Saturday, January 29, 2005

Giving Until It Hurts

Giving Until It Hurts

Russian crime and 'gypsy hypnosis', it could explain many things.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

How a Ukrainian band emerged from the chaos of the 'Orange Revolution'

The Observer | OMM | How a Ukrainian band emerged from the chaos of the 'Orange Revolution'

This is a not bad account of the Zaporozhye band Fotomot. It is an accurate description of the Ukrainian music scene. The Orange Revolution part seems tacked on.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

IFC's Ukraine Country Report, Jan. 2005

cr0515.pdf (application/pdf Object)

This is an annual report of IFCs activities in Ukraine. While it is dense, there is a great deal of economic data that is fairly current. It is also, in part, a history of IFCs and the World Banks activities in the country.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The formula of the orange victory: notes by concerned observers. Yuriy YAKIMENKO, Ihor ZHDANOV. Zerkalo Nedeli On The WEB

The formula of the orange victory: notes by concerned observers. Yuriy YAKIMENKO, Ihor ZHDANOV. Zerkalo Nedeli On The WEB

a good history and analysis

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


From the revolution Posted by Hello

Financial notes from Ukraine

This is one of the first financial reports on Ukraine since the November events. It is also one of the few reports that are not part of the marketing of Ukrainian securities.
FOREIGNERS BULLISH ON YUSHCHENKO'S UKRAINE
Since the election of Yushchenko investors have begun flocking to Kiev.

By Peter Graff, Reuters, Kiev, Ukraine, Tue, January 18, 2005

KIEV -- If investors hadn't heard of Ukraine a few months ago, they have
now. A country of nearly 50 million people, Ukraine has a four-year track
record of booming, export-driven economic growth and a fat trade surplus.
Last week it announced record gross domestic product growth last year of 12
percent, Europe's best.

But fundamentals aside, two political factors have finally put Ukraine
squarely on the map since the middle of last year. It suddenly acquired a
long frontier with the European Union when the bloc expanded in May. And it
now has a new pro-Western president after public protests helped overturn an
election result in November that had been rigged to favor a pro-Moscow
candidate.

Liberal President-elect Viktor Yushchenko, who won a rerun vote last month,
campaigned on a platform of transparency, fighting corruption and opening
investment opportunities to outsiders. He had a strong record of reform when
he served as Central Bank chief and prime minister several years ago.

Bond traders on emerging markets desks abroad have known about Ukraine for
some time. Its debt, traded in London and New York, has performed well for
several years. "It had a very strong financing position, current account
surplus, rising reserves, good growth, and it had been a regular issuer in
the market, which raised the country's profile," said Timothy Ash, head of
emerging markets at Bear Stearns in London.

But more investors are now flying in to Kiev and looking at local
investments like stocks and domestic bonds. Tomas Fiala, a Czech who runs
Dragon Capital, one of Ukraine's few brokers, said calls from fund managers
started flooding in just before Yushchenko's "orange revolution." "Since
September we have had at least one European or U.S. investor around here
every week. Some weeks it was at least three investors coming for investment
trips," he said.

Not only are more fund managers coming, they are coming from a different
direction -- east from over the borders of new EU members like Poland or
Hungary, rather than west from Moscow. "We're getting a lot of calls from
Central Europe and a lot of Austrian, German, French and U.K. investors,"
Fiala said. "The election ... changes Ukraine's future development from
tracking Russia to trying to move into Europe and follow Poland, the Czech
Republic, Hungary and Slovakia," Fiala said.

The short-term economic picture is not all rosy. Inflation picked up sharply
because of a pre-election spending binge by the outgoing authorities, who
sold off reserves and handed out higher pensions and wages. Price growth hit
12.3 percent last year, the government said this week, a four-year high up
from 8.2 percent in 2003.

Ukraine's economy is still dominated by former-Soviet heavy industries,
especially steel and chemicals. Those industries have boomed over the past
few years driven by strong demand for industrial raw materials in developing
Asia. But those markets are cyclical and possibly in for a rough patch.

For most investors the only chance of exposure to Ukraine has been debt
issued abroad. The government and private companies both had successful
eurobond placements over the past year. Firm demand has brought yields on
dollar-denominated sovereign debt as low as around 7.3 percent.

"It's been on the radar screens for a long time from a fixed-income
perspective. Equities less so," said Ash. "Obviously there's a lot of issues
about corporate governance. That certainly restricted interest. Going
forward, the interest will be more focused on the equity."
Those flocking to Kiev will not yet find much to buy.

Ukraine's stock market was the world's fastest-rising last year, with an
index compiled by Dragon Capital surging by 180 percent. But volume
is tiny and there are only about 30 traded companies, and only 10 liquid
enough to make the index.

