Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ukraine crisis takes its toll on country’s oligarchs | beyondbrics

Ukraine’s billionaires are losing their cash, especially those with significant assets in the Donbas, an area that has become a battlefield between pro-Russian rebels and units loyal to Kiev. According to Forbes’ 2015 billionaires list, Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine’s richest man, has lost as much as $5.8bn over the past year.

The mining, steel-making, energy and heavy engineering units of Akhmetov’s SCM Group have been forced to halt operations or reduce their capacity in territories controlled by separatists or near the front line. The Group’s media, telecommunications and banking businesses are also feeling the effects of the rebellion.

On Friday, SCM’s power generator and coal producer DTEK posted a full-year net loss of 19bn hryvnia ($850m) in 2014, after a net profit of 3bn hryvnia in the previous year. “Military operations and difficult macroeconomic situation in Ukraine have resulted in a significant decrease in the net profit of DTEK’s companies,” Piotr Fokow, finance director, said in a statement.

DTEK’s mines and power plants have been damaged by shelling, by pro-Kiev forces and by pro-Russian separatists; they have experienced power blackouts and other logistical problems.

Two of DTEK’s producers of anthracite, Rovenkianthracite and Sverdlovanthracite, have been running at between a quarter and a third of capacity, mainly due to the destruction of railway infrastructure. In peacetime, they produce up to 40,000 tonnes of coal a day; now, they are managing just 8,000 tonnes.

Complete story at - Ukraine crisis takes its toll on country’s oligarchs | beyondbrics

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