#07-08 July-August 2017

In focus – Agribusiness

There is already a legend about fertile Ukrainian black soil and never ending land ownership reform in this country.

The obvious competitive advantage in agriculture is performed much lower than 100%. The anticipated launch of agricultural land turnover has been dragging on for years. It results in limited development of financing, particularly mortgage lending. The absence of a land market is a constraint on develop- ment, but is favorable for many important stakeholders that have invested a lot in adjusting the current state of play.

Production is concentrated among large agrarian holdings. They account for a substantial share of the country’s export, have an extremely well-established lobby, significance for the economy and can even determine state policy.

Meanwhile, the big agrarian players widely use alternative mechanisms and seem to be quite optimistic about growth. We saw an expansion of their land banks and facilitation of sectoral M&A in the first half of 2017. The revival on the capital markets front is also mainly due to the agrarian sector.

Expert Opinion

Farmland: Current Trends

Viacheslav Lytvynets

Agribusiness provides more than 40% of Ukraine’s exports. And this number is increasing every year. The investment attractiveness of agriculture is recognized by public policy and international investors.

In Re

Acquisition of Rights to Farmland in Ukraine by Non-residents

Valery Fedichin

Ukraine is home to some of the world’s most fertile soils, including the famous chornozem (black earth) soil, estimated to cover about a half of its territory. Given that, and with the ongoing shift away from manufacturing and other industrial sectors, the nation seems well on its way to becoming an agrarian power. Farming is one of the few economic segments into which investment is still flowing. Yet Ukraine remains ambivalent about foreign presence in agriculture. In particular, it restricts foreign ownership of farmland, and the sale of such land is altogether prohibited for the time being.

Trade Finance in Agribusiness

Taras Dmukhovskyy

It is a well-known fact that agriculture plays a significant role in the Ukrainian economy. Considering the rising global demand for food products, this sector of Ukrainian economy is likely to grow even further. In order to maintain and improve the current stage of development of the agro industry, Ukrainian agro companies need sufficient financial resources.

However, traditional lending from Ukrainian banks does not satisfy the demand for the financing required by Ukrainian agro companies. Ukrainian agro companies are also limited in their ability to obtain traditional bank lending from foreign lenders due to the limited appetite of foreign banks for Ukrainian risk. Besides, attracting financing through the issue of Eurobonds on international capital markets is only available for a few large Ukrainian agro companies.

News

Deals

Asters — legal counsel to IFC

Baker McKenzie advised International Finance Corporation

AVELLUM — legal advisor to MHP

Vasil Kisil & Partners advised Camozzi

AEQUO — legal counsel to Agroprosperis Bank

AVELLUM advised Kernel Holding S.A.

AEQUO acted as legal advisor to Industrialbank

 

Cases

Siemens filed claim to return turbines from Crimea

Kiev court canceled ban on delivering goods to Crimea

International Court in The Hague ruled against the RF for arrest of Greenpeace vessel

UAH 2.834 billion recovered from ESU, SCM subsidiary company

 

Draft

Abolition of minimum prices for cigarettes proposed

Reducing financial burden on transactions with payment cards

Increasing limit for duty-free goods movement is proposed

Ukrainian drivers to change licenses to European-style documents

 

Law Digest

NBU simplified rules for investing abroad

Requirements for loan intermediaries established

Exemption from fines for taxpayers affected by cyber attacks

NBU made it easier to verify financial transactions with Russia

Energy Efficiency Fund Law

 

Biznews

Privatization

Start of energy company privatization

AMCU

AMCU closed case against Kyivstar

Oil & Gas

Ukrnafta looking for investors for projects in field of gas production, drilling and processing

Transportation

Flixbus expands its business in Ukraine

Cryptocurrencies

Swiss bank began opening accounts in bitcoins

Ripple cryptocurrency sees 3000% jump in value

Chamber News

American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine marks 25th Anniversary at Gala Celebration

On 1 June Ukraine’s Business Community Event of the Year brought together 1,500 VIP guests to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine at Mysteskyi Arsenal.

UBA News

Data Privacy and Security in the Digital Era

On 27 July 2017 the Ukrainian Bar Association ICT Committee organized a meeting with Patrick M. Bell, an American data protection expert. During the event the speaker described ways to protect data in the United States, EU and other jurisdictions around the world with participants.

Cover Story

Cornerstones of Law

Ukrainian agriculture is one of the core drivers of the economy. This sector demonstrates growth even in times of unfavorable market conditions and numerous constraints and restrictions to its development.

The moratorium on the sale of agricultural land produces a great deal of emotive debate and is widely quoted by populists to earn political points. From the business perspective, the situation has resulted in the spreading of an alternative to sale mechanisms and determined a certain market landscape that is rather suitable for big players. It revealed that too many stakeholders follow their own interests and fail to consolidate around cornerstones of law.

We arranged a very insightful conversation with the Real Estate and Land Law Practice at the Spenser & Kauffmann law firm, contributed to by its head Aleksandra Fedotova, partner, PhD, co-head Maksim Maksimenko, counsel, PhD, and Dmitriy Nikolov, associate.

Argument

Transparent Insurance in Agribusiness — Road to a Civilized Land Market

Alexey Khomyakov

While the Ukrainian Parliament continues heated debates over the open market for agricultural land, one thing remains clear — the lifting of the moratorium on sale of agricultural land is an inevitable process, which is largely driven by globalization and the expansion of influence of major world corporate groups in Ukraine. However, for the land market and agribusiness to become transparent and efficient, the relevant risk management systems have to be implemented. Agricultural insurance is one of the possible options to hedge pertinent agricultural risks along with the development of transparent financing instruments in agriculture, thereby fostering growth and development of the Ukrainian land market.

Enforcement of GAFTA and FOSFA Awards in Ukraine

Ivan Kasynyuk, Olga Kuchmiienko

Without any modesty, we can confirm that Ukraine is one of the major global exporters of agrarian commodities. In particular, sunflower oil and seeds, grain and barley are distinctly Ukrainian. Thus, the share of disputes at arbitrations of GAFTA (The Grain and Feed Trade Association) and FOSFA (Federation of Oils, Seeds and Fats Associations) related to Ukraine is quite substantial.

Here we will analyze the ways in which international arbitral awards can be enforced in Ukraine.

Crux

Legal Digest

The summer of the outgoing year was notable for a number of legislative initiatives such as amendments to the Customs Code in terms of the duty-free limit for cross-border goods movement, changes in accounting and financial reporting, introduction of a new model of healthcare financing. In addition, the President has signed the disputable Law On the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, which was approved by Parliament at the third attempt. We also ask for hands on comments on the new rules for the development of oil and gas fields in Ukraine and NBU and NSSMC Memorandum of Understanding on development of the capital markets infrastructure.

Biz Lunch

Advocating for Change

On 2 June the challenges of being an in-house counsel were examined by Dana Wagner, US lawyer and former head of the antitrust practice at Google and general counsel of Square, who was in Kiev to hold a master class arranged by EVERLEGAL law firm. We met up with the expert and asked him to share his vision of the GC’s role in the ever-changing technological environment.

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