Comparison and Evaluation

According to the 1999 EBRD Transition Report, Ukraine is grouped among the countries with the worst legislative framework for foreign investment (along with Albania, Georgia and Belarus). Ukrainian commercial law and financial regulations received a score of 2 (out of 4), which is the lowest rating given to the countries in the CEE/CIS group. The table below illustrates the criteria applied in the rating. As the table suggests, the commercial legislation in Ukraine is very far from adequate and subject to permanent changes. Besides a lack of rigorous laws, existing laws are often not operational and enforceable.

Table: Ukraine: Legal transition indicators

Commercial Law
Financial regulations
Legal rules concerning pledge, bankruptcy and company law are limited in scope and subject to conflicting interpretations. Legislation may have been amended but new laws do not necessarily approximate those of more developed countries. Specifically, the registration and enforcement of security over movable assets has not been adequately addressed, leading to uncertainty with respect to the registration and enforcement of pledges. Pledge laws may impose significant notarisation fees on pledges. Company laws do not ensure adequate corporate governance or protect shareholders’ rights. Laws may contain inconsistencies or ambiguities concerning, among other rights, the scope of reorganisation proceedings and/or the priority of secured creditors in bankruptcy. Commercial legal rules are generally unclear and sometimes contradictory. Few, if any, meaningful procedures are in place to make commercial laws operational and enforceable.Legal rules governing financial markets are somewhat limited in scope. Although regulations in banking have been amended to accord with core principles, at least one important area of regulation remains deficient – for example, capital adequacy, use of international accounting standards or use of consolidated comprehensive supervision. Oversight of securities markets is limited and regulation of securities intermediaries and investment funds, for example, are either non-existent or rudimentary.Legal rules are somewhat unclear and sometimes contradictory. Supervision of financial institutions exists only on an ad-hoc basis. There are few, if any, meaningful procedures in place to enforce the law. There may be a lack of adequately trained staff in either banking or capital markets regulatory authorities.

Source: 1999 EBRD Transition Report.