U.S. EXIM BANK reopens for transactions with Ukraine

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 “A strong international voice for business in Ukraine”U.S. EXPORT-IMPORT BANK (EXIM) NOW OPEN FOR UKRAINE

U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), Wash. D.C., Tues, Jan 8, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) is now open for Ukraine. “This is great news for U.S. exporters of goods and services and for business in Ukraine. EXIM being open for Ukraine provides an additional and important tool to expand U.S.-Ukraine business relations in 2019,” said Morgan Williams, President, U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), www.USUBC.org. The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), www.EXIM.gov, is the official export credit agency of the United States. EXIM is an independent Executive Branch agency with a mission of supporting American jobs by facilitating the export of U.S. goods and services. The EXIM country limitation schedule now includes Ukraine, https://www.exim.gov/tools-for-exporters/country-limitation-schedule

“At the end of December, the Export Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) reopened its short and medium term programs in Ukraine for both private and public sector Ukrainian borrowers,” said Alexander Gordin, Managing Director, Broad Street Capital Group, www.BroadStreetCap.com, a long-time member of USUBC. “The reopening  of EXIM’s programs in Ukraine, after more than five years, sends a terrific signal to U.S. companies seeking to supply the Ukrainian market with U.S. goods and services. It also sends an encouraging message to investors on the improving economic condition in Ukraine,” according to Gordin. “The U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) will be working the Broad Street Capital Group and the law firm of Brown Rudnick (www.BrownRudnick.com), both members of USUBC, to organize and conduct a series of workshops titled “Fluent In EXIM” in the near future in the USA and Ukraine,” said USUBC President Williams. “These workshops will feature experts from the public and private sector who will present the most effective strategies for structuring export transactions, submitting applications for export credit insurance and financing, as well as passing due diligence and compliance procedures,” Williams announced. 

ABOUT: EXPORT-IMPORT BANK OF THE UNITED STATES (EXIM) —– The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), www.EXIM.gov, is the official export credit agency of the United States. EXIM is an independent Executive Branch agency with a mission of supporting American jobs by facilitating the export of U.S. goods and services.
When private sector lenders are unable or unwilling to provide financing, EXIM fills in the gap for American businesses by equipping them with the financing tools necessary to compete for global sales. In doing so, the Bank levels the playing field for U.S. goods and services going up against foreign competition in overseas markets, so that American companies can create more good-paying American jobs.

Because it is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, EXIM assumes credit and country risks that the private sector is unable or unwilling to accept. The Bank’s charter requires that all transactions it authorizes demonstrate a reasonable assurance of repayment; the Bank consistently maintains a low default rate, and closely monitors credit and other risks in its portfolio.==========================================================
NEWS: For the latest news about Ukraine go to the KYIV POST website: www.KyivPost.com.The Kyiv Post is a member of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC). 
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U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) 
1030 15th Street, N.W., Suite 555 W, Washington, D.C.  
Morgan Williams, mwilliams@usubc.orgwww.USUBC.org
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Power Corrupts..Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

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OPIC STATEMENT AT UKRAINE SIGNING CEREMONY FOR ENERGOATOM SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL PROJECT

Happy Holidays and all the Best in the New Year!

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We at Broad Street Capital Group are proud to have been an integral part of this amazing cutting-edge project financing. As a Financial Developer, Broad Street Capital has provided project facilitation, selection of the Placement Agent, as well as insurance application development and financial support for the project. This unique transaction provides for a 20-year! low-interest loan to Energotom to help construct a centralized spent nuclear fuel storage facility in the exclusionary zone in Chernobyl Ukraine.  The loan is funded by a US capital markets bond offering, which is insured by OPIC, rated by a major agency and guaranteed by the Government of Ukraine. Press release below describes the transaction in greater detail. For more information on this project, please write

December 21, 2017

Photo, 2 men signing documents while others look on, OPIC, Energoatom, Kyiv, Ukraine, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Holtec, Camden, New Jersey, spent fuel storage casts, Depty Prime Minister Volodymyr Kistion, Minister of Finance Oleksandr Danyliuk, Deputy Chief of Mission George Kent, OPIC President and CEO Ray Washburne, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Broad Street Capital Group, credit agreement, political risk insurance

UKRAINE – Today, the government of Ukraine hosted a signing ceremony in Kyiv for the Energoatom Central Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility Project, which helps move Ukraine closer to energy independence by giving Ukraine the capability to domestically store spent nuclear fuel. OPIC is providing $250 million in political risk insurance and Holtec International, based in Camden, New Jersey, is providing the spent fuel storage casts and other equipment.

