We have already written in the article “What can you buy for the average Ukrainian salary?” how it is difficult for an ordinary Ukrainian to live, but for whom is it good to live in 2014 in our country?
One of the main ideas of the Maidan was a reasonable income distribution of big capital and the maximal removal of oligarchy from the state budget and from the power as it is. Have we achieved this goal, and how Ukrainian oligarchs feel themselves today?
At first sight, Ukrainian oligarchs experience crisis in Ukraine rather hard and there are reasons for it. Among them there is reducing of the inflow of Western investments, closing the access to the usual capital markets and the drop in the purchasing power of the dramatically impoverishing citizens of Ukraine. But what is the situation indeed?
For a more detailed analysis, we took the 15 leaders of the Ukrainian list of Forbes.
Igor Kolomoyskiy & Gennadiy Bogolyubov
The owners of “Privat” bank have incurred significant losses due to the annexation of the Crimea and the war in Donbass. Plus forced selling of Moscomprivatbank and stopping of ferroalloy plant in Stakhanovsk and so we get, as it would seem, an incredible sum of losses! But Kolomoyskiy would not have such popularity, if he was not able to get benefit from his own and other people’s problems; and that is why after Yanukovych escape “Privat’ group is on a roll again. At the moment, the bank king has subordinated not only his favorite Dnipropetrovsk region, but also Odessa (the governor here has become a business partner of Ihor Kolomoyskiy – Igor Palitsa). But it seemed not enough for him to cover losses and therefore “Privat” in exchange for its property in the Crimea and Donbass has received refinancing from NBU (National Bank of Ukraine). At the end of August the amount of refinancing was more than 120 billion hryvnias. It should be noted also that the head of the Ministry of Air Service was appointed a former top manager of “Ukraine International Airlines” (UIA) – the country’s largest airline, controlled by Igor Kolomoyskiy. This appointment immediately affected the order of distribution of air routes. Infrastructure Minister Burbak says that the order will promote the development of the field, but in fact we see that the preferences are given to UIA and other airlines are being removed from the market. Wizz Air Ukraine and Atlasjet Ukraine have already entered a protest and showed their readiness to appeal judicially.
Though we should give credit for Mr. Kolomoyskiy. He shared his income with Ukraine. The controlled by him “Ukrnafta” paid the state share of dividends at the rate of 1.8 billion hryvnias.
At year-end 2013 the company “Nibulon”, owned by Vadaturskiy exported 4.5 million tons of oil-bearing and cereal crops. In addition to export, the company is also engaged in the cultivation of these crops, and so successful that it’s almost the only agrarian in Ukraine today, which enjoys the confidence of foreign investors. Confirmation of this was a loan of € 26 million, obtained from the EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) in October of the current year. That is why war is war, but Vadaturskiy continues to make his own fleet.
The owner of the agricultural holding Kernel – the largest exporter of sunflower oil. According to the results of the last marketing year (June 2014) has slightly reduced profit and EBITDA, but in the first three months of the marketing year 2014-2015, has increased turnover due to the devaluation of the Ukrainian currency.
Taking office, the President of Ukraine promised to sell his entire business, but apparently changed his mind. However, his current situation does not particularly save the company “Roshen”, though this field has recently been the main source of his income. Now, because of the military crisis in the east of the country the chocolate factory in Mariupol has not been working since February. In view of the strained relations with Russia the Lipetsk branch of “Roshen” has been alarmed for a year. Together with a steep fall of sales in the territory of the Russian Federation “Rot Front” adjudged from the Lipetsk plant 200 million rubles for copyright infringement. “Sevmorzavod” in the Crimea also doesn’t please the owner with profit. As part of the nationalization campaign Russians put it on sale. But all these minuses Mr. President cut off with one big plus: “International Investment Bank” which has doubled its capital and brought Poroshenko about 2.5 billion hryvnias profit.
The pet of Mr. President and pluralistically the owner of the largest in Ukraine “chicken house” – “Myronivsky hliboproduct”. Starting this year, he is also the president’s deputy chief of staff. Against the backdrop of crisis chicken in the country is at the peak of popularity. Sales have increased by 21%, and the prices for chicken products have risen, and it means that the income of the owner exceeded his expectations. But business war has not passed him by. According to the statistics, 30% of hatching eggs are delivered to “Myronivsky hliboproduct” by the farm in Shahtarsk, which has stopped its production now. At the moment, the eggs are purchased in Germany and Hungary.
