Ukraine Banks – Arena Kiev http://arena-kiev.com/ Fri, 04 Jun 2021 12:29:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7.2 https://arena-kiev.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/default.png Ukraine Banks – Arena Kiev http://arena-kiev.com/ 32 32 UKRAINIAN RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION WELCOMES A VAT RATE REDUCTION PROJECT FOR THE RESTAURANT SECTOR https://arena-kiev.com/ukrainian-restaurant-association-welcomes-a-vat-rate-reduction-project-for-the-restaurant-sector/ https://arena-kiev.com/ukrainian-restaurant-association-welcomes-a-vat-rate-reduction-project-for-the-restaurant-sector/#respond Fri, 04 Jun 2021 07:28:26 +0000 https://arena-kiev.com/ukrainian-restaurant-association-welcomes-a-vat-rate-reduction-project-for-the-restaurant-sector/ The Ukrainian Association of Restaurateurs welcomes Bill No. 5590 amending the Tax Code in order to reduce the rate of value added tax for the catering sector and catering services from 20 to 7%.According to the association, around 63% of restaurateurs polled by it expect business development thanks to the reduction in VAT, and 19% […]]]>


The Ukrainian Association of Restaurateurs welcomes Bill No. 5590 amending the Tax Code in order to reduce the rate of value added tax for the catering sector and catering services from 20 to 7%.
According to the association, around 63% of restaurateurs polled by it expect business development thanks to the reduction in VAT, and 19% of respondents intend to reorganize into an LLC if such a modification of the code is adopted.
“Eating establishments often use the individual entrepreneur system to sell food and the LLC system to sell alcohol. This creates a number of difficulties for restaurateurs themselves – the inability to maintain civilized and transparent relationships with banks in terms of obtaining loans, the limitation of cashless payments with retail chains, the complexity of the administration of the tax payment process, ”said Serhiy, president of the Ukrainian Restaurant Association. said Trakhachev.
“Today the industry itself is very demanding for a transition to a civilized and transparent form of existence. But this demand is limited by a significant tax burden, in particular the need to pay VAT at the standard level of 20%, ”he said.
Thus, the adoption of the changes will increase working capital in the restaurant industry and save jobs. According to the association, due to the coronavirus pandemic and quarantine restrictions, the volume of the catering market in Ukraine in 2020 decreased by a third and amounted to 14.1 billion UAH, almost all market players have reduced their income.

RESTAURANT SECTOR, RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION, VAT RATES



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Paul Manafort Leaker receives six months in prison, according to judge https://arena-kiev.com/paul-manafort-leaker-receives-six-months-in-prison-according-to-judge/ https://arena-kiev.com/paul-manafort-leaker-receives-six-months-in-prison-according-to-judge/#respond Thu, 03 Jun 2021 17:44:06 +0000 https://arena-kiev.com/paul-manafort-leaker-receives-six-months-in-prison-according-to-judge/ A federal judge said he would sentence a former senior US Treasury Department adviser to six months in prison for leaking confidential financial documents implicating Paul Manafort and others to a reporter. Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards had admitted that she passed information on payments involving Manafort, the former campaign manager of President Donald Trump, and […]]]>


A federal judge said he would sentence a former senior US Treasury Department adviser to six months in prison for leaking confidential financial documents implicating Paul Manafort and others to a reporter.

Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards had admitted that she passed information on payments involving Manafort, the former campaign manager of President Donald Trump, and his deputy, Rick Gates, to a reporter from BuzzFeed. Prosecutors say she provided more than 2,000 suspicious activity reports, or SARs, and other confidential data as of the summer of 2017.

Edwards had top-secret security clearance and access to reports as part of his work with the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, which investigates money laundering by studying financial transaction data. .

Edwards, of Quinton, Va., Called on U.S. District Judge Gregory Woods in Manhattan not to impose a jail term. Prosecutors asked for six months. Woods said Thursday that Edwards also had to serve three years probation.

Financial institutions are required to file SARs within 30 days of detecting an incident – such as cash transactions of $ 10,000 or more or those involving certain entities – that could report money laundering, tax evasion or other criminal activity.

In addition to the leaks on Manafort and Gates, Edwards forwarded SARs regarding Prevezon Holdings Ltd., a Russian company pursued by the United States, and Maria Butina, a supposed gun enthusiast who pleaded guilty in 2018 to acting as a Russian agent.

Manafort was convicted in August 2018 of lying to the tax authorities about the tens of millions of dollars he had earned as a political consultant in Ukraine and of deceiving banks about his financial health to obtain loans. . He then pleaded guilty to conspiring to illegally lobby for Ukraine, as well as money laundering to support a lavish lifestyle and witness tampering. He was pardoned by Trump.

The case is US v. Edwards, 19-cr-00064, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

(Add details and context starting from the third paragraph.)



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Designating the Azov movement as FTO is ineffective https://arena-kiev.com/designating-the-azov-movement-as-fto-is-ineffective/ https://arena-kiev.com/designating-the-azov-movement-as-fto-is-ineffective/#respond Wed, 02 Jun 2021 17:50:02 +0000 https://arena-kiev.com/designating-the-azov-movement-as-fto-is-ineffective/ In early April, US Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin sent a letter to State Secretary Antony Blinken request that 13 radical right-wing extremist groups and movements be officially designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) in the United States. This designation would, in theory, be to prohibit any American from providing “material support or resources” to any of […]]]>


In early April, US Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin sent a letter to State Secretary Antony Blinken request that 13 radical right-wing extremist groups and movements be officially designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) in the United States. This designation would, in theory, be to prohibit any American from providing “material support or resources” to any of these designated organizations, prohibiting foreign members of these groups from entering the United States, and freezing funds held in US banks belonging to these groups.


