Ukrainian stocks listed in Kyiv continued to demonstrate a mixed performance amid worsening business sentiment, with the latest survey from the National Bank saying that the Business Activity Outlook Index plunged from 45.8 to 29.9 in April. Pessimistic expectations have intensified in almost all sectors of the economy. This is not only about the services sector, which is most affected by the COVID lockdown measures, but also industry, construction, and trade.
CentrEnergo (CEEN) picked up 1.4% to UAH 7.50, DonbasEnergo (DOEN) rose 1.5% to UAH 19.90, and Raiffeisen Bank Aval (BAVL) gained 3.0% back to 31.00 kopecks after the bank posted a first-quarter net profit of 1.68 kopecks per share that met most expectations. Indicative quotes for UkrNafta (UNAF) dropped by 3.7% to UAH 130 after the company said its average daily output in March-April was just 1% higher than last year despite 38 workover upgrades conducted at its oil wells since the start of the year.
In London trading, natural gas producers with assets in Ukraine saw some rebound from their recent lows, with Regal Petroleum (RPT) surging by 9.1% to GBp 16.30 and JKX Oil&Gas (JKX) climbing by 2.9% to GBp 18.00. MHP (MHPC) was unable to extend the preceding week’s advance, falling back to USD 6.00 on a decline of 2.9%.
In Warsaw, Kernel (KER) slipped below the PLN 40 line on fears that depressed corn prices could hurt the company’s grain trading business. The KER stock lost 3.5% to PLN 38.90, while sporadically-traded Agroton (AGT) added 1.4% to PLN 3.75 per share.
The hryvnia continued to recover after its sharp drop in March. The Ukrainian currency gained 0.5% against the dollar last week to close at 26.84 UAH/USD. However, the hryvnia is still 12% weaker since the start of the year. The National Bank reported that its foreign currency reserves increased by an impressive USD 800mn to USD 25.7bn in April, as the NBU was able to buy up dollars from entities whose hryvnia cash flows were hit by the COVID restrictions. The NBU said that the current level of forex reserves now covers an equivalent of 4.5 months of the country’s future imports.
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