Locally-listed Ukrainian equities were mostly lower last week, with the PFTS index declining by 1.7%, as global stock markets were hit with fresh losses after regaining ground in the preceding week. Positive local events, including Parliament’s final approval of the farmland market reform, had only limited effect on the Kyiv-listed stocks. Among top PFTS index components, CentrEnergo (CEEN) remained unchanged at a quite depressed price of UAH 7.25, and UkrNafta (UNAF) declined by 3.6% to UAH 135, ignoring the late-week gains in crude prices on hopes of a new deal between OPEC and Russia to cut oil supplies.
Raiffeisen Bank Aval (BAVL) regained 3.2% to 32.00 kopecks despite the bank’s postponement of its annual shareholders meeting amid the COVID-19 quarantine. It is expected that majority owner Raiffeisen International will decide to pay out 5.40 kopecks per share in dividends from FY19 profit.
In London trading, natural gas producers with assets in Ukraine demonstrated solid gains on prospects of a broader energy price recovery in the medium term. Regal Petroleum (RPT) rose by 11% to GBp 15.30 and JKX Oil&Gas (JKX) jumped by 18% to GBp 18.30. Meanwhile, poultry producer MHP (MHPC) slipped by 4.4% to USD 6.10. Warsaw-listed Kernel (KER) showed some recovery after the recent slide, advancing by 3.9% to PLN 35.90 after bottoming at PLN 31.60 in mid-March. Sporadically-traded Agroton (AGT) edged up by 1.7% to close at PLN 3.08 per share.
The hryvnia was volatile over the week, strengthening firmly by 2.2% to 27.46 UAH/USD as Ukrainian businesses continued to see their hryvnia liquidity drying up amid the COVID shutdown. Forex traders were forced to cover their speculative short positions (bets made against the Ukrainian currency during the initial panic in mid-March), after the country fulfilled its commitments to receive a much-needed new loan from the IMF. However, the date for when the expected IMF tranche of around USD 2bn will arrive, remains unclear. The National Bank maintained its presence on the interbank market, taking the opportunity to purchase the hard currencies and replenish its reserves, as dollar/euro supply outweighed demand.
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