Guarantees and insurance of foreign investments in Ukraine in 2024

Contents

  1. What guarantees does Ukraine offer to foreign investors today?
  2. Opportunities to guarantee investments provided by international organizations

Since February 24, 2022, the situation with investing in Ukraine has changed significantly, as foreign investors have faced new risks in Ukraine related to the military aggression of the russian federation in Ukraine. For potential investors, the war has become a deterrent for two reasons. Firstly, the state of active hostilities is perceived by foreign investors as synonymous with absolute uncertainty and the risk of losing their assets in Ukraine. Secondly, the lack of a mechanism for insuring war risks of such scale creates an unattractive environment for investors to invest and develop their businesses. 

To overcome these challenges and attract foreign investment to Ukraine, the government has launched significant regulatory and economic reforms. The introduction of investment insurance against military risks in Ukraine was one of the key steps allowing investors to cover potential losses arising from military operations in Ukraine.

What guarantees does Ukraine offer to foreign investors today?

Ukraine guarantees the protection of foreign investments regardless of their form of ownership.

In general, investment protection guarantees include: 

  • guarantees against future changes in legislation; 
  • guarantees against expropriation and illegal actions of state authorities and their officials; 
  • compensation for damages to investors; 
  • guarantees in case of termination of investment activity; 
  • guarantees of transfer of revenue, profits, etc. related to foreign investments.

In addition, the law on insurance of investments in Ukraine against military risks (the “Law“) came into force at the beginning of 2024. The Export Credit Agency (ECA) has been granted the right to insure and reinsure military and/or political risks of financial losses of Ukrainian and foreign investors if they are related to investments in the creation of facilities and infrastructure necessary for the development of the processing industry and export of goods (works, services) of Ukrainian origin

Furthermore, by the end of March 2024, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the National Bank of Ukraine undertake to define a specific expanded list of military risks, as well as the procedure and conditions for insurance (reinsurance) of such risks.

Additionally, to create favourable conditions for attracting investment to Ukraine and stimulating economic development in the regions, the Parliament adopted the Law of Ukraine “On State support for investment projects with significant investments in Ukraine”, which was amended and adapted to the conditions of martial law in September this year. The main task of the Law is stimulating the attraction of strategic investors to the national economy by providing state support for large investment projects. The support is provided for investment projects in the following areas: processing industry, extraction for further processing and enrichment of minerals, transport, warehousing, postal and courier activities, logistics, healthcare, and others. To be eligible for state support, the amount of investment in the investment objects must be equivalent to EUR 12 million and the term of implementation of such projects must not be more than 5 years.

Opportunities to guarantee investments provided by international organizations

There are various types of war risk insurance for international private investors offered by Export Credit Agencies of different countries and specialized organizations, such as the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), which is ready to insure investments in Ukraine, or the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), a division of the World Bank Group.

DFC offers political risk insurance for up to USD 1 billion with no minimum project size restrictions for three years or more. DFC is engaged also in investment lending, investment and provides insurance, and reinsurance of political risks and war risks against threats such as the inability to convert currency, the threat of political violence, expropriation and seizure of investor’s property, breach of capital market transactions, etc.

DFC provides insurance and support to private companies meeting the following requirements:

  • the project or business must be located in a country where DFC programs operate (Ukraine is on this list);
  • the project or business must meet DFC’s environmental and social standards (an environmental and social impact assessment is conducted);
  • the project must have a qualified management team, which is confirmed by the success rate in the same or closely related business and is reflected in the financial statements;
  • projects that have not been able to obtain sufficient funding from private lenders.

DFC mostly insures investments in the energy, healthcare, infrastructure, agriculture, and financial services sectors. In addition, DFC considers both new projects and existing ones. Both US investors and projects initiated by European and Ukrainian investors are supported.

In general, DFC has already supported several projects in Ukraine worth more than USD 400 million. In particular, USD 250 million was allocated to support the efforts of Ukrainian poultry and grain producers to mitigate the effects of russia’s war against Ukraine. 

The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), a division of the World Bank Group, is also engaged in insurance and reinsurance of political and military risks in Ukraine. MIGA covers the risks related to political instability, state expropriation, and conflicts in countries where private investors are hesitant to operate. MIGA provides support only to international investors, and this mechanism is not available to Ukrainian companies.

MIGA sets certain requirements for projects to provide insurance for such investments. For example, MIGA may insure existing investments where an eligible investor is seeking to insure a pool of existing and new investments, or where the investor demonstrates both the development benefits of and a long-term commitment to, the existing project. The project must also meet environmental and social performance standards. The privatization of state-owned enterprises is also eligible for the agency’s support. MIGA’s risk insurance projects include mandatory due diligence procedures, audited financial statements according to international standards, ESG reporting, and business plan analysis.

MIGA has already insured the first investment project in Ukraine against war risks – the M10 Industrial Park project in Lviv, where the investor is UIPH Ukrainian Industrial Property Holding Limited, a Cyprus-based company. The Agency has provided a guarantee of up to USD 9.2 million for the Cypriot company’s investment in the form of equity and a shareholder loan against the risk of war and civil disturbance for up to 10 years.

In summary, Ukraine is fully committed to supporting and offering guarantees for foreign investment. The recent legislative changes can be considered a positive signal because they provide an alternative mechanism for insuring against war risks, besides the existing ones offered by international organizations. As a result, it is now possible to invest safely in Ukraine, using, for example, insurance programs from DFC and MIGA. In the next few months, investors will also receive the opportunity to use the ECA’s war risk insurance mechanism creating additional guarantees for foreign investment in Ukraine.

Author:

Sergiy Oberkovych

Senior Partner, Attorney at Law

Sergiy Oberkovych

Sergiy Oberkovych

Senior Partner, Attorney at law

  • Recognitions
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