The documents included the credit agreement, the sovereign guarantee, the arbitration agreement, and the foreign enterprise support agreement. Representatives from Energoatom, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Broad Street Capital Group, and an OPIC trustee were in attendance.

Deputy Prime Minister Volodymyr Kistion and Minister of Finance Oleksandr Danyliuk delivered remarks. The U.S. Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission George Kent read the following statement from OPIC President and CEO Ray W. Washburne, who was unable to attend:

Thank you all for the invitation to attend today’s signing ceremony in support of the Energoatom Central Spent Nuclear Storage Faculty. I regret that I was unable to attend this important milestone. Many of you have worked very hard to get us here today and I thank you for your commitment.

I am very proud that OPIC has been able to support such an important project here in Ukraine. When I became the head of OPIC just a few months ago, the first international trip I took was to Ukraine. I was very impressed with what I saw here. Despite some challenges facing Ukraine, we see the potential for high-impact development projects here – particularly in the energy sector.

It is a pleasure for the United States to help move Ukraine towards energy independence by providing the capability to store spent nuclear fuel in-country, thus eliminating the need to ship the spent fuel to Russia for storage.

With total project costs of $410 million, Energoatom cannot self-finance the entire project. Therefore, OPIC has committed up to $250 million in political risk insurance to support the development, construction, and commissioning of the Energoatom Central Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility in Ukraine.

This storage facility will be developed to store spent fuel from three of Ukraine’s four nuclear power plants, offering an efficient and secure process. The United States-based company, Holtec International – located in Camden, New Jersey – will supply dry storage casks, transportation casks, ancillary equipment, and engineering and training to the facility over an expected five-year period.

I’d like to thank our partners at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch without whom this deal would not be possible. They will arrange for the sale of OPIC’s $250 million commitment in the U.S. capital markets in the form of fixed-rate bond securities. The proceeds will fund the 20-year loan to Energoatom. We are very pleased that Ukraine will support the OPIC-insured loan financing by issuing a sovereign guarantee for repayment of the loan.

This is the first OPIC deal structured in this fashion and we are pleased to partner on an innovatively financed project. By working together, we will help Ukraine meet its energy needs, while supporting the U.S. economy with the creation of manufacturing jobs.

Thank you.

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The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is a self-sustaining U.S. Government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets. Established in 1971, OPIC provides businesses with the tools to manage the risks associated with foreign direct investment, fosters economic development in emerging market countries, and advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. OPIC helps American businesses gain footholds in new markets, catalyzes new revenues and contributes to jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC fulfills its mission by providing businesses with financing, political risk insurance, advocacy and by partnering with private equity fund managers.

OPIC services are available to new and expanding businesses planning to invest in more than 160 countries worldwide. Because OPIC charges market-based fees for its products, it operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to taxpayers. All OPIC projects must adhere to best international practices and cannot cause job loss in the United States.

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Inches from Greatness!

 or

how Ukraine’s business can unlock at least UAH15 Billion of American financing in 15 months

By: Alexander Gordin, Managing Director, Broad Street Capital Group and Co-Creator of the Fluent In Foreign
September 24, 2012 New York, NY

Last week I attended a business dinner with a high-level delegation from the Ukrainian Government. The dinner was organized by the US-Ukraine Business Council and sponsored by couple of large corporate players and a private equity fund.  During the event, Ukrainian attendees, which included Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, Ministers of Finance, Agriculture, Ecology, as well as Customs and Tax Chiefs, tried to signal to the U.S. companies in attendance how Ukraine has evolved into an attractive investment destination.

