#3-4 March-April 2021

In focus – Bad Debts and Liability Management

The current global economic downturn, caused by the pandemic and not only, became a turning point for all stakeholders involved in extending finance. As timely debt servicing became topical for many of them, a new wave of restructurings and insolvencies is likely to be just around the corner.

Expert Opinion

Domino Effect in Bankruptcy

by Oleksandr Udovychenko

The title of this article is not random. It aims to highlight those recent developments in Ukrainian bankruptcy law that were adopted upon recommendations made by European and US experts.

Unlike the previous bankruptcy law, the Bankruptcy Proceedings Code, which came into force in 2019, ignores debtors and supports creditors. But a few business players have already understood or felt that.  This is natural, because we start studying problems only when we face them directly. It seems ineffective to spend time revising a new law until we start applying it, but when lawyers can hardly suffer negative consequences, business can face great challenges.

Oleksandr Udovychenko, PhD in Law, is a counsel  at ADER HABER

In Re

(Un)constitutionality of the Household Deposit Guarantee System Law

by Andrii Chornous, Kateryna Lazarchuk

The constitutional crisis in Ukraine is gaining momentum as it threatens to undermine the results of previous reforms and Ukraine’s further economic development. On 15 September 2020, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (the CCU) recommenced the constitutional proceeding initiated by the Supreme Court of Ukraine on recognizing the Law of Ukraine On the Household Deposit Guarantee System of 23 February 2012 No. 4452-VI unconstitutional. If the CCU declares the Law unconstitutional, it will put at risk the functioning of the deposit guarantee system in Ukraine. Furthermore, the repercussions of adopting such a decision will be devastating for the financial system of Ukraine as a whole.

Andrii Chornous is a counsel at Hillmont Partners

Kateryna Lazarchuk is a junior associate at Hillmont Partners

NPLs in Ukrainian Banks — more of the Same, or is a New Dawn Coming?

by Oleksandr Rudenko

The COVID-19 pandemic and related government actions, topped by certain other already existing risk factors of the Ukrainian economy, have all once again raised concerns over an impending economic downturn. The potential economic downturn has made the problem of non-performing loans (NPLs) relevant again.

Oleksandr Rudenko is an attorney at law at Ilyashev & Partners

Deals

Deals

Asters acted for Intreprinderea Mixta Zernoff S.R.L.

Sayenko Kharenko represented Zhejiang Baokang Wheel Manufacture Co.

CMS advised ING Bank-led syndicate of banks

Sayenko Kharenko advised European Fund for Southeast Europe

Kinstellar advised Automagistral-Pivden

Cases

Cases

Ukraine wins billion dollar energy dispute in Stockholm

US court halts sanctions against Xiaomi

Court seized property and 100% of shares in Motor Sich

Brazil fined Apple for non-inclusion of adapter, waterproof phone claims

Draft

Draft

Draft law on payment services passes first hurdle

Draft law on energy efficiency adopted in first reading

Draft law on certification of electricity transmission system operator adopted

Law Digest

Law digest

Law expanding AMCU powers in force now

Projects with significant investment: who can count on government support

New import duty rates on light industry products will apply from 1 July

Cabinet of Ministers approves measures to resolve non-compliance with court decisions where state authority is debtor

Biznews

Biznews

China may impose record fine on Alibaba

Israeli company might join development of the Black Sea shelf by Naftogaz

Morgan Stanley to allow wealthy clients to invest in Bitcoin funds

Ukrainian online educational startup Preply attracted USD 35 million in investment

Australia passed much discussed law obliging Facebook and Google to pay for news

Zoom revealed annual financial results: almost USD 1 billion in income

S&P expects economic growth at 4% in 2021

Cover Story

Balanced Approach

The current economic situation predicts upcoming financial distress for certain economic sectors. Ukrainian corporate borrowers are not an exemption, and have to manage their liabilities in an unusual context. At the same time, despite the high level of non-performing loans in the portfolios of Ukrainian banks, there is a big question mark as to whether there are truly lucrative investment opportunities in the current market. Our speakers, Anton Korobeynikov and Igor Lozenko, partners at Sayenko Kharenko, suggest that upcoming challenges for both borrowers and lenders require a smooth and commercially balanced approach.

Hot Issue

UK-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement: New Horizons

by Oleksandr Tereshchenko

Brexit has finally become reality. Ukraine was one of the first countries to immediately start cooperation with the UK. The Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the UK has been provisionally applicable since 1 January 2021. According to the deal goods moving between the UK and the EU will be subject to customs, regulatory, and sanitary inspections.

Oleksandr Tereshchenko is a senior associate at Aequo

Argument

What is a Sham?

by Anna Filonenko

In the context of a trust law, a sham is an appearance of a transaction that creates a binding trust, but its substance is that the settlor remains the beneficial ownership of, and has effective control, over the trust property. When a purported trust is, in fact, an attempt to deceive and achieve some other purpose such trust can be established to be an invalid trust, a sham.

Anna Filonenko, Ph.D in Law, is an expert in criminal law

International Trade: Risks Associated with Currency Regulation and Financial Monitoring

by Olena Kolchenogova, Oleksandr Slobodianiuk

The topic of currency control and financial monitoring is always relevant for a fast-paced trade market, taking into account the dynamic changes that have taken place over the past three years. The NBU has, starting in 2019, taken a rapid course to liberalize currency restrictions, gradually reducing obstacles to foreign exchange transactions, in contrast to the barely noticeable changes that have taken place over the last decade. Financial monitoring has also undergone some changes. Current changes to legislation on currency regulation and the state of implementation of legislation on financial monitoring will be considered more in detail.

Olena Kolchenogova is head of the International Law Practice at Nota Group

Oleksandr Slobodianiuk is a lawyer of the International Law Practice at Nota Group

Crux

Legal Digest

During the past few months the UJBL team has carefully monitored new activities and initiatives in the Ukrainian legislative field. Among the most important and highly expected ones are the Draft Laws
On Energy Efficiency (No. 4507) and On Incentives for the Development of the Digital Economy in Ukraine (No. 4303), as well as financial initiatives. For example, Draft Law On Payment Services (No. 4364) which has recently launched discussion in the banking industry. Amendments to the gambling law and possible changes of tax legislation also deserve your attention.

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