Auditing and accounting giants such as PwC have held seminars advising businesses how to adjust.
Adam Mycyk, partner at the Kiev law offices of Chadbourne & Parke LLP, said that Ukrainian business using “Cyprus as a ‘cash collection’ centre for transactions with their related Ukrainian entities may indeed face an issue, whether because of a shortage of available cash and/or any capital controls that Cyprus puts into place.”
Tomas Fiala, CEO of Kiev-based investment bank Dragon Capital, said “the impact is not too big, but not negligible.”
He added: “A lot of investment, loans and trade flows are structured through Cyprus. It takes time to set up accounts at other banks in other jurisdictions. Several billion US dollars got frozen there but should be available within a couple weeks. Several hundred million will be lost at Laiki and the Bank of Cyprus.”
In talks with an IMF mission that arrived this week for discussions on a potential $15bn bailout, government officials have talked down the effects of the Cyprus situation.
Meanwhile, locals say the Cyprus contagion could increase the cost of borrowing on the Eurobond market for Ukraine’s cash-strapped government. This in turn could force it to accept the tough IMF bailout conditions.
Fiala said: “There is a bit of contagion, which together with large Eurobond supply from Ukraine caused prices to move down over the last two weeks. For instance, the long sovereign went down 4 points. If it should drop further, Ukraine would have a harder time accessing the market (it). And this could push Ukraine towards an IMF deal.”