For the far right, the COVID-19 crisis is a public relations opportunity

LILY AFTER


Some of the groups on the congressman’s list are familiar names to any observer of radical right-wing transnational extremism in recent years: the Nordic Resistance Movement, Blood and Honor, National Action and what Slotkin, a former CIA employee focused on extremism in the Middle East and North Africa, collectively described as the “Azov Battalion” in Ukraine. Unsurprisingly, as someone who has written extensively on the threat from the radical right in Ukraine, the mention of Azov caught my attention. But it wasn’t for the right reasons, and it shows that when it comes to the radical right, group designations and proscriptions are not always the best political tool.

What’s in a name?

On the one hand, I have seen this play play before. In 2019, another US Congressman Max Rose wrote a similar letter demanding that the Azov Battalion be designated as FTO. Rose’s letter was, in the end, a complete failure. Like I wrote from Ukraine in November 2019, it contained inaccurate information, including the unproven claim that the Christchurch terrorist admitted to training with Azov, and ended up being a propaganda bonanza for the radical right.

Slotkin’s letter, fortunately, does not make these kinds of general, unsubstantiated claims. But it is not without its major flaws. On the one hand, the letter incorrectly refers to the Azov Battalion. The military unit formerly known as the Azov Battalion, formed in 2014 to fight Russian-backed insurgents in an ever-hot war in eastern Ukraine, is under the auspices of the Ukrainian National Guard and properly known under the name of the Azov Regiment for years. While calling it the “Azov Battalion” might be excusable as something an inexperienced commentator in Ukraine might mention in passing, it is not so excusable in an official letter demanding that the said organization be designated as a terrorist group. In particular, how do you name a group if it cannot even be named and identified correctly?

The exact descriptor would, of course, be the “Azov Movement”. I described the Azov Movement, which grew out of the original battalion and regiment, as a heterogeneous social movement of the radical right. At its base, the movement includes the regiment itself, the political party of the National Corps, the paramilitary organization Centuria (formerly the National Militia) as well as a number of affiliated subgroups and initiatives, including a club reading center, youth camps, a “leadership school” and a three-story social center (temporarily closed) just off the central Kiev Independence Square.

It also encompasses organizations and networks clearly led by and made up of movement members who appear to operate with a certain degree of independence, often without any declared relationship to the movement and who are more open or extreme in their rhetoric. There are also smaller radical right-wing organizations that are nominally independent but still seem to have at least some connection with the movement and revolve around its orbit.

Superficial terms

Slotkin’s letter, on the other hand, describes Azov in superficial terms. The movement is referred to only as “a well-known militia organization in Ukraine [that] uses the internet to recruit new members, then radicalizes them to use violence to continue its political agenda of white identity, ”with a single reference to a relatively recent article from January 2021. Of course, there is not enough space in a letter like this to discuss the Azov Movement in detail. But there is no shortage of English material on the movement’s activities over the past few years (certainly not just from this author), and, what’s more, it’s easily accessible and digestible for anyone who chooses to take a few minutes to read beyond. with a simple Google search.

Having even a superficial understanding of what the Azov Movement really is and how it works would reveal how difficult it would be in practice to designate it as FTO and, in fact, how difficult it is to forbid these kinds of movements. In practice. . Even though the UK has moved to to prohibit the violent neo-Nazi division Atomwaffen, reports Germany suggest that supporters are using still existing networks to reconstruct an offshoot of the group there.

The question then turns to who would be designated as FTO. Could it be the regiment alone, which is itself a member of the Ukrainian National Guard and therefore a member of the country’s armed forces? As counter-extremism expert Kacper Rekawek pointed out last week in a blog post For the Counter Extremism Project, the United States would surely never designate an official unit of an American ally’s army, like it or not.

Also, and to dig deeper into the quagmire, would the larger movement be outlawed as an FTO, and if so, who would that include? You could see it encompassing the National Corps and Centuria, but does that include all affiliated organizations, from sports clubs to youth camps? What would be the legal criteria to determine whether or not an entity is part of the movement? And, moreover, which individuals can even be described as part of the movement? Trying to analyze these questions would be a real nightmare.

A better way

Worse yet, I can easily imagine how the organizations affiliated with the movement would strive to no longer be part of the designation, revealing a serious flaw in pursuing the radical right through executive group ban. Daryl Johnson, a US domestic terrorism expert and former US Department of Homeland Security senior analyst, Told a journalist from Canada, my home country, that his government’s efforts to ban groups like the Proud Boys were “more of a symbolic gesture” and that radical right-wing organizations facing such bans could simply change their minds. name and regroup under a new banner.

Since, in the Ukrainian context, radical right-wing organizations and their affiliates have a habit of changing their name and brand while retaining the main leadership, it is to be expected that this will continue if an attempt to banning the whole movement really had to happen. If the United States and Ukraine’s other Western allies are seriously concerned about the Azov movement – as they should be – there are far more effective means at their disposal than the awkward but eye-catching mechanism of a designation. foreign terrorist organization.

They should consider, on the one hand, appointing specific individuals, with specific and justified reasons, instead of larger groups and movements. Visa and travel bans for specific eminent people, which would also encourage European allies to extend visa-free Schengen area restrictions to these same people, would also help. There is also the possibility of exerting pressure, both public and private, on the Ukrainian government and elements of the Ukrainian state to properly recognize and tackle the problem of the violent radical right in their country – pressures that could even include granting international funding and conditional support to solving the problem.

