the countries from which the investments come are Cyprus, Liechtenstein and other jurisdictions that are used by Ukrainian businessmen to return money to the country. This is important in terms of financing the current account deficit on the balance of payments, but it does not necessarily bring technology and Western business management models, which are usually associated with foreign investors. In this regard, the government has a lot to do in order to increase the inflow of direct investment.
Reform of the judicial system is, in my opinion, is the main thing that needs to be done to change the situation. Now serious discussions on reform of the legislative sphere are underway, a very important moment is the creation of an anti-corruption court. This issue is even put on the agenda of negotiations between the IMF and the country's leadership. However, the situation in not clear yet. As far as we understand, management is still considering alternative options and hopes that international investors, the IMF will perceive some other schemes.
So far, we can say that investor’s confidence in the government's ability to fulfill debt obligations is constantly improving. But as for the investment climate within the country, there is still much to be done.
Marina Petrov, Deputy Director, Ukraine EBRD
The investors have always been interested in Ukraine, investors from Western and Eastern global companies. Now large investors do not necessarily belong to the Western companies. Unfortunately, the expectation that big investments will come, so far remain dreams. Our important tasks is to improve the investment climate, so that investors could come to Ukraine.
The big problem is that many investors came and got a negative experience. This fact complicates the task. It is much easier to convince investors who did not have any experience to come to a new market than to convince those investors who have got some bad experience.
Over the past year, we might see that large companies from different countries who are interested in the Ukrainian market. What scares them? First of all, these are the rules of the game, needed by any investor. We are very actively working on issues of corporate governance and changing corporate culture, so that it can be understood by investors who work in multiple markets and are accustomed to certain standards. This is important for the institutional investors, for those who are not strategists. Protection of the rights of such investors is equally important as protecting the rights of banks, who actively lent to the Ukrainian economy. We hope that they will begin to return to the market.
There are a number of initiatives that we support. This is a law on concessions. We hope that it will be in the parliament soon.
The annual Ukrainian Financial Forum 2017 has opened in Odesa and it will take place on September 20-21. The forum gathered the record number of the participators. More than 300 representatives of the financial market, international and Ukrainian experts, investors and representatives of authority will discuss the perspectives of the development of the national and world economy, the reforms in Ukraine and creation of the conditions for the investments’ growth.
Ukrainian Financial Forum traditionally organized by the investment group ICU that is the independent investment and consulting group that specializes in the markets of Central and Eastern Europe. This year Kyiv school of Economy, Bloomberg, USAID and Association of Ukrainian Fund Traders became the partners of the ICU.
The program of the forum contained twelve panel discussions:
-World finances and their role in the development of the global economy: the EU after Brexit, the US and China. How stable the global reconstruction is?;
-Promotion of the reforms in Ukraine – speed, succeeds and failures;
-Ukraine, its place in the world economy – the point of the generation of the breakthrough growth;
- Commercial stock trading: realities of the present and future;
- Ukraine, macroeconomic and financial situation, analysis of achievements and perspectives;
- Distressed assets and non-performing loans – managing, sale;
- Pension reform as one of the key drivers of the growth of the financial market of Ukraine;
- Currency liberalization, regulation of financial markets, BEPS;
- Corporate governance and compliance of financial sector;
- Infrastructure of the markets, capitals, financial tools;
- Market of digital currency and digital securities: possibilities and threats.