“From the point of view of my position in the chair of the head of the region, I believe that plants should work regardless of the fact that my friend Viktor Mihaylovich Pinchuk owns them” – joked at a recent press conference the governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region, Igor Kolomoyskiy, the main “headache” of the owner “Interpipe”. Actually apart from his growing influence in the region in “Interpipe” everything remains the same: Russians prevent selling Ukrainian pipes in their market, and in revenge, he uses his influence on certain Ukrainian politicians and doesn’t let Russian pipe producers in the Ukrainian market.
The man who managed to lose most of his business, namely: Cherkasy “Azot”, Merefa glass factory, football club (FC) “Metalist” and UkrSibbank shares before the beginning of the conflict in the country, now is glimpsing mostly in the society columns as a companion of Abramovich on vacation.
At the moment he owns Kharkov airport, which for the first half has reduced passenger traffic for 16.5% and stock of shares of Kremenchug “Ukrtatnafta”. With the last asset he got luck – in October the net profit of “Ukrtatnafta” was 330 million hryvnias. And a year ago the company was in the red at no less than 564 million hryvnias.
Ex-mayor of Kiev in 2008 managed to sell Pravex Bank to Italian Intesa Sanpaolo and earn nearly 750 million dollars. Money seems to be fabulous, but they tend to finish, and therefore Chernovetskiy apparently decided to invest in startups. For example, his company has recently purchased stocks of service of food delivery zakaz.ua, owned by Egor Anchishkin, for 2.5 million dollars.
It is a question how he can still be afloat, because on November 21, VAB Bank was declared insolvent, and the investors’ interest in his agro holding (or rather to say to the Ukrainian agrarian in general) brought down seriously after defaulting of the company “Mriya” of Ivan Guta.
Profits from the sale of iron ore, which is the main source of income of Zhevago, has dropped significantly. Poltava and Eristov mining and processing works are export companies, and as we know, because of the instability in Ukraine, foreign partners do not lay under an obligation. And the development of Belanovskiy mining and processing works is doubtful; Kolomoyskiy’s “Ukrtatnafta” is in close proximity to deposit. Besides, in Stakhanov, which is under Lugansk People’s Republic control, there are two companies belonging to Zhevago (Carriage Works and “Tehuglerod”). As a result, Zhevago can make money now only out of anti-terrorist operation (ATO). He owns a machine-building plant KRAZ – producing armored jeeps, but this plant also has a competitor represented by Kharkov plant named by Malyshev.
The largest rentier in Ukrainian market. The only problem is that almost all of his assets are now belong to opolchentsy (members of the militia): shopping centers “Donetsk City”, “Zolotoe Koltso” and Green Plaza. Of course, Gumenyuk has “Donbasenergo” as a reserve, which brought him in the first half of the year 724 million hryvnias. But here the factor of warfare played its part, so this profit is rapidly turning into losses.
A man of his word, but not of his action already – he lost out to Kolomoiskiy during the Maidan and had to leave his native Donetsk. So, his business suffers devastating losses because of its location. In August, the Donbass king lost 5 enterprises situated in the territory of ATO. As a result – “Metinvest” received 40% of the steel less, and also coal, by-product coke and energy companies of Akhmetov are experiencing difficult times. We add to this a complete political fiasco and get prolonged depression.
He is ahead in the rating of “Failure of the year” of his senior partner in the metallurgical holding “Metinvest”, because in addition to troubles of metallurgical company, he experiences also financial problems. Novinskiy managed to invest 1.42 billion hryvnias in “Forum” bank bought for 10 million dollars, which has been undergoing liquidation since 2013. Shipyards of businessman also do not have any chance except nationalization or bankruptcy.
A “lucky one” number three – Kremenchug steel works doesn’t function, and “Dneprovagonmash” reduced earnings to $ 268 million hryvnias (falling by 3.7 times in 9 months). Tigipko apparently tried to save himself by the mandate, but he failed, “Opposition bloc” did not take him as a leader, and the forgotten by everybody “Strong Ukraine” did not overcome even the five percent barrier.
Well. As we can see, the Maidan did not bring fundamental changes in the state system. Representatives of big business have intertwined with the government even more closely and are not engaged in reforms but repartition of the market, trying to “win back” the losses. Do ordinary Ukrainians need this? Are we going to look for and find the ways of preserving and developing of the country?
Author: Daria Vershyna
Date: 15 June 2015
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