Ukrainian stocks were broadly lower last week despite encouraging macroeconomic statistics indicating that the country’s GDP rose by a solid 4.2% YoY in 3Q19. The growth notably exceeds the latest expectations for 3.7% YoY expansion in the quarter.
Heavyweight blue chip CentrEnergo (CEEN) was the major drag on the gauge, falling by 7.3% to UAH 9.20 after the company lost a court case against one of its coal suppliers an now is facing penalties of UAH 740mn (USD 30mn). DonbasEnergo (DOEN) was also in the red, with the stock dropping by 3.6% to UAH 24.00.
UkrNafta (UNAF) remained almost flat at UAH 146 per share, while Raiffeisen Bank Aval (BAVL) shed 1.5% to 30.30 kopecks amid a scandal regarding the arrest of CEO Olexander Pisaruk, who has been accused of corrupt activity during his tenure as deputy head of the National Bank in 2014-2016.
London-listed Ferrexpo (FXPO) remained volatile but finished the week essentially unchanged near GBp 130. The worsening outlook for iron ore prices has put new pressure on the stock, preventing its rebound from the sharp drop prior months due to the legal difficulties of majority owner Constantine Zhevago. MHP (MHPC) finally climbed back to USD 9.00, gaining 5.1% for the week. Sporadically-traded Avangard (AVGR) slumped 20% from 25 to 20 US cents per share. The once-high-flying agro stock had an IPO price of USD 11 back in 2010.
In Warsaw trading, Ukrainian agro companies saw a sell-off after Parliament passed a bill to open up a farmland market in the country. Although there are fears that agro producers will now be forced to pay more to rent their land banks, we strongly believe that the farmland reform will ultimately add value to agro holdings. Kernel (KER) declined by 3.4% to PLN 40.60, Astarta (AST) tumbled 17% to PLN 16.50, and Agroton (AGT) lost 7.6% to PLN 4.00.
On the interbank currency market, the hryvnia was strong, advancing by 1.6% to 24.14 UAH/USD. Still, over the medium term, we are expecting a moderate devaluation of the currency of around 10% to 27 UAH/USD over the coming year or so.
POLITICS AND ECONOMICS
- Kolomoyskiy Threatens West, Makes Shocking Pro-Russian Statements
- Ukraine Passes Law to Launch Long-Awaited Farmland Market
- Ukraine’s Consumer Inflation Stands at 6.5% YoY in October Declining from 7.5% in September full report
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