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Today: Jun 13, 2024

Foreign investors eager to acquire two Ukrainian state-owned banks, says deputy minister.

1 min read

TLDR:

– Foreign investors have expressed interest in purchasing two Ukrainian state-owned banks, Ukrgasbank and Sense Bank.
– The potential investors are encouraging Ukraine to finalize the deal soon, and the banks themselves are preparing for the purchase.
– Ukraine wants to sell the two banks this year as part of its strategy to reduce its presence in the banking sector.

Foreign investors have shown interest in buying two Ukrainian state-owned banks, Ukrgasbank and Sense Bank, according to Deputy Finance Minister Yurii Drahanchuk. Both banks ranked among the 10 most profitable banks in Ukraine in 2023. Ukrgasbank was founded in 1993 and is a Ukrainian commercial bank, while Sense Bank is the Ukrainian branch of Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman’s Alfa-Bank. Sense Bank was nationalized in the summer of 2023 due to sanctions imposed on its owner. Drahanchuk stated that Ukraine has received signals of investor interest since the end of last year and is actively preparing for the sale. The potential investors are urging the country to finalize the deal soon, while the banks themselves are getting ready for the purchase. The Finance Ministry and the World Bank are working on legal amendments to ensure transparency in the sale process. Ukraine aims to sell both banks this year as part of its strategy to reduce its presence in the banking sector. However, the country does not yet plan to sell PrivatBank, the largest bank in Ukraine, which generates $1 billion of state budget revenue. PrivatBank was nationalized in 2016 due to high capital losses and was formerly owned by oligarchs Ihor Kolomoisky and Hennadii Boholiubov. The decision to nationalize the bank was confirmed by the Ukraine’s Sixth Administrative Court of Appeal in November 2023, closing a case that had been ongoing since 2017. ABH Holdings S.A., the banking group with main shareholder Mikhail Fridman, filed an arbitration request and a claim of over $1 billion against Ukraine in January 2024 regarding the nationalization of Sense Bank. The interest shown by foreign investors in buying Ukrainian state-owned banks reflects positive investor sentiment towards Ukraine’s banking sector. The country’s efforts to improve transparency and attract foreign investment are crucial for its economic development.