As I was listening to the presentations and discussions by several large corporate players focused on investments into the Ukrainian Oil & Gas and Agri sectors, I could not help but think that, as the Government of Ukraine is making a massive effort to attract U.S. direct investment from Fortune 500 companies and restart the IMF financing, it is leaving on the table billions of dollars readily available debt and equity financing, as well as investment by smaller strategic players.  There is an entire medium size business and project development sector in Ukraine that is begging to be funded and there are funds readily available in the U.S. to fund tens, even hundreds of companies and projects in sectors ranging from hospitality, food security and ICT to agriculture and alternative energy.

Injecting significant funding into this slice of Ukraine’s economy will generate thousands of new jobs; increase corporate efficiency and productivity by introducing latest western technologies and production tools. It will also create a multiplier economic effect, which will reverberate throughout the country’s business and consumer sectors.  Yet, for the last couple of years, only a tiny sliver of the entire American originated debt and equity financings that could have been done in Ukraine has been completed.  In 2011, U.S. was the in 10th place of all the countries that had Foreign Direct Investment into Ukraine, with only $1bln invested.

The big question is WHY? For those of us both in the US Government Trade and Development Agencies and in the private sector, who are focused on financing projects, enterprises and trade, the answer is pretty simple – Disconnect, Distrust and Deficiency, or as I call them 3Ds.

There is disconnect in understanding of western financing process and of the requirements set forth by the U.S. Government agencies and private financial institutions.  Many Ukrainian businessmen spend a lot of time and effort in putting together sleek-looking presentations overloaded with information, setting up technical models and writing business plans using prepackaged software. Yet, most of them fail to truly understand the needs and requirements of the American financiers and their focus on project’s ownership, provenance, due diligence etc. They also do not understand that unless they commit financially to the capital raising process, they will not be perceived as serious players.  There is also a huge image problem that Ukraine has in the West. Although some of it is well deserved, a big part of it is gloom and doom that does not accurately portray the situation in the country.

Then there is distrust. Over the last two decades, Ukrainian business has been pillaged by every type of western con artist known to man. Many swooped in, promised Ukrainian businessmen untold riches, massive credits and investments, collected fees and then vanished.  No wonder today Ukrainian companies are wary, scared and mistrustful.

Finally, there is deficiency.  Deficiency of cross cultural knowledge among the process participants on both sides of the Atlantic; lack of early stage pre-project funding and absence of an integrated well-defined and officially endorsed process, which would nurture and properly prepare companies and projects to be able to take advantage of all the available opportunities.

Estimates are that in today’s environment only one of 20 potentially eligible projects and companies seeking financing in Ukraine get funded.  We at Broad Street Capital Group have been working on solving the above-mentioned problems in order to increase the quality of bankable projects for the last several years. We assembled a group of leading international experts in the fields of risk management, cross-cultural expertise, accounting and audit, corporate law, debt financing, equity funding and media public relations, Together, we have worked to develop a streamlined preparation process to help companies achieve their goals of cross-border market entry, international financing, technology partnerships and foreign direct investment.  The result has been a comprehensive multimedia platform called Fluent In Foreign Business™, which provides assessment, project screening, education, information resources, quality networking opportunities and expert mentoring support to government agencies, companies, investors, franchisors and project developers in over 100 countries.  What this process needs to unlock a floodgate of financing to Ukraine is a modest amount of UA Government support.  The Government should use one of its several investment promotion agencies to work with us in the private sector and to offer official endorsement, information dissemination, and participation leadership to encourage or even mandate Ukrainian businesses to take part in the process without fear of being duped.

Simply given the current portfolio of Ukrainian alternative energy, agriculture and ICT projects, which we are reviewing, we can confidently say that with just a modest amount of UA government support, combined with corporate focus, training and financial commitment, Ukrainian companies can attract at least UAH 15 Billion in low-cost debt, equity and trade financing in the next 15 months.  This is over two times the amount that Ukraine to receive from all International Financial Institutions (IFIs) in 2013 combined. Thousands of jobs and the multiplier effect generated by this initiative will help the government strengthen its business electorate base, improve country’s investment image and its overall economic condition. Thus if Ukrainian government officials are serious about improving the country’s economic situation, they should closely look at the what is needed to unlock a very significant slice of financial investment into a critical sector of its economy.  American businesses and professionals who are Fluent In Foreign Business stand ready to help Ukraine meet the challenge of successfully injecting UAH 15 Billion in 15 months.  November 28th-30th Broad Street Capital Group, along with Fluent In Foreign Advisory Board will hold a briefing and project review sessions for all interested companies, Ukrainian Central and Regional Government Authorities to select projects eligible for the 2013 financing and inclusion into UAH 15 Billion in 15 months Initiative.