These would be much more effective starting points for the United States or any other Western country concerned about the activities of the Azov movement in Ukraine than any attempt to appoint an FTO.

*[Fair Observer is a media partner of the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right.]

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Fair Observer.



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Factbox: Five Facts About Ransomware Attacks | Technology news https://arena-kiev.com/factbox-five-facts-about-ransomware-attacks-technology-news/ https://arena-kiev.com/factbox-five-facts-about-ransomware-attacks-technology-news/#respond Tue, 01 Jun 2021 20:59:00 +0000 https://arena-kiev.com/factbox-five-facts-about-ransomware-attacks-technology-news/ (Reuters) – A ransomware attack on Brazil’s JBS SA, the world’s largest meat packer, has drawn attention to the growing field of cybercrime. Here are some details about ransomware and the issues surrounding it: – Ransomware works by encrypting victims’ data; Typically, hackers will offer the victim a key in exchange for cryptocurrency payments of […]]]>


(Reuters) – A ransomware attack on Brazil’s JBS SA, the world’s largest meat packer, has drawn attention to the growing field of cybercrime.

Here are some details about ransomware and the issues surrounding it:

– Ransomware works by encrypting victims’ data; Typically, hackers will offer the victim a key in exchange for cryptocurrency payments of up to hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. If the victim resists, hackers increasingly threaten to disclose confidential data in an attempt to increase the pressure.

The DarkSide ransomware group, suspected by US officials of the Colonial Pipeline attack last month, has said it wants to make money. Colonial Pipeline CEO said his company paid a ransom of $ 4.4 million because executives were unsure how badly his systems had been breached or how long it would take to restore the pipeline.

– Ransomware gangs raised nearly $ 350 million last year, three times more than in 2019, according to members of a public-private group called the Ransomware Task Force. While the scale of the DarkSide breach was significant, other types of attacks were arguably more destructive. In 2017, the WannaCry cyber attack crippled hospitals, banks and other businesses around the world. The US government https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-cyber-northkorea/us-blames-north-korea-for-wannacry-cyber-attack-idUSKBN1ED00Q said the attack cost billions and blamed North Korea. The NotPetya malware, which hit Ukraine in the same year but also wreaked havoc around the world, also generated billions of dollars in costs.

Who is behind the attacks?

– A number of gangs, many of them Russian speakers, are developing software that encrypts files, demanding payment in cryptocurrency for keys that allow owners to decrypt and reuse them. A growing number of gangs and affiliates breaking into targets are now demanding additional funds not to post sensitive material on the internet.

The increase in cash withdrawals and the strategic nature of the targets have raised new questions about the failure of officials in Russia and other countries to crack down on gangs.

What are we doing to stop it?

– In April, the US Department of Justice created a government group on ransomware. Central bank regulators and financial crime investigators around the world are also debating whether and how cryptocurrencies, which are used to pay ransoms, should be regulated.

What was the last major attack on American infrastructure?

– Last month, Colonial Pipeline week fell victim to a cyber attack that shut down its entire network. The ransomware attack was one of the most disruptive digital ransom programs reported and the resulting shutdown disrupted the fuel supply in the eastern United States.

Prior to that, in October 2020, criminals from Eastern Europe targeted dozens of US hospitals with ransomware, including in Oregon, California and New York. FBI and Homeland Security officials then led a conference for hospital administrators and cybersecurity experts.

What can be done to stop ransomware?

– Criminals using ransomware to extort money do not always use the most sophisticated methods. Biden administration official Anne Neuberger said, for example, that the DarkSide ransomware used in the colonial attack was a “known variant” and said some breaches can be thwarted by ensuring that computer networks have installed updated patches.

(Compiled by Chris Sanders; edited by Matthew Lewis)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.



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US and Japan shouldn’t sit idle as China tackles the Caribbean https://arena-kiev.com/us-and-japan-shouldnt-sit-idle-as-china-tackles-the-caribbean/ https://arena-kiev.com/us-and-japan-shouldnt-sit-idle-as-china-tackles-the-caribbean/#respond Tue, 01 Jun 2021 01:00:05 +0000 https://arena-kiev.com/us-and-japan-shouldnt-sit-idle-as-china-tackles-the-caribbean/ ~~ ~ Small island states face unique development challenges due to their small population and weak economic base, which makes them particularly vulnerable to exogenous shocks. This has been the case for the small island nations of the Pacific. Not surprisingly, China’s growing political and economic presence, primarily through “development” aid, has also proven to […]]]>


~~

Tokyo during COVID-19: Green spaces and the rise of telecommuting offer new lifestyle opportunities

~

Small island states face unique development challenges due to their small population and weak economic base, which makes them particularly vulnerable to exogenous shocks.

This has been the case for the small island nations of the Pacific. Not surprisingly, China’s growing political and economic presence, primarily through “development” aid, has also proven to be a substantially negative influence in the Caribbean.

Map of the Caribbean Basin (Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)

China’s extension of arms

For the small Caribbean islands, one of the most visible, extensive and costly forms of engagement with China has come in the form of Beijing funding a significant portion of their infrastructure projects. China’s growing economic presence in the Caribbean is easily associated with such ventures, which reveal a series of questionable procurement processes and the looming reality of insurmountable debt.

The economies of these small countries have been weakened by mixed internal and exogenous conditions and the withdrawal of economic support from traditional multinational agencies. Beijing’s offers of flexible repayment terms therefore appeared inviting, creating a permeable entry point for a wider and deeper Chinese presence in the Caribbean.

