The Ukrainian Exchange index rebounded by 2.0% to 1746 points last week, driven by UkrNafta (UNAF), which rose 7.0% to UAH 289, and by CentrEnergo (CEEN), which gained 2.2% to UAH 7.05.
In macroeconomic statistics, UkrStat reported that Ukraine’s retail sales increased by 10.7% YoY in full-year 2021, while in December the retail sales index was up by a more modest 5.1% YoY. In the broader context, we assume that the retail sales performance indicated that consumer sentiments somewhat worsened, as high inflation bites into households’ real income. Ukraine’s full-year 2021 GDP increase is expected at 3.0%, which would be notably behind initial expectations amid the forecasts of a fast economic recovery after COVID-hit 2020. Currently a sharp acceleration of economic growth in Ukraine looks unlikely unless the government finds a way to attract large foreign investors to the country’s real sector.
In London trading, Ukrainian natural gas producer Enwell Energy (former Regal) dropped by 14% to GBp 26.00 after information that a Kyiv court restricted one of the company’s recently acquired licenses. Enwell Energy had acquired that gas license on the secondary market for USD 8.6mn. In our view, there will be no threat to the company’s ongoing operations, but there is a high risk to lose the license which was acquired for expansion purposes. Ferrexpo (FXPO) shed 0.9% to GBp 245 per share. The FXPO stock has lost 18% in January amid risks of possible Russian military aggression against Ukraine.
Warsaw-listed Kernel (KER) declined by 2.9% to PLN 53.30 and Astarta (AST) edged down by 0.4% to PLN 34.05. Astarta published a mixed operational update for 4Q21 with a moderate sugar sales volume increase of 6% YoY to 85,900 tonnes. Due to the 35% YoY jump in sugar prices in 4Q21, we assume that Astarta’s financial results for the quarter will be quite solid.
The hryvnia remained under pressure losing 1.0% last week to close at 28.52 UAH/USD. The Ukrainian currency traded in a corridor from 28.52 UAH/USD to 28.92 UAH/USD on the interbank market over the period.
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