About the Author: Alexander Gordin is a Managing Director of the Broad Street Capital Group (a USUBC Member since 2009) and co-creator of the Fluent In Foreign enterprise, which publishes Fluent Foreign online, Fi180 Global Business Atlas and weekly newsletter.  Since June, 2012 the edition has a dedicated section for Ukraine. Gov. Arbuzov’s interview with Mr. Gordin appeared in the inaugural edition of the publication. (https://fluentinforeign.wordpress.com/?s=arbuzov)

Mr. Gordin has been active in Ukraine as Direct Investor since 1995 and as Financier since 1996. Mr. Gordin and the Broad Street Capital Group have represented numerous Ukrainian Government and private entities and have been mandated for financing and political risk Insurance transactions totaling over US$1 Billion.

InvestUkraine

NY Report’s Alexander Gordin talks about an opportunity to invest in an emerging market

November 3, 2011

An upcoming event about the benefits of investing in Ukraine will showcase the country’s opportunities for interested investors. The event will feature opening remarks from US Congressman Michael Grimm (R-NY) as well as presentations on the country’s investment climate, legal requirements for investments, and Ukraine’s national projects such as gas, recycling, and wind and solar energy projects, as well as the country’s developing sports and tourism infrastructure in order to potentially host the Winter Olympic Games in 2022.

Small businesses looking to invest in foreign markets, especially developing foreign markets, should take Ukraine into consideration. “Foreign nations with emerging markets are growing, and so is their middle class, opening up a new consumer market with spending power,” says Congressman Grimm. “These markets also provide an opportunity for a company to build a global brand with less competition and lower costs.” In a country like Ukraine, for example, there are also opportunities to expand into the surrounding markets in neighboring European countries, as well as Russia and the Middle East.

Businesses that would benefit most from investing in Ukraine include companies whose focus is environmentally based, such as waste management and recycling, as well as industries such as travel, tourism, and hospitality. Agriculture industries could also potentially benefit from investing in the country.

Investing in Ukraine, while potentially beneficial for an American company, is not a decision to consider lightly. “We think it’s a long term, bullish market. Anybody coming to Ukraine should look at is as such. It’s not a place to get rich quick,” says NY Report contributing editor Alexander Gordin. Gordin is also the Managing Director of the Broad Street Capital Group, one of the hosts of the InvestUkraine event.

If you and your company are interested in investing in the country, says Gordin, it’s incredibly important to understand the country’s political, regulatory, and business climates. This is particularly important because of Ukraine’s complex politics. Doing research on the country beforehand is imperative. “The more time spent preparing, the better served a company will be prior to going in,” he says. For research, Gordin recommends using the CIA.gov website, the U.S. Commercial Service websiteThe American-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Princeton Council On World Affairs (www.princetoncouncil.org) and the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council. Gordin also recommends visiting the country beforehand and spending time there in order to understand the country’s people. “Ultimately, businesses transactions take place between people,” he says. “It’s a very proud nation with a long, rich history.”

Because politics and businesses are so closely aligned in Ukraine, it’s also important for investors to understand the country’s political system. Prudent investors should not align their business with a particular party, however, but respect the party in power.

Also, says Gordin, “patience is important. It is important to realize the bureaucracy is very well entrenched.” Investors should also make sure to follow through at all times and all levels of their projects. “Even though an agreement is reached at high levels, unless it’s followed through thoroughly, its implementation may get bogged down in midlevel bureaucracy.”

However, for a company that invests the time and research beforehand, the rewards can be plentiful. “Ukraine is a great place to do business. It’s a country with tremendous potential with a lot of people in the middle of Europe. It’s a very attractive marketplace,” says Gordin.

Congressman Grimm agrees. “Last year, the United States exported $240 billion worth of goods to the EU, and had a $281 million positive trade balance with Ukraine,” he says. “It has tremendous growth potential and there are benefits to deepening our economic ties. With Europe poised to enact a historic free trade agreement with Ukraine, we don’t want to be left behind.”

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