A gold coin, has been issued by the National Bank of Ukraine to mark Euro 2012. Weighing in at half a kilo and worth almost 35 thousand euros, the coin has already received over 100 orders.
So while investors may be panicking about returns, the Ukrainian National Bank seems to have come down with a serious case of gold fever.
However is it a ‘bit rich’ of Ukraine to justify such an extravagant piece of memorabilia when the estimated income from the tournament is set to fall short of expectation?
Oksana Kuzyakiv works as the Executive Director for the Institute of Economic Research and Policy Consulting.
She admits to not feeling as positive as she once did about the impact Euro 2012 will have on Ukraine:
“If you asked me this question one year ago, me or any Ukrainian business person, I think we would have been much more optimistic than we are now.”
In her mind, Ukraine’s biggest problem is the absence of private investment, with all large-scale projects financed by the state.
She explains: “It’s not good and raises the question – who did pay for Euro 2012? Tax payers? Their kids? When and how will it pay its way? I think that the influence of Euro 2012 on Ukraine will be neutral but it won’t have a negative effect.”
Now to a more optimistic appraisal. Working hard in a Ukrainian branch of Deloitte we meet Andriy Stepanov.
He tells about the tournaments lasting impact:
“We shouldn’t measure the impact of Euro 2012 on a short term basis. First of all, 80% of the investment was spent on basic infrastructure: tourism, transport etc.
“These are projects which have been badly financed, or not even financed at all for the last 20 years. Euro 2012 has been a great reason to develop them. It’s only the stadiums we can really call “football investments”, other projects will be used everyday for decades to come.”
So both specialists agree Euro 2012 will make a short-term and long-term impact on Ukraine, with the latter potentially lucrative as many hope Ukraine will be opened up to an increase in tourism and investment – if it just bides its time…
Volodymyr Goncharov is the regional director of Ukraine’s national sponsor for Euro 2012 and thinks that although they aren’t selling souvenirs at a loss, they won’t make a huge profit.
Vilen Matveev’s job is to help organise the tournaments official fan zones. For him Euro 2012 is the perfect opportunity to work on Ukraine’s image.
Vilen Matveev, coordinator, Kozyrnaya Karta:
“I have to say that it’s undoubtedly a risky project and you only compensate for all the risks by getting the chance to brand Ukraine. For now, we won’t see massive profits but with investment in Kyiv and Kharkiv reaching around three 3 million euros, we are expecting to make a small net profit.”
The most promising predictions say that Ukraine will earn around a billion euros during Euro 2012. Bearing in mind, they have already invested around four billion.
According to President Yanukovych, this sum is a little generous: “In national currency it’s around 3.5 billion of hryvna.”
Whatever way you look at it, Ukraine won’t be able to earn back its investment straight away but that was not the aim. Ukraine is looking at the bigger picture and its brand and public image will no doubt be reaping the rewards of Euro 2012, for years to come.