Privatization processes in Ukraine are in a reset stage. And it’s all of this because the authorities seriously thought about how to attract sensible investors into the country, espescially foreign ones.
This can be done, including through the sale of “Market liquidity” property. UA-Times already wrote about the essence of privatization in detail.
Recently, head of Ukrainian Property Fund Dmitry Sennichenko presented the program of stable investments-2020. Read about how privatization will help to improve investment attractiveness.
How much we can earn?
This year, the State Property Fund plans to seriously engage in the implementation of interesting lots in the framework of the so-called large and small privatization. For this, in particular, a schedule has already been planned for auctions, including for larges objects.
Besides, “Road show” was launched to attract foreign capital to the Ukrainian economy.
“Work of investment advisers is already underway at five key sites. They must ensure competitive, transparent and highly efficient privatization. This is important because our country needs investors who are willing to invest in the technological modernization of enterprises and be socially responsible,” sennichenko noted.
If you look at the list of objects that the authorities want to implement this year, you can see very attractive lots. These are the Dnipro and President hotels, the United Mining and Chemical Company, Odessa Port Plant, and Electrotyazhmash.
In addition, the Fund plans to put up for sale sea ports in Skadovsk, Belgorod-Dniester and Ust-Dunaysk. But Ukrainian airports in the regions can be transferred to concession.
If everything goes according to plan, Ukraine will be able to get a tidy earnings through privatization this year. “Proceeds from privatization in 2020 are planned at the level of UAH 12 billion,” Sennichenko predicts.
Everything will be smoothly?
Actully, Ukraine is unlikely to be able to launch privatization processes without problems, when it comes to the transfer of large state assets to private hands, the State Property Fund is faced with serious obstacles.
For example, recently, detectives of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine detained people who offered the head of the SPFU $ 5 million as a bribe, for changing managers at the Odessa Port factory.
Also, “Centrenergo” considered as a difficult asset at the moment. The State Property Fund plans to sell it at an auction in 2021. But for now, is blocked.
“I signed a new order to attract advisers, a lawsuit was immediately filed there, however, we will definitely win it and we’ll unblock another attempt to stop privatization, ” Sennichenko said.
To prevent such problems in the future, the Fund developed a plan of anti-corruption measures.In particular, a memorandum on cooperation with the international non-governmental organization Transparency International Ukraine was signed. This should increase the confidence of potential investors in privatization.
Also, TI Ukraine Office and the State Property Fund created a permanent investment office. This structure plans to provide expert support to the activities of the Fund and will be an advisory body to the SPFU.
In addition, the Fund intends to improve the regulatory framework so that the management of state-owned enterprises, property valuation, rental, privatization and the implementation of investment agreements operate in a transparent field.
Need a digital presentation?
Attracting investors to potentially promising state-owned lots is planned to be organized on the updated site of the SPFU, privatization.gov.ua and so far is working in test mode.
On the site, buyers will be able to get complete information about the objects of privatization. For these purposes, the site including a map, a search filter, step-by-step instructions for buying, a description of the property with photos, dates and auction statuses, etc.
Now the staff of the Fund has increased work. In particular, in September-December 2019, state bodies transferred 530 objects for privatization. “This is a record for years of independence,” Sennichenko said.
So, today the State Property Fund carries out an audit of state-owned enterprises, improving the financial and personnel situation at enterprises. This will increase the investment attractiveness of lots, according to the Ukrainian government.
By the way, in the framework of small privatization, some of the objects will be available on the Prozorro online site. This list also includes the Electric Locomotive Factory. This is the only of it kind in Ukraine.
“We have in our portfolio a plant in the Dnieper that produced locomotives. Now it belongs to the category of “small privatization”. That is, you can go to Prozorro and bargain for it. It is clear that we will make an inventory of the property, because there are specialized workshops and 35-40 hectares of land ”, Sennikov noted.
Experts: window of opportunity may close
The selling of state property will follow the rules? Economists have different perspectives on the prospects of these processes.
In particular, the head of the secretariat of the Council of Entrepreneurs under the Cabinet of Ministers Andrey Zablovsky believes that there are all conditions for a full privatization in 2020 – from the political will of senior management to the possibility of making the necessary legislative decisions.
“This is essentially a“ window of opportunity ”that may close soon. For the new management of the State Property Fund, it is very important to conduct a pilot privatization of a number of large state-owned objects, for example, Ukrspyrt, ”Zablovsky added.
According to him, despite the interests of oligarchic groups within Ukraine, even the privatization of 6 billion hryvnas from the expected 12 billion against the backdrop of unsuccessful privatization attempts in recent years will be a real success for the current government.
At the same time, Alexander Khmelevsky, PHD. in Economics, assesses the privatization program negatively. The enterprises proposed for privatization can work successfully and bring significant profits without changing the owner.
“The state only needs to establish a management and control system. As a result of privatization, thousands of enterprises have already been destroyed, millions of people have lost their jobs. It is possible that some of the enterprises that are planned to be privatized this year are being scattered for scrap,” Khmelevsky added.
According to him, in the history of privatizationof Ukraine there is not a single case when the new owner fulfilled his obligations. And all this because the majority of those who privatized enterprises do not even plan any investments.
“To ensure investment, during privatization it is necessary to draw up a detailed enterprise modernization program with the definition of specific amounts, directions and terms of investment. The State Property Fund should monitor the fulfillment of investment obligations. In the case of fulfilling investment obligations, the enterprise should be returned to state ownership,” Khmelevsky said.
The Economist doubts that Ukraine will not receive 12 billion hryvnias from privatization this year: “Some of the objects of privatization have been revalued. Buyers cannot be found at such prices. There is also a risk of disruption of a number of privatization tenders.”
Director of Crane IP Law Firm, Ivan Nikitchenko, notes that special conditions must be created for privatization. In particular, it is important to audit the company from a Big Four accounting firms You also need to organize a competent Financial roadshows for investor.
The object must be legally” clean “- so that it does not have a loop of litigation, unfulfilled debts. It is important to start privatization with the most attractive and” clean “objects.If buyers see that everything was transparent with respect to the first transactions, and the new owners started managing the enterprise without any problems, the activity for the next transactions will increase automatically, ”Nikitchenko noted.