To cut things in middle so to speak. Surgical overview of the current financial , economical situation in the Ukraine and offer glimpses of the future
To answer these questions, we should start with a brief overview of the state of the Ukrainian economy and its prospects for the future. For the bulk of Ukrainians Axim is that Ukraine "rich country" with "enormous resources" and the only thing that prevents its prosperity - corruption (option - "pro-Russian oligarchs"). The problem is that it is not.
Resource potential of Ukraine looks impressive on paper, but in reality 79% of Ukrainian extraction of minerals is unprofitable, and much of the rest - even in marginal theory. Practice in the face of worn equipment (for example, 70% of state-owned coal mines operate without reconstruction over 20 years) is different. As a result, for example, the cost per tonne of steam coal more than double the purchase price. Infrastructure is worn to the bone, as well as energy system, an impressive part of the Ukrainian industry is easier to tear down and rebuild than to remodel. Funds for modernization of Ukrainian industry have mostly just there, and if they are - no frames. Thus, Ukraine - a unique place where the transition from open-hearth process for the EAF steel quality often falls, and modernization of blast furnace becomes immediate cause for the accident. At the same time the shortage of personnel in the near future will increase dramatically - so, by 2030, the working-age population will fall from 27 to 21 million people.
In general, any intelligible economic policy died in 2004 at the Independence, and the last ten years, Ukrainian business and government investment was not before, despite the very good pricing environment in the "zero" (Ukrainian metallurgy profitability, despite its archaism, in 2008 reached 40%). The current situation is much worse (for example, in the global market - the overproduction of steel), and the bulk of industry and infrastructure is aged for five years.
Based on the objective possibilities of the Ukrainian economy, standard of living in the country shall be substantially different from the Egyptian. Nevertheless, while it is significantly higher, and the "guilt" that five factors. Firstly, it is an impressive and rapidly growing population zakreditovannost (almost three times higher than in Russia), which makes sooner or later inevitable crisis "bad debts". Secondly, the overvaluation of hryvnia, resulting in a chronic excess of imports over exports, which have to pay for spending gold reserves (GCR). So, in October, imports totaled $ 7.9 billion, exports - $ 5.7 billion Third, direct and indirect subsidies to a number of industries, primarily coal, allowing to keep a relatively low unemployment rate. However, only from January to September this year, the losses of state coal mines totaled $ 1.33 billion, or 32% more than in the same period of 2012. Fourth, radically depressed prices for housing services, gas and electricity for the population facing budget of about $ 5 billion per year (the debts of the population only for electricity reached a ten-year maximum in more than $ 1.5 billion, an increase from January to August this year, almost 20%, infrastructure utilities, naturally, is not funded in the proper amount and degraded). Fifth, radically overestimated compared with the possibilities of the economy pensions and salaries of state employees. At the same time for several years in the pension fund receives less money than is spent, and the difference is covered by the state budget.
Issue price is the budget deficit ($ 5 billion in gently put too optimistic budget for 2013) and included at full capacity printing press - the money supply from January to October increased by 19.7% (2012-th - 12.5 %). However, money is still not enough - so that by October the money in the accounts of government almost dried up, the pension fund performs current payments by borrowing, and in October it was reported on mass non-payment of salaries to state employees. In this issue, of course, has the devaluation pressure on the hryvnia, the retention of which costs more expensive ($ 300 million in September this year, $ 800 million - in November).
As a result, the Ukrainian economy was a drowning. By early November, official reserves declined to $ 20.633 billion (down 15.9% year to date, the presence of two billion debt for gas;) November gold reserves fell by another 9% to 18 billion 791 million, and do not cover the three imports. "Live" money from Kiev less than $ 5 billion, and the rest - securities unclear degree of liquidity.
This is an exact reproduction of the situation in Egypt before the military coup. Gross external debt of Ukraine is 75.7% of GDP. Public external debt is relatively low (40% of GDP), and even decreased slightly compared to the beginning of the year. Caveat however is that, firstly, it decreased almost outstanding amount of gas, and secondly, it is extremely expensive and as the evaporation of gold reserves is becoming more expensive. About half of the national debt - it's short-term bonds with maturities up to 2017 years old, while their yield reached astronomical values. So eurobonds maturing in the next year reached 19.5% per year, five-year - 13.4%. The average rate on dollar liabilities - 11.8% (second in the world).
