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Ukraine eyes cutting state ownership in banking sector to 24% by 2022

Ukraine's government aims to reduce its participation in the country's banking sector to 24% by 2022 from 55%, reported Feb. 22, citing the Ukrainian finance ministry's updated strategy for state-owned banks.

Under the strategy, the state wants to sell 20% of PJSC JSB Ukrgasbank to international investors in 2019, and the remaining stake in 2020. The government owns nearly all of the equity in Ukrgasbank, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

Its entire stake in the nationalized PAO KB Privatbank will be sold to an international buyer by 2022, in line with the strategy.

The government also wants to reduce its stake in PJSC State Savings Bank of Ukraine, or Oschadbank, to 55% by 2022 from 100%, with 20% to be offered to an international financial organization such as European Bank for Reconstruction & Development or International Finance Corp. by 2020, and a further 25% to be sold later through an IPO. Ukraine also plans to keep a stake of between 80% and 100% in JSC The State Export-Import Bank of Ukraine.

The Ukrainian state will refrain from actions that would result in increasing its share in the banking sector, Ukrainian Finance Minister Oleksandr Danylyuk was cited as saying.

The finance ministry believes that the implementation of the updated strategy will allow the banking sector to generate a pretax profit of 38 billion Ukrainian hryvnia by 2022, while return on equity is expected to reach 18%, said.

As of Feb. 21, US$1 was equivalent to 27.04 Ukrainian hryvnia.