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Ukraine Implements Tool To Help Prevent Company ‘Raiding’

Ukraine’s newly installed government has tweaked the state-run registry of legal entities to publish information on a daily basis, a change that the chief coordinator of the Cabinet of Ministers says will help prevent the theft of businesses known as “raiding.”

In a September 2 Facebook post, Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers Dmytro Dubilet emphasized the measure because “raiding occurs when company ownership or directors quickly change when the true owners aren't aware of it.”

Due to weak property rights and crooked judges, corporate raiding in Ukraine is seen as a huge impediment to foreign investment.

Earlier, the company registry was updated weekly, allowing for ownership or management changes to be made with the use of the country’s corrupt judicial system and other means like barring shareholders from attending meetings.

Dubilet noted that a week’s time was enough for the corporate raider to shift a company’s assets beyond the reach of the true owner or quickly sell them to a third party.

He said the database is freely accessible on five websites, including the state-owned Privatbank that was nationalized when auditors found a $6 billion hole on its balance sheet.

Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky was a former co-shareholder of the bank and is where Dubilet was previously the chief technical officer in charge of information technology.

Notices of company takeovers can be made electronically to the government’s anti-raiding commission through the iGov portal of government services, Dubilet noted.

“Earlier, to file a complaint, you had to first hire a lawyer who would gather a pile of documents…. Moreover, while the commission was processing these documents through the chain of offices, two weeks could elapse,” he said.

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