Thus in 2014, Ukraine will have to pay $ 5.6 billion IMF only, and total, as suggested by Fitch, the country will need $ 7 - $ 8 billion in 2015, breaking the situation is not expected - according to Bloomberg, the next two years the country as most unreliable borrower Eastern Europe, will have to pay $ 15.3 billion credit rating of Ukraine, according to Fitch and Standard & Poor's - at the level of Greece, Cyprus and Egypt. Investors frankly rid of Ukrainian debt.
De facto, the fact that the country still has not experienced a financial collapse - the result of the August deal with U.S. investment fund Franklin Templeton, accumulate first 20% and then 40% of the Ukrainian debt. Clearly, however, first, that the deal was a discount character - investors pay in such cases, the amount that is far from nominal. Second, Franklin Templeton known buying debt of troubled countries, and U.S. investment funds in general - their ruthless knockout. An example of such tactics are, for example, NML Capital and Elliott Management, refused to restructure the debt of Argentina. In fact, an appeal to the Franklin Templeton-this measure taken in an absolutely hopeless situation.
In general, the further increase in the national debt expensive - it is an inevitable default, a collapse of the hryvnia (with corresponding difficulties in paying the same gas imports) and an inflationary spiral. Thus reduction in effective demand will lead to mass unemployment crisis "bad debts" and impressive problems for the banking system.
Radically reduce external borrowing is only possible at the cost of devaluation of the hryvnia, and the dismantling of subsidies (for example, the coal industry of Ukraine should be reduced at times under any circumstances). Inflation, unemployment and the crisis of "bad debts" is inevitable and in this case, however, compared to the default scenario, they will have a smaller scale. Yanukovych administration in reality forced to choose between economic collapse and extremely unpopular.
Simple calculation shows that the foreign exchange reserves of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), while maintaining the current financial policy will be fully guaranteed and exhausted before the end of 2014. In other words, to avoid the dilemma of "bad or worse" any Ukrainian authorities need cheap (ideally - free) money. Devaluation of the hryvnia, and the abolition of the subsidy significantly while still inevitable - the only question is the timing and scope of reforms. Relative economic independence of Ukraine together with the political multivectorness comes to an end - it is simply unable to pay for them.
Sprint pace at which Yanukovych administration initially rushed to ratify the agreement with the EU (not only calculate the consequences, but simply do not read the documents themselves), explained by this. The government is obviously counting on massive subsidies of the European Union (appetites recall extended to $ 16 billion a year and $ 160 billion in total, the minimum considered immediate assistance in the amount of $ 10 billion), indulgence IMF (which was planned to take $ 15 billion) and Moscow indifference.
In the end it turned out that the money from Brussels, by and large, no. Eurozone public debt reached 93.4% of GDP by the end of November, Southern European economy with almost dvuhtrillionnym public debt (Italy) and 26% unemployment (Spain) require very careful attention. As a consequence, the EU proposed a seven-year amount - less than two months of exports to Russia. Inflow of foreign investment also not expected - on the contrary, almost directly before the scheduled signing of the agreement was reported sale of three large European-owned banks - "Raiffeisen Bank Aval", "Ukrsotsbank" and "UniCredit", read the text agreement was assailed by investors suitcase mood (Bloomberg coolly stated that the immediate signing of the document almost immediately lead to a loss of 400 thousand jobs).
IMF position also remained the same - the most that can count Kiev, a partial refinancing of previously accumulated debt ($ 4 billion) on a freezing of wages and pensions, the devaluation of the hryvnia, the elimination of tax incentives and subsidies. Likewise, Moscow is not ready to pay for Ukraine's European aspirations, keeping her preferential trade rules - after creating a free trade zone with the EU it would be tantamount frontal reduction of import duties with the EU.
In fact, the current administration in Ukraine could do only the following. First, a bargain with the West with minimal chance of success - the EU has already stated that the contract terms of evroassotsiatsii remain unchanged. Compensate for loss of income from the decline in exports to Russia have nothing to Brussels. U.S. aid, made desperate efforts to reduce the budget deficit in 2013 was limited to $ 100 million (mainly to "promote democracy"). Secondly, look at alternative credit resources Brussels and Moscow "power centers." The problem is that China and Russia are strategic partners and really visit of the Ukrainian President in Beijing did not bring new credit agreements. Third, try to get a discount on gas and credit resources in Russia (according to some reports, it was about $ 12 billion and $ 10 billion cubic meters of gas at 210-230 dollars for 1 thousand cubic meters, the standard price - $ 450). However, until an agreement is reached, and if December 17 Ukrainian side will not be able to sign it, pay for the gas completely Yanukovych administration can not be guaranteed.
