Getting Ukranian exposure

The Russo-Ukrainian (a.k.a. Putin’s War) is easily the biggest geopolitical event that has happened in my life. Not only due to the fact it’s a war in a large European country, but also due to the ramifications on international trade as well as relations between nations. Being a speculator, I’m naturally interested in learning more about Ukraine’s footprint on the capital markets, and especially how to get/avoid Ukrainian exposure.

Local exchanges

Ukraine have 2 stock and derivatives exchanges: PFTS and Ukrainian Exchange, both of which is quite small and have few domestic listings. Looking at their members, it’s clear that getting access is difficult, as most members is local banks and insurance companies. This makes the shares out of reach of almost anyone outside of Ukraine. Your bank would have to make an OTC trade with a Ukrainian counterpart, which need to buy them in an illiquid market = high fees, spread and slow execution -everything you don’t want in a trade like this!

Commodity futures

Ukraine is a commodity economy with agriculture at its heart, so the conflict will inevitably influence the commodities they export in large quantities. Therefore commodity futures and options might be of interest.

Take a look at CME’s list of Grain and Oilseed futures, I especially find the Black Sea Wheat (BWF or BWO) products as well as the Black Sea Sunflower Oil (BSF) interesting.

Ukranian exports, relative measure of 2020 (source: OEC)


Most people know ADRs (American Depositary Receipt), GDRs are the more broad description (Global Depository Receipt), this gives almost anyone doing self investing access to some Ukrainian companies with GDRs trading on LSE (London Stock Exchange), FRA (Frankfurt Stock Exchange) and WSE (Warsaw Stock Exchange).

Name Ticker ISIN Exchange Link Industry
Ukrproduct Group UKR GB00B03HK741 LSE Dairy products
Ferrexpo FXPO GB00B1XH2C03 LSE, FRA Iron Ore Mining
MHP MHPC US55302T2042 LSE, FRA Poultry farming
AvangardCo Investments AVGR US05349V2097 LSE Poultry farming
Cadogan Petroleum CPD GB00B12WC938 LSE, FRA Oil & gas
Enwell Energy ENW GB0031775819 LSE, FRA Natural gas
Arricano Real Estate ARO CY0102941610 LSE Retail Real Estate
Agroton AGT CY0101062111 WSE Fishing & Farming
Kernel Holding KER LU0327357389 WSE Vegetable Fat & Oil

It goes without saying: You need to have appetite for risk, Ukranian companies poses a quite unique risk profile (at the moment), which allows for interesting discretionary trading if you are on-top of the news flow and understand war strategy.