Yushchenko has promised to increase privatizations open to foreigners, which
should make for a more robust market. Domestic government debt may also
still be a good buy, with double-digit yields denominated in a hryvnia
currency that has been stable for years and -- given the large trade
surplus -- could appreciate against a falling dollar.

Foreign investors have doubled their holdings in Ukraine's domestic debt in
the last six months, the Finance Ministry says. Foreigners bought 80 percent
of the paper at an auction last week, the first since the rerun election.
But the best long-term opportunities may be for strategic investors in
sectors like brewing, food processing, retail or construction, aimed at the
still-stunted domestic market.

Ukraine's economy is now 60 percent exports, with local consumption held
back by monthly average incomes of barely $100. If Ukrainians' living
standards ever start approaching those of their new EU-member neighbors,

Bandits to Prisons!. Olga DMITRICHEVA. Zerkalo Nedeli On The WEB

Bandits to Prisons!. Olga DMITRICHEVA. Zerkalo Nedeli On The WEB

How far do you throw the bandits? The easy thing to do is to charge the lower levels of the election frauders, how do you go after the higher levels?

Monday, January 17, 2005

How Ukraine's Top Spies Changed the Nation's Path

The New York Times > International > Europe > How Ukraine's Top Spies Changed the Nation's Path
This is the New York Time's C.J. Chivers long article on the events of November 28, 2005, the night when the Interior Ministry troops were called to break up the demonstrations.

Friday, January 14, 2005

ICPS -=- Topic of This Week

ICPS -=- Topic of This Week Solid and reasonable analysis from the International Centre for Policy Studies, Kiev

Notes on Kyiv's retailing

Just to show that Kyiv's retailing is still growing, a new Cartier store has opened up, and it is just up the street from the new Armani Jean store. In other retailing news, a discount shopping mall has opened in the Petrivka shopping area. It features well known brands at discount prices. The goods seem to be last years models but the prices are quite reasonable and the goods look genuine and in good shape. There should be a large market for this in Ukraine.

BerlinOnline: Die Stra�e nach Europa ist voller Schlagl�cher

BerlinOnline: Die Stra�e nach Europa ist voller Schlagl�cher
For our German readers, a great article about Ukraine

FT.com / World / Europe - EU vote boosts Ukraine membership hopes

FT.com / World / Europe - EU vote boosts Ukraine membership hopes EU giving Ukraine targets to aim at.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

FT.com / Home UK - Reform in Ukraine must be swift and sweeping

FT.com / Home UK - Reform in Ukraine must be swift and sweeping

All of these sugestions are reasonable and do-able.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Breaking the mould - FT.com Chrystia Freeland

FT.com / Arts & Weekend - Breaking the mould

This is a great article with most of the major themes of the recent events in Kiev. I really liked this quote from Oleksandr Tkachenko:
“This is the revolution of good burghers, of the well-dressed, well-spoken Kievites. They already have money. What they need is freedom for themselves, their businesses and their children,” says Tkachenko.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Orange and the Russians

Here are some interesting articles on the Russian reaction to the revival of Ukraine. First is an article pusblished in November, 2004, The Frozen Revolution By Vadim Dubnov to the first round of the election. Even at that point, the failure of Yanukovich to excite a majority of Ukrainian voters was not fully understood by Russian politicians. The second article is a discussion on the reaction on the final outcome. Analysis: Moscow Ponders How Ukraine Was 'Lost' By Julie A. Corwin




Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Matthew Maly's works about Russian transition to democracy and market economy

Matthew Maly's works about Russian transition to democracy and market economy
The always unique and insightful Matthew Maly.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

From |A Step At A Time."

Sharansky

"More than 15 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the free world continues to underestimate the universal appeal of its own ideas. Rather than place its faith in the power of freedom to rapidly transform authoritarian states, it is eager to achieve 'peaceful coexistence' and 'detente' with dictatorial regimes."

- Nathan Sharansky

SUICIDE BY CONTRACT. Alexandra PRYMACHENKO. Zerkalo Nedeli On The WEB

SUICIDE BY CONTRACT. Alexandra PRYMACHENKO. Zerkalo Nedeli On The WEB

An orange instant between the past and the future. Ludmila Shangina. Zerkalo Nedeli On The WEB

An orange instant between the past and the future. Ludmila Shangina. Zerkalo Nedeli On The WEB

Sunday, January 02, 2005

New Year's in the New Ukraine - Next year in Minsk ... and the year after in Moscow? By Masha Gessen

New Year's in the New Ukraine - Next year in Minsk ... and the year after in Moscow? By Masha Gessen

A solid piece by Masha Gessen.

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