The actual bankruptcy regime of Yanukovych in the case of Moscow's intransigence seems almost inevitable. At the same time, the ruling group came to the threshold of crisis is split. Promaydannye clearly the first stage mood Ukrainian media willingly replicated, for example, the version of the opposition "provocation authorities" about November 30 and December 1 (with 150 hospitalized policemen and five - in a serious condition, and the undoubted aggressive demonstrators seized three buildings) obviously explained, it is this.
Large independent media in Ukraine is not. Thus, 80% of Ukrainian television audience - the channels that belong to four major businessmen. Market leaders - is "Inter" (Firtash), "Ukraine" (Rinat Akhmetov), "New Channel", STB, ICTV, M1 and Q-Tv (Viktor Pinchuk), "1 +1" (Igor Kolomoisky and Gennady Bogolyubov ). At the time of arrival of Yanukovych to power between his administration and big business had almost a full understanding, but in the last few years, the relationship became increasingly strained. This is mainly due to too violent expansion of the "family" of the president, in particular, the efforts of his son Alexander.
Official state son Yanukovych is "only" $ 0.5 billion, but the presidential clan included, according to various sources, a number of business and having business interests of officials and security forces. The pace and the methods by which expands the "family" business, long gone beyond the bounds of decency minimum. Thus, the 27-year-old Kurchenko, the rise of which is associated with the patronage of the administration, two years became manager of the beer company to billionaire, and very original ways - such as for example in the state uncompensated seizure of "Naftogaz" liquefied gas worth 1.6 billion hryvnia, meanwhile, is practically a monopoly on such schemes was tacitly reserved for Dmitry Firtash (so "Naftogaz" diligently lost Firtash courts over the "debt" to him at $ 2.2 billion). The latter, apparently, quite actively pushed out of the gas business is not the softest methods - so the state tax office did not return his VAT businesses $ 3 billion hryvnia. With smaller pieces costing even tougher. So, in January co-owner of "Oil and Gas" and the deputy from the Party of Regions Nestor Shufrich accused Ukrainian Energy Minister and Minister personally Stavisky in illegal mining license revocation and subsequent extortion 30% share of the company; previously disappeared CEO Oleg Seminsky .
As a result, among the disaffected Firtash was not only, but also, apparently, Pinchuk and even tacit co-founder of the Party of Regions Akhmetov, reportedly calling new candidates "Young Turks". Meanwhile, it is a key sponsor Firtash Vitali Klitschko. "Fatherland" Yatsenuk sponsor Akhmetov same Firtash, the ownership of the major Ukrainian media mentioned above. In other words, maidan and lighting can be seen, first, as an attempt to punish the big Ukrainian business "family" for the frank raiding. Secondly, try at least temporarily exclude "family" of competition for higher-yielding assets - in this case, apparently successful, so notorious "Oil and Gas" to the sound of the maidan moved to Akhmetov; Akhmetov Firtash and plan to buy and "Raiffeisen Bank Aval".
Obviously, the development of the crisis in the short term will be determined by the intra-balance. Let's see what are the interests of big Ukrainian businesses.
Last, first, is a classic "offshore aristocracy" holding the key financial assets abroad. Second, the Ukrainian business elite is well aware that with a tight integration with Russia will inevitably be in a subordinate position in relation to the much more powerful, better organized and technologically much more advanced big business. RF. The image of the "terrible Russian oligarch" in Ukrainian mass consciousness - a reflection of the fears of the average Ukrainian oligarch. Western capital, which does not seek to Ukraine, in this sense seems much more preferable. Thirdly, there are well-defined interests of the private wing - for the same transition Firtasha Ukrainian gas transportation system under the direct control of "Gazprom" will mean virtually collapsed.
As for the richest Ukrainians, the "Akhmetov will never be integration with Russia, his entire career - is defense against the encroachments of the Russian oligarchy, which aims to capture the Ukrainian industry. Though it does not mean that he is ready for rapid integration with the EU for a comfortable the existing situation and the Ukraine, which costs between Russia and Europe. " The second paragraph is not quite accurate: Akhmetov long enough trying to "legitimized" in the West, however, there are problems. For several years he is unable to obtain a visa in the U.S., as recently as March this year, the French deputies demanded to ban him from entering the Schengen zone. In general, such an attitude is not surprising - reportedly Ukrainian media tycoon started out as a "right hand" in Chapter OPG "Lux" Alik the Greek , and his subsequent career has some originality. Also, it is known as a sponsor recently liquidated "Party of Muslims of Ukraine" maintaining relations with Islamists from Hizb ut-Tahrir.
