Alexander Gorbunenko Uncovers Industry Concerns at the Ukrainian CFO Forum

October 23, 2015

Alexander Gorbunenko, CFO at Ukraine’s largest private gas producer Burisma Holdings, attended the Annual Ukrainian CFO Forum that has been bringing together leading Ukrainian and foreign financiers for over 14 years.

“The Forum was created as an open platform for sharing practical knowledge. For us, as one of the largest industry players, it is an opportunity to share our extensive experience based on concrete cases we are facing daily. I believe that financial planning and forecasting are key to improving management efficiency. And the most important thing that the Forum provides is a face-to-face interaction with top corporate professionals and the exchange of our views and expectations”, noted Alexander Gorbunenko.

More than 250 leading financiers, analysts, consultants and media representatives attended the 14th Forum. This year, participants discussed decision-making possibilities amid an unstable regulatory environment. Burisma Holdings’ CFO Alexander Gorbunenko led discussions on “financial planning and budgeting”. In addition, he initiated debates on making long-term financial decisions in an unstable regulatory and tax environment, budgeting and operational stress tests as a means of managing uncertainty, as well as financial management in a changing tax environment based on Burisma Holdings’ example.

“Never-ending legislative changes regulating gas industry are definitely not contributing to effective financial planning, and, in fact, hinder sustainable market development”, stressed Alexander Gorbunenko. Investment horizon in the gas industry is around 3-5 years at minimum, while current fiscal policy changes every quarter, if not every month, as we saw in winter of 2014-2015. This, basically, renders our work impossible, since just to maintain current activities, not even mentioning capital investments, we need financial resources that the country either does not have, or else they are overly expensive. At the same time, foreign investors are bypassing Ukraine because of low attractiveness of gas production sector in terms of fiscal policy”.

According to the Burisma Holdings’ CFO, Ukraine is making baby steps in reforming the tax system in gas industry, when, in fact, investors want to see Ukraine make feasible progress. We are very concerned about the lack of concrete actions following the promise made by the Minister of Finance of Ukraine, Natalia Yaresko, at the July conference in Washington to reduce the rental payments and fiscal and regulatory burden on the industry. Local gas market is in dire need of legislation that defines conditions for the long-term development of the Ukrainian gas market as well as transparent rules and clear signals to investors “, said Alexander Gorbunenko.

Following results of the survey conducted among attendees, the majority noted the urgency to find effective solutions when it comes to taxation in the gas industry of Ukraine.

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