Monthly Archive: May 2016

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Should Dishonest Practices in Ukrainian Retail be Regulated

The Ukrainian retail sector is quite concentrated. In 2010, the largest retailers were Fozzy Group (Silpo, Fora, 19%), ATB (15%), Metro Cash&Carry (10%). Yet, such a concentration was not high enough for the sector to receive formal attention from competition authorities. Overall, the share of modern retail in the sector was equal to 33% in 2013 (the rest represented by traditional outlets

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Russian Bond: what is behind the return of Russia to the international capital market? Did it really happen?

Russia has issued $1.75 billion worth of Eurobonds. It was the first placement made by the Russian Ministry of Finance in almost three years. Pro-government Russian media speak about the triumphant return of Russia to the financial markets. At first glance, it may seem to be successful, but this is a false impression. Svetlana Rusakova has looked closer at “the Russia’s return” and found out what is wrong with it.

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Verkhovna Rada Under the Microscope. 10 Facts Which Determine the Ukrainian Parliament, or How to Identify a True Reformer

Who are the most progressive legislators, i. e. who votes best for reformist laws? What does their efficiency depend on? Those are not rhetoric questions. VoxUkraine has analyzed votes by all the MPs of the current Parliament and found 10 factors that define the MP’s efficiency. For instance, female and young, unexperienced MPs vote better for progressive laws than male MPs of senior age. The ideal MP in 2016 has had the following traits: female, less than 34 years old, a former journalist, from Bukovina, and a People’s Front member.

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Reforms and Re-Election: Will Groysman Become Yet Another “Political Kamikaze”

Many politicians are worried by the idea that their political career may end prematurely if they undertake substantial reforms. However, both academic studies and the experience of post-Soviet countries show that reformers are not doomed to become “political kamikaze”. Based on the examples of Georgia, Slovakia and Latvia, this article reveals some patterns that define the political destiny of reformers – and can influence the career of the newly appointed Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman.

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How Ukrainian Companies Use International Donor Aid

There are about 10 international organizations that are ready to provide financial assistance to Ukrainian SMEs. Do all Ukrainian export-oriented companies know about this opportunity? It turns out that only 5% of companies are aware of it. What do Ukrainian firms lose as a result? Full text is available in Ukrainian and Russian.

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Offshores 2.0: The Second Wave of Media Coverage of the Offshore Scandal

Two main articles caused the second wave of accusations against Petro Poroshenko over his links to offshore companies. The first one, by Dmytro Gnap and Anna Babinets, which appeared on May 18, voiced the suspicion that Petro Poroshenko transferred 4 million dollars abroad. The second one appeared on Deutsche Welle on May 19 and argued that Petro Poroshenko secretly owned a factory in Germany. Overall, the media coverage of this topic in May was much less intense than in April. For instance, on April 4, media generated 1607 messages, while the second wave translated into just 600 messages in four days (May 17-20). Full text is available in Ukrainian and Russian.

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How will the Recent Decrease in Social Security Contributions Affect the Economy? First Results

At the beginning of 2016 as part of its reform of the tax code, Ukraine reduced significantly the social security contribution (SSC) paid by firms. The payroll tax rate was massively reduced from an average of 44% to 22%. The idea behind this reform is to reduce labour costs, so that firms become more competitive, boosting exports, investment and real wages. A further motivation is to reduce the level of the significant shadow economy in the country. Does it work in Ukraine?

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What Does the NBU Write in the Annual Reports

During its existence, the National Bank of Ukraine has issued 23 annual reports. The “text mining” analysis of their content helps track the evolution of the banking market in Ukraine. Moreover, it helps determine how efficient the NBU has been and what goals it has considered to be the most important. Full text is available in Ukrainian and Russian.

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Europe is Not Enough: or Why Ukraine will Soon Lose Interest in EU Visa-Free Travel

This article argues that due to long-term changing migratory patterns and wider geopolitical shifts in the region, the EU’s visa liberalisation with Ukraine will be a largely short-term symbolic gesture, as Ukrainians will increasingly demand access to the EU labour market instead of mere short-term travel possibilities. As a result, there is a need to stop perceiving visa liberalisation as a political event, and rather present it as part of a long-term process towards an increased but managed cross-border mobility.