By 2008, Caribbean countries accepted more than US $ 50 billion in investments and concessional loans from China. These funds were made available to the region primarily for infrastructure development projects, including highways and bridges, railways, housing, energy, mines, airports and seaports. . As global development assistance from traditional partners dried up, Caribbean island countries easily grasped Beijing’s offer for easy financing.

Notably, from 2005 to 2018, the China Development Bank and the China Export-Import Bank (two of China’s largest state-owned banks) were the largest lenders in Latin America and the Caribbean. Most of these investments have taken the form of concessional government-to-government loans with interest rates well below market levels. (Some were as low as 2%). These lucrative terms made them attractive to economically struggling and indebted small Caribbean island countries.

However, Chinese funding offers a regional avenue for its hegemonic conceptions in state art. Recall the statement by former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson before his visit to the region in February 2018, when he observed that China had used “an art of economic governance to draw the region into its orbit …[but] At what price?”

Caribbean Beach (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Countering Beijing’s heavy hand

According to China Global Investment Tracker DatabaseBeijing’s investments in Latin America and the Caribbean amounted to US $ 130 billion from 2005 to 2019, with energy projects accounting for 56% of all investment and metals / mining at 28%.

Economic engagement with the region is marred by the failure of many Chinese companies to adhere to international labor and environmental safety standards. Many smaller, developing and underdeveloped countries have accumulated unsustainable levels of debt to the PRC and have become singularly dependent on commodity exports to China.

The Trump administration viewed China’s engagement with greater suspicion, and National Security Strategy 2017 said that “China is seeking to put the region in its orbit through state-led investments and loans.

Further, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “When China does business … it often injects corrosive capital into the economic bloodstream, bringing corruption to life and eroding good governance.”

In the contemporary context, March 2021 Small and Less Populated Island Economies Initiative (SALPIE) proposed by the Biden administration aims to increase cooperation and engagement with small island states in the Caribbean, Pacific and North Atlantic in order to balance China’s increased influence.

The SALPIE initiative takes up several legislative plans introduced in the 116e Congress to counter the Chinese presence in the Western Hemisphere. For example, S. 4528 / HR 8716 introduced in August and October 2020 took steps to increase the competitiveness of the United States in the Caribbean and promote regional security and digital security. In addition, HR 7703, introduced in July 2020, authorized the financing of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative Act in an effort to counter the malicious influence of authoritarian regimes, including China.

Japan balancing

The difficult global economic environment for small island nations and other fragile economies often tends to become a harsh precursor and reminder of the mercantilist policies of the colonial era. In this case, nations such as China repeatedly use their economies to increase their state power at the expense of vulnerable countries.

In this reference, the chart of trade, investment and cooperation between Japan and the Caribbean inspires not only bilateral potential, but also future trade potential with Asia. Tokyo-Caribbean ties encompass trade and foreign direct investment in a range of industries, a cooperative agenda between governments and significant migratory flows.

In addition, these contacts bring considerable mutual benefits, denying the common impression that Caribbean integration with Asia is only about trade in commodities for manufacturing. Current relations also invite Japan and the Caribbean countries to further explore new avenues of mutually beneficial trade that encourage an even wider distribution of development gains.

Checking China’s influence

China’s foreign influence activities have the potential to undermine the sovereignty and independence of the politico-economic systems of targeted states, including those in the Caribbean.

It should always be borne in mind that Beijing’s economic commitment sets the stage for its subsequent political influence activities. These are what Xi Jinping called the CCP’s “magic weapons”.

The United States, Japan and other leading democratic actors must control China’s predatory engagement with the Caribbean. The small island nations of the Caribbean are another example, especially as China strengthens its economic and diplomatic ties, which reflect the growing forays of Beijing’s “hard-toothed soft power” and its “influence operations” in the country. whole world.

RELATED:

Author: Dr Monika Chansoria

Dr Monika Chansoria is a senior researcher at the Japanese Institute of International Affairs in Tokyo. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the JIIA or any other organization with which the author is affiliated. She tweets @MonikaChansoria. Find more articles from Dr Chansoria here at JAPAN Forward.





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bne IntelliNews – Profitability of the Ukrainian banking sector improved in April, but remains below its level of early 2020 https://arena-kiev.com/bne-intellinews-profitability-of-the-ukrainian-banking-sector-improved-in-april-but-remains-below-its-level-of-early-2020/ https://arena-kiev.com/bne-intellinews-profitability-of-the-ukrainian-banking-sector-improved-in-april-but-remains-below-its-level-of-early-2020/#respond Mon, 31 May 2021 05:15:00 +0000 https://arena-kiev.com/bne-intellinews-profitability-of-the-ukrainian-banking-sector-improved-in-april-but-remains-below-its-level-of-early-2020/ The profitability of the Ukrainian banking sector continued to improve in April, following strong results in March, as the sector recovers along with the economy. Thanks to the clean-up of the sector by the NBU in recent years, the Ukrainian banking sector has withstood the coronacrisis remarkably well. The sector had experienced strong growth in […]]]>


The profitability of the Ukrainian banking sector continued to improve in April, following strong results in March, as the sector recovers along with the economy.

Thanks to the clean-up of the sector by the NBU in recent years, the Ukrainian banking sector has withstood the coronacrisis remarkably well. The sector had experienced strong growth in early 2020 and was on track to record its best results in the years when multiple shocks hit in March and April. Although this hit profits and took them below 2019 levels, after a few early collywobbles, the sector continued to increase profits throughout the year, albeit to lower levels than in 2019. .

