🔵 Ukraine’s GDP warrants and Eurobonds reacted positively to news yesterday that Russia will start to withdraw its troops from Ukraine’s borders. Warrants jumped from 102.5% to 104.4%, and Eurobonds rose by 0.8-2.3 percentage points, depending on maturity dates.
🔵 Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu declared military drills near Ukraine to beover and that units would be withdrawn to their bases in central and eastern Russia. Anticipating more drills later this year, he said soldiers would leave large weapons in place, largely in Pogonovo firing range two hours east of Kharkiv. Russian restrictions on flights near Crimea are to expire tomorrow. But the ban on foreign government ships from the southern approaches to the Kerch Strait is to remain in place through late October.
🔵 Hours before Russia announced the withdrawal Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told Reuters that European foreign ministers should meet Monday and discuss kicking Russia out of the global SWIFT payments system. The US has kept this measure in reserve as a severe financial sanction. As of 2018, around half of all high-value cross-border payments worldwide used the SWIFT network.
🔵 Bankers are optimistic about lending prospects for the next 12 months, according to the National Bank of Ukraine’s quarterly survey. Of credit managers polled, 78% predict an increase in the loan portfolio of corporations, 82% predicted an increase in loans to households. These are the highest rates since 2015. Completed on April 9, the survey polled credit managers of 23 banks. These banks represent 88% of the banking system’s assets.
🔵 Looking back at the first quarter of this year, the central bank reported: “Demand for loans increased from business and individuals, including mortgage demand was the highest in the history of observations.” Lower interest rates were cited as the main reason for increased borrowing. Last week, the central bank raised Ukraine’s prime rate by 100 basis points, to 7.5%.
🔵 After two months of declines, industrial production grew in March, recording a 2.1% increase, the State Statistics Service reports.