Tatiana Serafin

Ukraine Econ Upturn As its Billionaires Start to Raise Cash

Ukraine’s youngest billionaire, Kostyantin Zhevago, who almost lost his iron ore producer, Ferrexpo, when markets crashed two years ago, is back raising cash. According to Millenium CapitalFerrexpo completed its road-show July 16 planning to place Eurobonds worth $500 million. The company plans to ramp up production by 50% over the next five years, and has the iron ore reserves to do so. ADDENDUM: It appears the Eurobond issue has been postponed.

This follows on the heels of fellow billionaire, Rinat Akhmetov, and the announcement that his steelmaker Metinvest raised $700 million via syndicated loan.

Ukraine has had success recently, negotiating a new $14.9 billion loan program with the IMF. As a result, Fitch upgraded Ukraine’s sovereign bonds stating “The IMF agreement improves the sovereign’s financing flexibility and will unlock additional funds from other international financial institutions.”

There is still a long-way to go — Ukraine’s real GDP fell 15.1% in 2009, according to Fitch, marking the second-worst economic performance after Latvia of the over 100 sovereigns rated by the agency — but billionaire confidence appears to be back up.

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