5 Oct 2017 18:28

EBRD disappointed with pace of privatization in Ukraine

KYIV. Oct 5 (Interfax) - Ukraine needs to unblock the process of privatization to accelerate economic growth and attract foreign investors, while the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is still ready to provide technical support and act as a buyer of a minority stake in some objects, EBRD Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus Francis Malige said.

"There are still no results [of privatization]. And this is one of the biggest failures," he stated in an interview with journalists on the sidelines of the Ukraine Silk Road Trade Finance forum on trade financing issues organized by the EBRD and Ukreximbank in Kyiv.

Malige said attempts to sell Odesa Port-Side Chemical Plant "with a known negative result" which are close to madness, and a number of sales of blocking shares of energy companies in August this year were, to put it mildly, "far from international standards," since were actually conducted on a non-alternative basis.

"Such privatization is not in the interests of the state," the EBRD representative said.

In his opinion, the new government bill on privatization submitted to the Verkhovna Rada, as well as political will could correct the situation.

"The State Property Fund needs to use other approaches. The fund should have sufficient powers to conduct privatization. And if there is a political decision to conduct privatization, and the fund has sufficient powers, such privatization will be successful," Malige said.

He said support from the bank, first of all, can consist of technical assistance to both the state and a particular company - in the form of targeted assistance to improve processes, as was happening at Naftogaz.