Ukraine’s PFTS equity index was on the rise last week, adding 0.7% and closing at 509 points. The National Bank’s decision to slash its main refinancing rate by an enormous 250 basis points from 13.50% to 11.00% had a positive impact on local stocks, despite the regulator’s benchmark rate is still higher than the yield on the government’s 1-year treasuries, which stands at 10%. In general, the National Bank continues to ease its monetary policy with the aim of maintaining inflation at the target level of 5% and supporting steady economic growth. Current expectations are that the key rate will be lowered to 7% by the year-end. The next meeting of the NBU Board on monetary policy issues is due on Mar 12.
In individual stocks, Raiffeisen Bank Aval (BAVL) gained 1.2% to 34.70 kopecks while CentrEnergo (CEEN) remained at UAH 8.53 per share. Quotes for UkrNafta (UNAF) moved up by 1.7% to UAH 147 after the company reported that its oil extraction increased by 4.7% YoY to 1.52mn tonnes (11.1mn bbl) in full-year 2019.
On the London Stock Exchange, MHP (MHPC) took another hit, falling 3.4% to USD 8.48 after an announcement that the company’s 4Q19 financial results will be unimpressive due to higher production costs in the period. Iron ore producer Ferrexpo (FXPO) dropped by 6.5% to GBp 136 after a Ukrainian court placed a restriction covering 50.3% of the group’s domestic ore mining subsidiary Poltavskiy GOK. Ferrexpo is the sole shareholder in Poltavskiy GOK. The restriction does not affect ownership of the shares but prohibits their transfer. Ferrexpo said it believes this restriction is temporary and is related to the criminal charges in Ukraine involving Constantine Zhevago (Ferrexpo’s largest shareholder), related to Zhevago’s now-insolvent F&C Bank.
In Warsaw trading, Astarta (AST) slumped by 8.9% to PLN 15.80 and Kernel (KER) edged down by 0.7% to PLN 46.95. Sporadically-traded Agroton (AGT) advanced by 7.5% to PLN 4.45.
On the currency front, the hryvnia was weak once again, losing a hefty 2.3% against the dollar to UAH/USD 25.05.
POLITICS AND ECONOMICS
- Pompeo, Zelenskiy Avoid
Controversial Topics After Meeting
- Ukraine’s Public Debt Rises 8%
YoY to USD 84bn (54% of GDP) in 2019
STOCKS IN THE NEWS
- MHP’s Poultry Export Volume Moves
Up 25% YoY in FY19
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