Financial & Legal sector in Ukraine

An Expert's View about Banking, Finance and Insurance in Ukraine

Posted on: 6 Feb 2013

The market of financial and legal services in Ukraine is comparatively young, thus offering a lot of opportunities for international and local companies in a number of areas.

Tuesday, 29 Jan 2013 Financial & Legal sector in Ukraine The market of financial and legal services in Ukraine is comparatively young, thus offering a lot of opportunities for international and local companies in a number of areas. Market overview Banking The Ukrainian banking system is characterized by the high level of integration in the economy, concentration of the foreign capital and high level of competition. As of 1 January 2012 there were 176 acting banks, out of which 55 with foreign capital (20 out of which 100% foreign owned). In 2010 the total assets of Ukrainian banks has increased by 8.8% (in 2009 increased by 2.9%) and as of 1 January 2011 they were £ 84.8 bln. Insurance With the increasing openness of the Ukrainian economy the issues of the competitiveness of the Ukrainian insurance market and reforms in the insurance sector become more acute. At the same time the level of development of the insurance market do not correspond with the growing needs of the national economy and scale of the reforms in the social sphere in Ukraine. The share of the classic insurance market in GDP is unjustifiably small. In 2009 it was 0.9 %, when the average figure worldwide is 7%. Pensions Currently we have solidary pension system. In July 2011, Parliament of Ukraine adopted new Law on Pension reform in Ukraine. Due to this reform, the pension reform of Ukraine is divided into 2 stages. ξ Stage 1 – resource balancing of the Ukraine State Pension Fund (October 01, 2011 – January 01, 2013) ξ Stage 2 – Introduction of obligatory pension savings (started from January 01, 2013) when each employee will pay 2-7% of its salaries to pension insurance fund. As of 31 December 2010 101 private pension funds were registered in the State Register of Financial Institutions. In accordance with forecast of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the volume of obligatory pension savings will amount to £ 230.0 mln in 2013 and at least £ 2.30 bln in 2016. Capital Markets According to Ernst&Young, since 2005, companies with assets in Ukraine raised $4.1 billion abroad through 22 IPOs and 50 private placements, including 61% on the LSE, 21% on the WSE and 18% on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FWB). Among sectors, 19 placements were carried out in the agricultural sector (27% of the funds raised), 15 placements in real estate (29%), ten in the financial sector (10%), six in the food industry (14%) and four in the retail sector (3%). In addition, 11% of funds were raised in two placements in the mining sector, 2% during two placements in the pharmaceutical sector and the share of the remaining nine placements was 4%. In 2012 -2015 we could expect IPOs, besides NafroGas of Ukrane, of the following companies Galnafrogas (oil and gas); DTEK (power); Metinvest (industry), Inperpipe (industry), Raiffaisen Aval Bank, Club of Cheese (food). Legal Services Currently the market of legal services in Ukraine is gradually reviving after the crisis and starts new stage of development. The special attention is paid by law firms to the improving of the quality of service and fortifying the expertise and knowledge obtained for the years before. Accountancy With the new Tax Code and tightening of the regulatory requirements and post crisis increasing business activities and forecasted IPO boom auditing services are in big demand in Ukraine. Ukrainian accounting standards are based on the international accounting standards unlike financial reporting standards. The Big Four are present and well established at the accountancy services market. In the professional training area the Association of Charted Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Charted Institute of Management Accounting (CIMA) are well known and established in the market. Key opportunities Banking The main opportunities for British business in bank sector of Ukraine are services in the field of credit brokerage, assistance in access to capital markets, development and introduction of new banking services, debt optimization, risk management and M&A. Insurance The experts estimate that insurance market in Ukraine will increase by 30% by the end of 2011. The future perspectives and of market growth in Ukraine are introduction of obligatory medical insurance, agricultural risk insurance, voluntary property insurance and life insurance. The opportunities for British business in the insurance sector of Ukraine are services in re-insurance, reserve and wealth management, development of new insurance products, organization of insurance assistance centers, M&A. Pensions Based on the upcoming pension reform in Ukraine, British companies will have great opportunities in providing services on assets securities, risk management, investment portfolio management. Capital markets Judging by the dynamics of the development of the interest to LSE and planed placements in 2012 -2015 British companies will have opportunities in providing advisory and transaction support services(diagnostics; restructuring and reorganization; PR and Investor relations; road-show; holding an IPO; current listing obligations; post IPO growth of company's operations); nominated advisors; brokerage services. Legal Services English law is the most popular in Ukraine both among international and local law firms. UK law advice is in big demand. Getting into the market Ukraine is not an easy market to enter but once you’ve got there you know the efforts were not in vain. We would recommend starting with: ξ Market research – similar markets are not the same markets. Simple market research will point out potential pitfalls as well as will open up opportunities, you have never thought about in other markets. ξ Right local advice – the most complex problems in entering the market may have simple and affordable decision if you get right and timely legal / tax / accountant advice. ξ Decision on the form and scope of your presence in the country. The following legal forms for foreign businesses are available: general partnership; limited partnership; added liability company; limited liability company; and joint stock company. Some industries, including banks and insurance companies, are more heavily regulated, and must be established in compliance with specific requirements. A representative office can carry out marketing, promotional, and other auxiliary and preparatory functions on behalf of the company. There is no prohibition for a foreign legal entity to have both a representative office and to establish a wholly-owned subsidiary at the same time. The most common legal forms for conducting business activities in Ukraine are joint stock companies (JSC) and limited liability companies (LLC).
Posted: 06 February 2013

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