Ukraine: cross-border loans and foreign currency purchase regulations are relaxed

Ukraine

The National Bank of Ukraine (the NBU) has extended the list of exceptions to the prohibition on the early repayment of cross-border loans and simplified procedure for repatriation of foreign investments. The NBU’s decision further liberalises the existing capital market regulations, simplifies capital flows and thus improves conditions for the investments in Ukrainian businesses.

New Options of Early Repayment of Cross-border Loans

Starting 11 July 2017, the NBU now permits early repayment of cross-border loans:

  • by Ukrainian banks to non-residents;
  • by any Ukrainian borrower to a non-resident lender being a bank;
  • by any Ukrainian borrower, or to any non-resident lender, provided that an international finance institution (the IFI) is one of its shareholders.

Also, a Ukrainian bank is now able to early repay a cross-border loan received from a non-resident lender directly to its investment account, provided that the repaid funds are further invested into the regulatory capital of that Ukrainian bank.

As before, the prohibition on early repayment of cross-border loans also does not apply in the following cases:

  • early repayment with funds raised by a Ukrainian borrower under a new loan agreement providing a later maturity date than the maturity of the loan that is being repaid; such funds can only be used by the Ukrainian borrower for the early repayment of a loan;
  • early repayment under cross-border loan transactions involving guarantees of the IFIs securing payments of a servicing bank under a transaction or of a foreign bank under a guarantee/counter-guarantee or a standby letter of credit issued by a foreign bank in relation to a cross-border loan;
  • early repayment under cross-border loans granted by foreign export credit agencies;
  • early repayment within the purposes of indebtedness restructuring by way of debt-to-equity conversion.

Simplified Foreign Currency Purchase Transactions

The NBU has partially lifted the restriction that prevented a guarantor (surety) from buying foreign currency to fulfil its obligations under a guarantee (suretyship). With effect from 20 July 2017, a guarantor (surety) can purchase foreign currency to make a performance under a guarantee (suretyship) toward:

  • a non-resident, if the purchase of foreign currency is allowed for the performance of a resident’s obligation secured with such guarantee (suretyship);
  • a resident lender being an authorised bank under a loan agreement in foreign currency.

At the same time, where payments by a guarantor (surety) require an NBU licence, the purchase of foreign currency for such payments must be made in line with and on the basis of such licence.  

In addition, the NBU has simplified the list of documents to be submitted for the purchase of foreign currency by foreign investors who:

  • use the same authorised bank for both making the investment and its repatriation, including related payments; or
  • conduct transactions with domestic governmental bonds.

Legislation:

Regulation of the National Bank of Ukraine “On Amending NBU Regulation No. 410 dated 13 December 2016” No. 61 dated 10 July 2017.

Regulation of the National Bank of Ukraine “On Approving changes to the Rules of Foreign Exchange Trading” No. 65 dated 18 July 2017.