Trading in Kyiv-listed stocks remained subdued last week, as Ukrainian companies will not be publishing their financial results for 4Q18 until March, leaving local investors with no clear stimulus for reshaping their portfolios.
In major topics for the week, NaftoGaz CEO Andriy Kobolev warned that Russia may refuse to sign a new natural gas transit contract with Ukraine when the current 10-year deal expires at the end of this year. The situation also previously occurred in 2006 and 2009 - in January of both those years - putting gas supply pressure on both Europe and Ukraine. Two contracts are currently in effect between Gazprom and Naftogaz, on gas supplies to Ukraine and its transit to Europe. It appears that Moscow may cut much, if not all, of its gas transit via Ukraine if and when the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which bypasses Ukraine entirely, can be successfully launched. Some 370km of this pipeline has been laid, the pipeline construction operator said in December. Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller has claimed that the pipeline is on schedule to come online in early 2020, immediately after the transit contract with Ukraine expires.
Among Kyiv-listed stocks, CentrEnergo (CEEN) inched up 0.3% over the week to close at UAH 14.50 while TurboAtom (TATM) lost 7.7% to UAH 12.00. The UkrNafta (UNAF) stock was flat at UAH 129 after the company conducted its first monthly oil auction in 2019, selling oil at USD 55.70 per barrel.
In London trading, Ferrexpo (FXPO) declined by 0.2% to GBp 203, missing out on a broad rally on the London Stock Exchange. In Warsaw, Kernel (KER) continued to hug the PLN 50 line, remaining essentially unchanged at PLN 49.50 per share.
The hryvnia demonstrated some strength over the week, sitting near the 28 UAH/USD level as the National Bank said it had to intervene on the market with forex purchases in order to prevent the hryvnia’s appreciation. As a result of the recent stable situation on the currency market, the NBU’s regulators are considering a reduction of the rate of mandatory sale of foreign currency earnings for exporters from 50% down to 30%.
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