Ukrainian Zelenskiy ‘rings’ the NYSE bell in search of foreign investment – Markets

KYIV/NEW YORK: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy rang the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange remotely on Tuesday as his country called for billions in private investment to rebuild factories and industries destroyed by Russia.

Zelenskiy’s government has launched a platform of more than 500 projects worth $400 billion for foreign investors to help rebuild Ukraine’s economy even as war with Russia drags on .

Zelenskiy appeared on a video screen behind the platform overlooking the NYSE floor where the opening bell is traditionally rung. Traders cheered and shouted as a banner read, “We are free. We are strong. We are open for business.

Fresh off a roundtable with senior executives from JP Morgan, Pfizer Inc and other US companies, Zelenskiy said in English that Ukraine was already rebuilding its economy, more than six months after the Russian invasion.

“Ukraine is the story of a future victory and a chance for you to invest now in projects worth hundreds of billions of dollars to share the victory with us,” he said.

The United States and its allies in Europe and Asia have already sent billions in aid, weapons and other security spending.

The “Advantage Ukraine” initiative – first announced at a recovery conference in Switzerland in July – focuses on 10 key sectors, including the military-industrial complex, energy, pharmaceuticals, metallurgy, woodworking and logistics.

“INVEST NOW”

“We must invest in Ukraine now, and not wait for the end of the war,” Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko said in a statement.

Advertising group WPP is leading the initiative’s marketing campaign.

Ukraine is also appealing for some $5 billion in international aid each month to keep its economy running, in addition to military aid from members of the NATO alliance.

Svyrydenko told Reuters last month that Ukraine’s economy is expected to stabilize over the coming year and grow by up to 15.5% in 2023, after a likely contraction of 30-35% this year.

On Tuesday, she said Ukraine was keen to bring back foreign direct investment, which had reached $6.7 billion before the war. “The Russian invasion adjusted our short-term plans, but did not force us to abandon our strategic goals,” she said.

After registering on the platform, potential investors will receive information about opportunities.

The economy ministry said it was giving grants to existing businesses and had already helped relocate 700 businesses from the frontlines of the conflict, 480 of which had already returned to work.