The industry has started well this year, but based on cumulative profits it is still tracking 2019 results and has not returned to the potentially strong growth it was showing at the start of 2020.

However, year-over-year comparisons are made confusing by the exceptionally strong months banks spent in January and February of last year, when profits were high and almost double that of the year. previous respectively.

But as the year unfolds, banks appear to be returning to the strong growth they enjoyed in 2020. In March, the NBU reported that almost all segments of the financial sector had recorded significant profits, and some had incurred losses due to the establishment of bad debt reserves.

Based on cumulative profits since the start of the year, banks earned 17,538 million UAH ($ 634 million) in April, which was lower than the 25,208 million UAH the industry earned in the same month. a year earlier and tied with 18,115 million UAH. The banks had won in April 2019. Bank profits in 2017 and 2018 were half as high as the economy was still suffering aftershocks from the near-complete economic collapse that followed the Dignity Revolution in 2014.

On a monthly basis, banks earned 6,603 million UAH ($ 239 million) in April, which was also down from the 9,234 million UAH the industry had earned in the same month a year earlier. , but ahead of the 5,213 million UAH of 2019 and way ahead of previous years.

On a monthly basis, Ukrainian banks have been lagging behind the 2020 results every month since the start of this year, but they will almost certainly outperform previous performance as they enter the period of pandemic crisis.

A better benchmark for this year’s performance is 2019, and so far the industry has followed this year very closely since February and largely outperformed it in April y / y.

As other factors in the sector continue to improve, the outlook for the sector is positive for this year.

Loans, deposits and non-performing loans

Bank assets continue to climb steadily and the sector is sufficiently funded by rising deposits; Assets reached 1.8 trillion UAH ($ 67.4 billion) in April of this year, up from 1.5 trillion UAH in January 2020 and 1.3 trillion UAH in January 2019.

Bankers are optimistic about the lending outlook for the next 12 months, according to the NBU’s quarterly survey. Of the credit managers surveyed, 78% expect an increase in the business loan portfolio, 82% expect an increase in lending to households the highest rates since 2015. Carried out on April 9, the survey questioned the credit managers of 23 banks. These banks represent 88% of the assets of the banking system.

Business loans remain disappointing, with 792,320 million UAH ($ 28.6 billion) granted to businesses in April. And personal loans have slowed in recent months, but showed signs of recovery in April as consumer sentiment clearly improved on the back of the economic recovery. Banks made 215,292 million UAH ($ 7.8 billion) to retail customers in April, which is monthly retail loans for at least a year. The current recovery is not, for the moment, financed by a boom in retail credit.

Finally, the return to profitability has allowed banks to withdraw nonperforming loans (NPL), where the situation continues to improve, although it will take at least three more years for foreign and private banks to bring the NPL ratio down. at normal levels and much longer for public banks.

The main problem for the industry is the extremely high NPL ratio of the now state-owned PrivatBank due to what management calls “fraudulent loans” from previous owners, which stands at 72.5 %, but which also decrease regularly.

NPLs% of credit book

Apr 19

Apr 20

Apr 21

non-performing loan ratio,%

51.68

48.92

39.93

incl. banks:

with the participation of the State, including:

65.21

64.7

56.36

PrivatBank

82.36

78.66

72.54

state-owned banks ex-PrivatBank

50.59

51.73

43.09

Foreign ownership

39.18

33.27

27.28

Private property

21.75

18.59

13.17

Insolvent

53.12

0

0

Source: NBU

This article is from bne IntelliNews Ukraine monthly report by country. Sign up to receive the monthly report delivered to your inbox, which covers slow-moving macro and micro-economic trends, key policy news, and a roundup of key industries and company news. The first month is free and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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Lake Balaton under threat: elsewhere in emerging Europe https://arena-kiev.com/lake-balaton-under-threat-elsewhere-in-emerging-europe/ https://arena-kiev.com/lake-balaton-under-threat-elsewhere-in-emerging-europe/#respond Sun, 30 May 2021 06:30:27 +0000 https://arena-kiev.com/lake-balaton-under-threat-elsewhere-in-emerging-europe/ Our weekly collection of articles on emerging Europe published elsewhere this week, all of which grabbed our attention and are well worth your time. However, listing them here doesn’t necessarily mean that we agree with every word, nor that they necessarily reflect Emerging europe editorial policy. Threats mount against Europe’s best beauty site in Hungary […]]]>


Our weekly collection of articles on emerging Europe published elsewhere this week, all of which grabbed our attention and are well worth your time. However, listing them here doesn’t necessarily mean that we agree with every word, nor that they necessarily reflect Emerging europe editorial policy.


Threats mount against Europe’s best beauty site in Hungary

New and formidable threats are looming over Lake Balaton in Hungary. Real estate speculation, the clearing of the countryside to improve tourist access and climate change combine to cast a shadow over the entire territory.

Read the full story here


Kosovo Prime Minister relaunches plan to prosecute Serbia for genocide

Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti has vowed to revive the controversial idea of ​​launching international legal action against Serbia for alleged genocide during the 1998-99 war, despite warnings from experts that it is unlikely that it succeeds.

Read the full story here


Are golden visas a golden opportunity for economic development?

Gold visa programs are likely to become more attractive to countries seeking foreign investment to recover from the Covid-19 crisis. But do they work?

Read the full story here.


