Foreign investors are gradually returning to Ukraine and considering buying a business in the country. In 2017–2018, one billion euros was spent on assets in Ukraine; half of this sum was invested by foreigners. These have been the best indications in the M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions) market over the past five years, according to research by Mergermarket publishing and the Aequo law firm. The research results were presented at a round table in Kyiv called ‘M&A in Ukraine: Moving Forward’.
‘Ukraine will again be attractive for international players once they realize that the new government will not act suddenly with regard to business regulation. Another thing is local investors, for whom such uncertainty is a time of opportunities,’ said UMG Investments Director Nadiya Kaznacheyeva during the ‘M&A in Ukraine: Moving Forward’ round table, organized by the Aequo law firm.
According to the top manager, in Ukraine, the private sector is interested in healthcare, IT, agricultural processing, and logistics. Investments are made in the agricultural-related sector, for example, fertilizer production. ‘Last year, our company invested in a mineral fertilizer project; this year the business will start,’ said Nadiya Kaznacheyeva.
Apart from the upcoming snap parliamentary elections, the inflow of foreign investment is constrained by a number of other factors. ‘Investors continue to highlight a number of problems. The lack of cheap financing, the volatility of the regulatory field and the lack of qualified investment personnel are the main reasons that may continue to restrain the inflow of investments into the economy,’ Nadiya Kaznacheyeva added.
Nadiya Kaznacheyeva also drew attention to the need for restarting the privatisation of state-owned companies. ‘This will create a positive signal for foreign investors and our financial partners,’ the top manager noted and stressed that this move would not only bring money into the country and heal the economy, but also remove corruption from state enterprises.
Nadiya Kaznacheyeva is certain that ‘investors are not investing money in a country, an industry, or even in a separate enterprise. They finance investment projects with understandable parameters, a clear business plan and a development strategy.’
‘Investors come through the word-of-mouth principle: as soon as a message about investing in Ukraine appears on the main page of Bloomberg, other companies also turn their eyes in our direction, understanding that there are good potential projects in this country. At the same time, there are a limited number of companies in the country that are willing to accept international investors because of the lack of full transparency in business, an understandable growth strategy, a strong management team, etc.,’ said the top manager.