Perennial zombie population Ukrainian media virtual charms of European integration, to provide Evromaydan masses' political infantry "painstaking transformation in the minds of Russian Ukrainian everyman in" impoverished plundered the country "and the lack of the political field pro-Russian forces in Ukraine explained by this. Defence Akhmetov expressed, in particular, under various pretexts, attempts to ban the broadcasting of Russian TV channels in Ukraine (the latter made in September of this year).
Klitschko and company categorically demanded the immediate signing of the agreement with the EU on any terms and taking the IMF loan with his "anti-social package" - a de facto voice Firtasha personally.
However, at the same time, the Ukrainian business elite, it is clear, first, that the economy is collapsing. Secondly, that the immediate signing of the agreement with the EU on the current conditions and the inevitable increase in trade barriers with Russia leads to disaster. So, in October, the Ukrainian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Yanukovych officially asked to postpone at least a year the signing of the Association Agreement, for the Ukrainian economy in its current state is not competitive.
Third, that the support of anti-Russian line fraught personal responsibility. So famous Ukrainian media hysteria controlled Firtash and Akhmetov, about a "trade war" with Russia, associated with exactly what they both (especially the first) hit the "list of forty" exporters whose products are subject to mandatory inspection. Pinchuk and Poroshenko also suffered losses.
Further, the Ukrainian economy is shrinking becomes a field of mutual destruction. Ball loss Pinchuk already came into conflict with the structures Kolomoyskogo. In other words, the opposition also has opposition.
West, despite the active rhetorical pressure, also did not support the displacement of Yanukovych and was unwilling to quarrel with Russia, defending the Ukrainian opposition.
As a result, obviously, there has been a compromise inside the elite. By the end of last week in the media hysteria subsided, channels Firtash Akhmetov and Pinchuk almost ignored the "march of millions" and appeared in publications Akhmetov revelatory article about the actual instigators of the massacre on Bankova. The police operation on the night of the 11th was also covered in a fairly sympathetic tones at least "Inter".
In general, it's obvious that nothing is over. Maidan has done his job, maidan should leave. However, he showed, first, how large in the Ukrainian society protest potential. Second, how risky game Yanukovych was whirled right-wing radical opposition as "easy" opponent in the election. Third, the depth of the contradictions within the elite, which will inevitably worsen the economy contracting again, and sooner rather than later.
Obviously, the default or the conditions of the IMF will be the trigger that will run much more massive wave of protests, while not only in the West and Centre, and (primarily) in the industrial southeast. Over Ukraine in general, looming shadow of the Egyptian script. Likely to retain power in this case, the current administration is not - the president's rating is only 16%.
The fate of the Yanukovych administration before the election of 2015 will be decided on December 17 during a visit to Russia. Moscow can give credit and cheap gas, and then attempt to play on the contradictions within the Ukrainian elite, parallel supporting the expansion of their own business in Ukraine.
First, however, always keep afloat surreal Ukrainian economy is impossible. Secondly, the current Ukrainian elite as it is, and the inability of the incapacity. Thus, the Ukrainian business to modernize industry not only can not, but not very keen. Third, long-term trends are extremely unfavorable. Advocacy and specific regional policy consistently pursued by the Ukrainian authorities, regardless of color, is steadily reducing the long-term conservation of the prerequisites for the Kremlin's influence. Population, on which he can rely, firstly, reduced physically - Ukrainian southeast steadily plundered in favor of the west and center, dies (so Zaporozhye - the world record for fastest population decline), while in the western regions of the population albeit very slowly, but growing. Second, the policy Ukrainianization gives its fruits - among young people consider themselves Ukrainians 75%, identity actively changing.
In other words, as the current elite in power, Russian loans will go to pay for consumption in Lviv and K, and the profits derived from the Ukrainian industry reduce gas prices - by evropropagandu, museum construction famine (Pinchuk) content Klitschko Yatsenuk and expansion Empire Akhmetov.
As a result, long-term goals of Russian politics - is the maximum attenuation Ukrainian offshore aristocracy regardless of clan affiliation, the maximum withdrawal from her assets, including the media, and the federalization of the country.
Eugene Pozhidaev - international observer a REGNUM