Ukrainian frontline town of Mariupol ‘just tired’ of fighting after seven years of conflict

Amid increasingly strained ties between Moscow and the West, a massive build-up of Russian troops along the border last month fueled fears of a military offensive, as well as speculation that the Kremlin was simply sending a signal of strength to Kiev and its supporters in the new administration of US President Joe Biden.

Read the full story here.


Western Balkan border changes must remain an EU red line

Any consideration of border changes in the Western Balkans as a solution to the EU’s stagnant path in the region suggests a betrayal of the very values ​​that are at the heart of the European Union.

Read the full story here.


Montenegro learns the true cost of China’s backed road to nowhere

Two sleek new roads disappear into mountain tunnels above a sleepy Montenegrin village, the unlikely endpoint of a billion-dollar project funded by China that threatens to derail the small country’s economy . The government has already burned 944 million euros in Chinese loans to complete the first stretch of road, just 41 kilometers away, making it one of the most expensive pieces of tarmac in the world.

Read the full story here.

Afghan fathers brave blows to reunite with family in Croatia

In northwestern Bosnia, stranded Afghan fathers are desperate to reunite with their families across the Croatian border – and risk their own safety in doing so.

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Georgia: Brunch in times of plague

After some early successes in the fight against Covid, Georgia has let its guard down.

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Serbia’s ruling party rewrites WWII history

The recent Victory Day celebrations during WWII in Serbia show how the ruling Progressive Party is manipulating the legacy of Communist partisans’ struggle against fascism for its own national political ends.

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The history of the grand mansions of the Roma capital of Soroca, Moldova

Built on the banks of the meandering Dniester River, the city of Soroca in Moldova is unofficially known as the former Roma capital of the Soviet Union. According to official statistics, more than 2,000 Roma live in Soroca, out of a total Roma population of 9,000 Roma in Moldova. Unofficially, the community could be much bigger.

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Kazakhstan’s rare antelope takes small step towards rebirth

Between 1992 and 2003, the Saiga population in Kazakhstan – which represents 90% of the global workforce – fell 98%, from one million to 20,000, as poaching and habitat loss took their toll.

Read the full story here.


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Yermak discusses corporate reform with the chairman of the PrivatBank supervisory board https://arena-kiev.com/yermak-discusses-corporate-reform-with-the-chairman-of-the-privatbank-supervisory-board/ https://arena-kiev.com/yermak-discusses-corporate-reform-with-the-chairman-of-the-privatbank-supervisory-board/#respond Sat, 29 May 2021 09:56:00 +0000 https://arena-kiev.com/yermak-discusses-corporate-reform-with-the-chairman-of-the-privatbank-supervisory-board/ Chief of the President’s Office Andriy Yermak discussed corporate reform with PrivatBank Supervisory Board Chairperson Sharon Easky and agreed to permanent contact to resolve operational issues in the business of the bank. “The parties agreed on the need to maintain constant contact and direct dialogue in order to respond quickly to possible challenges in the […]]]>


Chief of the President’s Office Andriy Yermak discussed corporate reform with PrivatBank Supervisory Board Chairperson Sharon Easky and agreed to permanent contact to resolve operational issues in the business of the bank.

“The parties agreed on the need to maintain constant contact and direct dialogue in order to respond quickly to possible challenges in the area of ​​corporate reform and, in particular, to operational matters of PrivatBank”, informs the department of press from the President’s Office.

Yermak also assured Easky that President Volodymyr Zelensky supports the idea of ​​corporate reform and aims to ensure further progress in the corporate governance of state-owned enterprises and state-owned banks.

As reported, the head of the president’s office thanked Easky and the entire supervisory board and management of PrivatBank “for the conscientious performance of its duties and work in the interest of the Ukrainian people”.

As reported, the PrivatBank Supervisory Board announced on May 27 the appointment of Gerhard Boesch as the next Chairman of the Board.

PrivatBank, nationalized by the NBU in December 2016, is Ukraine’s largest commercial bank in terms of number of customers, value of assets, loan portfolio and amount of taxes paid to the state budget.

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Failing PayPal, Freelancers Turn to Popular Payment Service Payoneer KyivPost https://arena-kiev.com/failing-paypal-freelancers-turn-to-popular-payment-service-payoneer-kyivpost/ https://arena-kiev.com/failing-paypal-freelancers-turn-to-popular-payment-service-payoneer-kyivpost/#respond Fri, 28 May 2021 17:20:28 +0000 https://arena-kiev.com/failing-paypal-freelancers-turn-to-popular-payment-service-payoneer-kyivpost/ Online payment systems like PayPal have been a game-changer for freelancers. They opened up a new world of global business opportunities, making it easier to work with foreign clients from any part of the world, including Ukraine. However, the world’s most popular service, PayPal, only partially works in Ukraine: it allows you to send money […]]]>


Online payment systems like PayPal have been a game-changer for freelancers. They opened up a new world of global business opportunities, making it easier to work with foreign clients from any part of the world, including Ukraine.

However, the world’s most popular service, PayPal, only partially works in Ukraine: it allows you to send money abroad – not to receive it. And as the niche was opened, many similar services appeared such as Wise, MoneyGram, and Payoneer.

Payoneer is the most popular among Ukrainian freelancers – around 30% of them use the US service, according to experts. They are mostly tech specialists, who usually work with overseas clients and need to get quick and cheap transfers.

Payoneer processed more than $ 44 billion in payments last year. In 2021, it plans to generate $ 430 million in revenue from its service. The company is profitable, but it does not disclose its results.

Igor Kovaliov, Managing Director of Payoneer in Ukraine and Belarus, believes Ukrainian tech freelancers are taking over the world and Payoneer is here to “empower” them to do so.

