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Investment communicators in Ukrainian companies
14 August 2014
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Serhiy Zubro, head of FUIB's department of international financing and structuring of transactions, commented for the "Kapital" publishing company on how a function of IR (investor relations) evolved, with what questions are investors concerned today and who answers them in Ukrainian companies.

Serhiy Zubro, head of FUIB's department of international financing and structuring of transactions

— When was the decision to create the IR-function made in the company? How many people are currently working in this direction?

— FUIB has 20 years of credit history in the international financial markets. Relationships with shareholders, creditors and investors have always been a priority in bank's activities. This direction became even more important after FUIB entered international capital markets with Eurobond issue in 2007.

Today the IR function in FUIB is performed by a small team headed by bank's IR-officer who is also responsible for FUIB's activities in the international financial markets, including debt capital markets and credit markets.

We expect that due to changes in our country, the market will not be standing still and the majority of Ukrainian companies will acknowledge the need to develop the IR field. Realities of the market will encourage them to do so. Especially taking into account that there are successful cases in the market and their result is proven in practice. The increase in the liquidity of the financial instrument (e.g. the securities), a decrease in its value in the secondary market (which influences future opportunities in the primary market), the increase in company's value and successful reputation are the results, which the company may feel provided that the work of IR field is correctly constructed.

— What tasks are set for you for the current year? Which of the tasks emerged due to situation in Ukraine?

— Taking into consideration the current state of the market, it may seem that the work in the IR field is far fr om priority. But the companies that paid due attention to IR during the crisis will be the first, to whom the investors will pay their attention after the market recovery.

So FUIB annually conducts a variety of meetings with investors, including those with the participation of CEO, CFO and other bank's top managers. In addition, a number of mandatory group meetings with investors both in Ukraine and abroad (e.g. in London) is carried out.

The main task for us within the framework of IR is not only maintenance of our positions in the market, but also the further development. Given the current difficult situation in the country, it is important not to lose the loyalty of foreign investors, since in the future they will become one of the key factors of further development in Ukraine.

— What are the most difficult moments of work with the investors over the last year? Can you name two or three the most frequently asked questions on the part of the investors? What instruments does the company use to minimize the risks under the current conditions?

— Today we are forced to work under the conditions wh ere the interest to Ukraine from the investors has weakened, and the sovereign risks are too high. Nevertheless, our country has a huge potential, including on the part of the domestic companies that adhere to the competent and balanced policy in their business. That is why, despite everything, it is necessary to conduct a dialogue with an investor and to disclose information, which is essential and significant for him, to the maximum extent. Today, the investors are interested in everything that is happening in the state, in politics, economics, banking sector and industry. An open transparent policy with regard to the disclosure of information and relationships with our foreign partners significantly increase the investment attractiveness of a particular business, as well as of the country as a whole.

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