Business is booming.

FirstFT: Ukraine waiting for more than half of pledged aid as US promises more

Good morning. This article is an on-site version of our FirstFT newsletter. Sign up to our Asia, Europe/Africa or Americas edition to get it sent straight to your inbox every weekday morning

As the first anniversary of Russia’s war draws near, less than half of the financial aid pledged by the west last year has actually reached Ukraine, even as US president Joe Biden promised fresh funds on a surprise visit to Kyiv yesterday.

Ukraine’s finance ministry received €31bn by December 2022 of the €64bn promised by western countries, an analysis by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy has found.

The EU and the European Investment Bank have together pledged about €30bn, the biggest share of the west’s support, but €17.5bn of this sum has been delayed partly due to the time taken to secure legal and political sign-off, a researcher at the institute said.

Bar chart of Foreign budgetary support (€bn) showing Financial aid disbursements lag behind commitments to Ukraine

Brussels is exploring how it could use the bloc’s budget to give downpayments to arms manufacturers in order to incentivise increased production, people briefed on the plans told the Financial Times, in an unprecedented foray into the defence industry to speed up supplies to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the US president added $500mn to the growing pot of western aid in an announcement yesterday during a visit to Kyiv that was planned for months but shrouded in secrecy for security reasons.

“I’m here to show our unwavering support for the nation’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Biden said, vowing to stand with Ukraine for “as long as it takes”. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked him for coming at “the most difficult time” for the country.

The FT will hold an exclusive webinar this Thursday for subscribers to discuss the future of Russia’s brutal war on Ukraine with FT correspondents and special guests. Register here for free.

1. Fresh tremors hit Turkey Three people were killed and more than 200 hospitalised yesterday after two tremors measuring 6.4 and 5.8 in magnitude struck the southern Turkish province of Hatay, two weeks after the region was devastated by larger earthquakes that killed almost 45,000 people.

People caught in new quakes in Antakya in Hatay province, Turkey
People caught in new quakes in Antakya in Hatay province, Turkey © Reuters

2. Wagner leader made $250mn An FT investigation has found that years of western sanctions against Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin failed to stop hundreds of millions of dollars flowing to the mercenary leader. Revenues made in countries such as Sudan and Syria have helped the Kremlin-backed magnate emerge as a powerful warlord in Russia’s war on Ukraine.

3. Sunak urges MPs to back N Ireland deal Rishi Sunak yesterday urged Eurosceptic MPs in his Conservative party to back him in his bid to end a bitter dispute with Brussels over post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland, but opposition to a deal was hardening. The British prime minister still hopes to finalise an agreement this week.

4. Liverpool FC owner calls off sale The US owner of Liverpool FC has said the club will not be sold, capping three months of exploring options for the English Premier League team. John Henry, who also owns baseball’s Boston Red Sox and ice hockey’s Pittsburgh Penguins, said he was still considering new investment for the club but does not anticipate owning it indefinitely.

5. Kate Forbes leads race to succeed Sturgeon Bookmakers and pollsters suggest Kate Forbes, who was elected to the Scottish parliament in 2016 and shot to prominence as Scotland’s youngest finance secretary, is the favourite to succeed Nicola Sturgeon as first minister and leader of the Scottish National party.

The day ahead

War speeches US president Joe Biden speaks in Poland on the Ukraine war, while his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin delivers a delayed state-of-the-nation address on the invasion.

EU meetings The bloc’s General Affairs Council discusses Ukraine, economic competitiveness, energy and the earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria, while EU energy ministers meet in Stockholm.

Economic data S&P Global and Cips release flash manufacturing and services purchasing managers’ indices for the EU, the UK, France, Germany and the US for February. Zew publishes its monthly EU economic sentiment indicator, and CBI releases its monthly industrial trends report in the UK. South Africa has unemployment data for the final quarter of last year, and Canada has its January consumer price index.

Results HSBC, Antofagasta, InterContinental Hotels, Home Depot, Medtronic, Palo Alto Networks, Capgemini, Engie and Coinbase report.

What else we’re reading

How long can Russia keep waging its war? Nearly a year later, Vladimir Putin is no closer to winning. To assess how long Russia can sustain its war efforts, the FT examines four key areas: the forces on the battlefield, Russia’s stock of munitions, the Kremlin’s economic war chest and ordinary Russians’ feelings about the war.

America’s struggle with fentanyl Across the US, the deadly drug is claiming lives at an alarming rate, with about two-thirds of drug-related deaths in the year to August caused by the synthetic opioid. Campaigners say it is time to call it what it is: a weapon of mass destruction. But a rise in diplomatic tensions has complicated cross-border co-operation on the fight against narcotics.

World Bank prepares for greener mission With the departure of Trump appointee David Malpass, shareholders expect the World Bank to put climate at its centre. Less wealthy nations have been pushing for better lending terms and other support to help them adapt to extreme weather. Some fear the new mission might distract from the bank’s traditional development mandate.

Singapore’s soaring rents dent finance hub ambitions Residential rents in the city-state have reached their highest on record, as a wave of new arrivals have pushed up prices on a limited supply of housing. The situation underscores the cost of Singapore’s campaign to replace Hong Kong as the Asian destination for money and investment.

Pfizer pins recovery hopes on record pipeline Pfizer won plaudits for developing highly effective Covid-19 treatments that saved millions of lives and generated record sales. But as the Covid emergency recedes, the US drugmaker is struggling to convince Wall Street that it can manage a transition that it forecasts will slash annual revenues by almost a third.

How the Covid-19 pandemic shaped Pfizer’s share price. Chart showing Pfizer’s share price since 2019. After a surge from around $30 when the pandemic struck to a peak of $60 at the beinning of 2022. Shares have pulled back to around $40, the level they were at the beginning of 2019

Take a break from the news

After years spent as a “bottle brunette”, Grace Cook decided to reclaim her identity as a blonde and love her natural hair.

Reese Witherspoon in the movie Legally Blonde stands in a courtroom in a pink dress
Reese Witherspoon as a lawyer whose courtroom skills are underestimated in the 2001 movie ‘Legally Blonde’ © Alamy

Asset Management — Find out the inside story on the movers and shakers behind a multitrillion dollar industry. Sign up here

The Week Ahead — Start every week with a preview of what’s on the agenda. Sign up here

Thank you for reading and remember you can add FirstFT to myFT. You can also elect to receive a FirstFT push notification every morning on the app. Send your recommendations and feedback to

Source link

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.