“We are helping Ukrainian entrepreneurs to create more jobs and contribute to the growth of the digital economy,” Kovaliov told the Kyiv Post.

In the absence of PayPal

When GlobalMoney launched Ukraine’s very first online service for transferring money without having to open a bank account in 2013, freelancers were among the first to use the service, according to the company’s chief commercial officer, Alexandr. Turkevich.

Since then, the online payments market in Ukraine has “actively developed,” Turkevich said. The prospects for future growth are even brighter. But while there are a variety of services to transfer money domestically, including GlobalMoney, international payment services “are not very developed,” he added.

Many anticipated the arrival of PayPal, but the company never rolled out its service in Ukraine.

Ilia Kenigstein, founder of the Creative States coworking chain and initiator of the movement to bring PayPal to Ukraine, said restrictions and National Bank oligarchs were blocking PayPal’s arrival.

“The Iron Curtain that we put up for ourselves,” Kenigstein describes.

Ukraine is not a priority for PayPal, but Xoom, a PayPal affiliate that allows users to send money directly to banks and overseas cash pick-up points, has entered the Ukrainian market in 2018.

Service from the San Francisco-based company here is limited. According to Kenigstein, Xoom users can only withdraw payments from the United States at cash pick-up points, including banks like Oschadbank, PrivatBank, and UkrGasBank.

Ukraine is by far not the only country where full PayPal service does not exist. Other post-Soviet countries such as Azerbaijan, Armenia and Belarus follow the same pattern. PayPal also bailed out Russia last year and only offers cross-border payments there.

The rise of a new era

Fortunately for local freelancers who sell their services overseas, there are other options. As the demand arose, online services arose to meet the needs. One of them was the American financial services company Payoneer.

Payoneer provides a virtual bank account to accept and send money around the world. He’s partnered with thousands of digital marketplaces, including Upwork, a website that connects clients and freelancers.

Once freelancers complete a job through the Upwork website, they receive payment into their Upwork accounts. Then they transfer it to their Payoneer account.

While the commission for withdrawing money from different online platforms or networks may vary, the process of transferring from Upwork to Payoneer costs $ 1 regardless of the amount, typically taking two days. But there is also an instant option available for $ 2.5.

Once the money is in the Payoneer account, users can send the money to their local bank accounts for a 2% commission.
Payoneer offers several ways to get paid online, but it is only intended to be used to send or receive business payments.

Competitors amounts

Wise, formerly TransferWise, also offers a business account for transferring money abroad.

Savvy users can make international payments without the money ever leaving the country of the currency.

First, they transfer the amount from their local bank account to the Wise account. Once the money is deposited, Wise will exchange the currency at the mid-market rate and provide the equivalent amount from their account where the recipient is located to complete the payment transfer.

The London-based fintech company has accounts in multiple countries and in more than 50 currencies to avoid high bank exchange fees for its clients.

If the transfer amount does not exceed $ 140,000 to a recipient in Ukraine, the commission takes a small, flat fee of $ 0.25 and 2.23% of the transfer. The conversion calculator available on the site will count the exact cost of transferring money in the designated currency.

Moneygram is also a popular choice when making international payments. The US money transfer company bases the fees on the amount of the transfer and the payment method used.

There are two ways to send money to Ukraine: withdraw cash at any MoneyGram agent or direct payment to the recipient’s bank account.

If a sender were to transfer $ 1,000 to a recipient in Ukraine, the charge is $ 14.99 (about 1.5%) for cash withdrawal and $ 12.99 (about 1.3%) on a Bank account.

Western Union, one of the largest and oldest money transfer providers in the world, has over 9,000 branches in Ukraine, where it works with Ukrainian banks like PrivatBank and Raiffeisen Bank Aval. Unlike Payoneer, Western Union does not allow freelancers to open local receiving accounts in their employer’s currency. (Kostyantyn Chernichkin)

Global Virtual Accounts

While there are plenty of other options, freelancers have said that they enjoy using Payoneer because it is convenient to have all payments in one place.

Payoneer account holders can also sign up for the global payment service which allows them to have local receiving account details in different currencies, which they can share with customers when requesting payment.

Receiving accounts in some currencies work as if users have real local bank accounts, allowing them to get payments from customers and markets through local bank transfers. Money transferred in this way goes directly into the basic Payoneer account.

Oleksandr Slobodskyi, a freelance design writer who has used Payoneer for seven years, said some sites like Amazon require a US bank account to receive money and many customers prefer simple wire transfers.

Slobodskyi said the global payment service can be “very convenient” when working with multiple international clients.

“To customers, it looks like a quick and cheap local bank transfer,” Slobodskyi, who blogs about payment systems, told the Kyiv Post.

The American financial services company also offers the possibility of ordering a physical bank card from any part of the world. It is linked to the Payoneer account, which can be used at ATMs, in stores or online – anywhere MasterCard is accepted.

Prepaid cards are issued for free as long as the user has earned the first $ 100 on the Payoneer account. It takes about 2-3 weeks to get to Ukraine, and the annual card maintenance fee is $ 29.95. There is also a 3.5% fee for any transaction made in Ukraine.

Independent financial expert Oleg Bilous said that the debit card is not very useful in Ukraine due to the high currency conversion rate, but having a Payoneer account always helps save money by avoiding taxes.

Like most freelancers, Bilous is registered as a private entrepreneur. His classification requires a tax rate of only 5% (if he earns less than $ 253,000 per year). To remain eligible for the reduced tax rate,

Bilous makes sure not to exceed the limit by leaving the excess amount in his Payoneer account.

