News (#11-12 November-December 2021)


Banking & Finance

EBRD to invest USD 75 million in Ukrenergo Eurobonds to repay “green” debts

The EBRD will invest USD 75 million in bonds worth USD 825 million issued by NPC Ukrenergo, intending to resolve a payment storm that has brewed over the country’s renewable energy sector.

These are the first sustainability bonds issued by a Ukrainian company and the EBRD has, as a major investor, ensured comfort to other institutional investors, thus expanding the market share.

Proceeds will be allocated to pay off all arrears in payments to renewable energy companies.

This investment is designed to restore confidence in the Ukrainian renewable energy sector and increase the confidence of private investors and financiers by raising the much-needed investment to support the country’s green transition.



Yahoo, as well as LinkedIn earlier, cease operations in China

Yahoo, the American company, announced the termination of access to its services in Mainland China due to the “increasingly complex business and legal environment”.

From 1 November, the company stopped providing access to its content to users from Mainland China.

Over the past few years, Yahoo has significantly reduced its presence in China. Until 1 November a weather app and several pages featuring news articles in foreign languages were still accessible in China.

Earlier, Linkedin ceased its operations in China. Microsoft will replace LinkedIn, the social professional network, with InJobs, a job search engine, — and Microsoft blames the strengthening of Internet censorship in China.



Americans to acquire Depositphotos developer

VistaPrint, the American company, has acquired a Ukrainian company that develops photo stock Depositphotos and online editor Crello. The deal amounted to USD 85 million, thus becoming the largest deal in the Ukrainian IT market in the last few years.

VistaPrint acquires 100% of the company stock, including all projects: Depositphotos, Crello, Lightfield, Bird In Flight, and WAS.

Dmytro Sergeev, the company founder, gives up his management role and will leave the company.

Vadym Nekhay, a senior executive, will remain with the company and join Vista as a vice president of VistaCreate (Crello) and Depositphotos, and will continue team management under the direction of Florian
Vista International Business President.

VistaPrint is a large US design and marketing company, part of Cimpress, which is traded on the Nasdaq. Its departments deal with content for Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and other social networks, develop logos, websites, and other branded materials, print promotional materials.


Google invested USD 1 billion in CME Group

Google invested USD 1 billion in the share capital of CME Group, the stock-exchange operator, and signed a separate agreement to accelerate the stock exchange’s migration to the cloud.

Under the terms of a 10-year partnership entered into by Google and CME, the Chicago-based stock-exchange operator will start the migration of its technology infrastructure to Google Cloud next year.

The deal with CME marks a triumph for Google’s cloud business, which competes with Inc and Microsoft Corp for large, profitable contracts with Fortune 500 companies.

The deal also enables Google to gain a foothold in the financial services sector, where companies have started to invest heavily in cloud services.



Ukraine and EU signed long-awaited Treaty on Open Skies

Ukraine and the European Union have signed a long-awaited Common Aviation Area Agreement, known as the Treaty on Open Skies.

The Treaty on Open Skies is intended to equalize the rights of Ukrainian and European airlines, lift the monopoly on certain routes established by bilateral agreements, facilitate new routes launch between Ukrainian and European cities, and, ultimately, reduce ticket prices.

One of the consequences of signing the Treaty should be new low-cost airlines entering the Ukrainian market and increasing the tourist attractiveness of Ukraine.

The Treaty was initialed back in 2013 but has not yet been signed due to a British-Spanish dispute over who Gibraltar belongs to.



This year companies around the globe raised a record amount of USD 600 billion at IPO

In 2021, about 2,850 companies worldwide raised a record amount of USD 600 billion at initial public offerings (IPO).

With six weeks to go till 2022, the global IPO market has broken two records at once — the number of transactions and their volume.

The last high was recorded in 2007 when companies managed to raise about USD 420 billion in investment.

Such indicators are due to the record growth of the stock market against the background of support on part of global central banks. At the same time, the recovery of economies after the pandemic, along with incentive schemes, have contributed to growth in company revenues.

At the same time, Bloomberg named Rivian, the American electric car manufacturer, the world IPO market leader, which in November raised almost USD 12 billion, with the company valued at about USD 77 billion.

During the first days of trading, the company’s shares rose by 120%, causing high demand on the part of investors who hoped that the startup would become “the new Tesla”.

In Asia, the highest IPO was made by China Telecom, the Chinese cellular operator, which raised CNY 54 billion (USD 8.4 billion).

The best result in Europe was shown by InPost SA, a Polish parcel delivery company (EUR 2.8 billion or USD 3.2 billion).


Applications for “investment nannies”: 17 have been filed by Ukrainian investors, and 10 — by international companies

UkraineInvest has received 27 preliminary project applications from investors totaling more than USD 2 billion. Of these, 17 have been filed by Ukrainian investors, and 10 by representatives of international companies.

Business representatives from Switzerland, Mexico, China, Turkey, Cyprus, Poland, Ireland, and other countries are among the interested investors.

Investments are planned in the following areas:

— production (11 projects totaling USD 686 million),

— agricultural processing (totaling USD 303 million),

— logistics (5 projects totaling USD 487 million),

— transport and tourism (totaling USD 159 million).

There are also intentions to invest in the Ukrainian aviation industry, production of railway locomotives, and metalworking production.


Facebook to hire 10,000 persons to create a virtual world

Over the next five years, Facebook, the American IT concern, plans to employ 10,000 persons in the European Union to create a virtual world — the so-called meta-universe, which users access and communicate in virtual space.

Facebook has already begun testing a new virtual reality application for remote work, which allows users to attend meetings in the form of their avatars using a special headset.

In September, Facebook allocated USD 50 million to create a meta-universe, which is already being developed by such companies as Roblox, multiplayer online platform, and Epic Games, the creator of the Fortnite computer game.


Market value of Ukrainian firm Grammarly reached USD 13 billion

Grammarly, a Ukrainian company, attracted a round of financing of USD 200 million, following which its capitalization increased to USD 13 billion.

Grammarly is a private company, and during the last round in 2019 its value reached USD 1 billion. Two years later, the value increased 13-fold. Financing worth USD 200 million is the largest round in the company’s history.

Baillie Gifford and BlackRock Inc were among those who invested in the company in 2021.

The Grammarly start-up was established in 2009 by three Kyivites: Oleksiy Shevchenko, Maksym Lytvyn, and Dmytro Lider. At first, Shevchenko and Lytvyn intended to develop an online service to check students’ works and essays for plagiarism. Nowadays it is an online grammar check service based on artificial intelligence technology.


State Sector

The largest state-owned enterprises earned UAH 13 billion in six months

The 14 largest state-owned enterprises of Ukraine earned about UAH 13 billion in the first half of 2021.

Of 14 enterprises, 8 were profitable — they earned UAH 14.8 billion in total. The largest profits were generated by Ukrhydroenergo (UAH 6.2 billion), the Gas Transmission System Operator (UAH 5.6 billion), Energoatom (UAH 1.1 billion), and the Sea Ports Authority (UAH 944 million).

Another 6 companies ended the half year in the red — totaling UAH 1.9 billion. Ukrzaliznytsia (Ukrainian Railways) topped the loss rating (UAH -1.4 billion), followed by UkrSATSE (UAH -260 million) and the State Food and Grain Corporation (UAH -87 million).

Motor roads of Ukraine (Ukravtodor) and Boryspil Airport both had UAH 73 million in losses, and Ukrposhta UAH 9.7 million in losses. Most companies attribute their own losses to the limitations due to COVID-19. 

The list does not include the financial result of Naftogaz, as the NJSC did not submit its Profit and Loss Account to the Ministry of Economy.

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