Many freelancers, he said, take advantage of Payoneer, avoiding taxes altogether by transferring small amounts that go unnoticed.

The growth of self-employment in Ukraine, however, is noticeable. Ukraine ranked fifth in the world for growth in freelance income. It is an attractive destination because of a large number of specialists at a relatively low cost, according to Konstantin Rudenko, product manager at Freelancehunt.

In processing the payments that freelancers receive from abroad, Payoneer’s Kovaliov noticed a trend – Ukrainian freelancers are “conquering international markets” and it is “impressive”.

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Construction contract (underground work for the Mažeikiai wind turbine) https://arena-kiev.com/construction-contract-underground-work-for-the-mazeikiai-wind-turbine/ https://arena-kiev.com/construction-contract-underground-work-for-the-mazeikiai-wind-turbine/#respond Fri, 28 May 2021 06:07:54 +0000 https://arena-kiev.com/construction-contract-underground-work-for-the-mazeikiai-wind-turbine/ Bloomberg Kevin Ulrich took home a $ 2 billion MGM victory. It only took a decade (Bloomberg) – Hedge funds often measure their investments in minutes, not decades; But for Anchorage Capital Group, its long-standing stake in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. proves that patience can pay off, too. The New York-based fund manager is expected to […]]]>


Bloomberg

Kevin Ulrich took home a $ 2 billion MGM victory. It only took a decade

(Bloomberg) – Hedge funds often measure their investments in minutes, not decades; But for Anchorage Capital Group, its long-standing stake in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. proves that patience can pay off, too. The New York-based fund manager is expected to earn around $ 2 billion on his investment in film. and television. producer, one who started almost 11 years ago with MGM in bankruptcy court. Amazon.com Inc. agreed to buy the company for $ 8.45 billion on Wednesday, a price that includes just under $ 2 billion in debt. The deal is in many ways a justification for Kevin Ulrich, the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. trader who co-founded Anchorage in 2003 and was part of a group of troubled debt investors who took control of MGM during the restructuring process. Over the past few years, the stake seemed to be an albatross for the fund, which had come with a significant drama in its own right. Ulrich brought in and later fired a high-level CEO, resisted the efforts of the activist investor Carl Icahn to take control, and held out for a bigger paycheck after years of thinking about various exit strategies. By selling now, when demand for media content from entertainment and tech companies is booming, he proves his long-standing confidence in investing was justified. “There was a lot of maneuvering, a lot of financial engineering,” said Steven Azarbad, chief investment officer at Maglan Capital in New York, an MGM investor who sold his shares four years ago. “But they did a good job.” A representative from Anchorage declined to comment. When Ulrich first invested in MGM, he was new to Hollywood. He helped choose Gary Barber, a South African producer of films such as “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” as general manager of the legendary but debt-laden studio. Barber brought to the table a shrewd business sense and connection in a world Ulrich had long admired from afar. He directed the release of the James Bond film, “Skyfall,” which grossed over $ 1 billion at the box office, and he revived the studio’s work on television. Barber also brokered a deal to bring in TV super-producer Mark Burnett, who gave MGM access to hit reality shows like “Survivor” and “The Apprentice,” but which would end up becoming personally awkward. 2012, the company bought back Icahn’s shares for $ 590 million. . He also filed documents for a possible public offering of shares and considered other options, such as a sale. As Barber boosted MGM’s film and television pipeline, Ulrich grew increasingly fascinated with the allure of Hollywood. He became a regular at film premieres in Los Angeles and New York, and frequented industry parties in the Hamptons and elsewhere. He became active in creative decisions after becoming chairman of the MGM board – somewhat unusual for a non-executive with no Hollywood background – even getting involved in business granularities like casting. Ulrich. When it was time to renew Barber’s contract in 2017, Ulrich conducted an extensive search for a new CEO. In the end, he ultimately chose to sign Barber on a new five-year deal. Yet around the same time, the two separated over whether to sell the business, with Ulrich wishing to hang on to the studio and Barber saying it was time to find a buyer. investors who would end up being unsuccessful. Just months after Barber’s deal was renewed, Ulrich fired him. The shock start forced the company to pay Barber five years’ salary and buy back equity, totaling $ 260 million. In the three years since Barber left, Ulrich has not replaced him, instead operating a “CEO’s office,” made up of various people who each have their own personal views of MGM. Barber declined to comment through his spokesperson. During the initial period of success following the restructuring, gains became more difficult to achieve, as they did in all of Anchorage’s credit-focused business. Two senior executives left the firm in January 2020 and another in November. Anchorage’s flagship strategy, with around $ 8.5 billion under management, only returned 0.6% in 2018, 1.5% in 2019 and 4.4% in 2020, according to people familiar with the matter In December, MGM hired investment bankers for a potential sale. released a movie in theaters in 2020. Its biggest potential hit, Bond’s latest film, “No Time to Die,” was pushed back from last year to October due to the pandemic. Media companies to tech giants have sought to create video streaming platforms that can compete with industry leader Netflix Inc. Revenue jumped 48% last year, to around $ 307 million. dollars, even as sales were declining. $ 2.5 billion in sale, people with knowledge of the matter said. Anchorage invested around $ 500 million in the business over a decade ago. Including MGM’s stake, Anchorage’s flagship fund is up 18% this year, the people added. The fund gained around 8% in 2021 not counting the studio. More stories like this are available at bloomberg.com Sign up now to stay ahead with the most trusted source of business information. © 2021 Bloomberg LP



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