At the initial stage of operation, JSC Ukrainian Financial Group acted as a trading business through its commodity and materials exchange framework. Through trading operations, the company established itself on the Ukrainian market and accumulated a sufficient working capital to expand its scope of activity and transform to an investment group. On the further stages, UFG significantly diversified its operations by investing in the most prospective industries. However, trade and commodity exchange operations remain one of our core activities. Within 10 years, total UFG equity investment in the trade sector reached US$ 5.6 million.
The major investment projects in the industry included Ukrainska Birzha, Triumphal Arch - Diplomat supermarket chain, and Mirald, a restaurant and presentation centre.
Ukrainska Birzha (Ukrainian Exchange) was founded in 1991 as a unique for that time non-government system of material resources trading, that ousted step by step the Soviet centralised resources distribution and provided a significant contribution into the development of the market reform in Ukraine. Within the first two years of operation, the total UFG investment in the project reached US$ 1.3 million, with 288 companies, firms and other entities trading their goods and services through the exchange. The total volume of transactions in 1991 and 1992 equalled 400 million Ukrainian karbovantsi (Ukrainian national currency prior to September 1996) and 1.5 billion karbovantsi, respectively. As a result, the project yielded in US$ 2.2 million to provide the reorganised company, UFG, with the initial investment capital in 1992.
Triumphal Arch - Diplomat was among the first Ukrainian supermarket chains to adopt international management and service standards. UFG total investment into this project reached US$ 1.1 million. The first supermarket which was established in 1994, was the largest in Kyiv at that time, with the total floor space exceeding 4.5 thousand m2. Equipped jointly with the French, German, Austrian and other western counterparts, with a new range of goods and qualified management and staff, trained by experienced French specialists, and international quality services, the supermarket provided new quality standards in the industry. Its sales volume exceeded US$ 5 million in 1995.
Mirald was put into operation in 1995. Strategically focused on Kyiv's business community, it operated as a restaurant and presentation centre, offering its spaces for business lunches, presentations, negotiations and other business events and delivering international quality services. Within just the first year of operation, Mirald's sale revenues reached US$ 500,000.
Furthermore, UFG launched a nation-wide subsidiary network, comprising over 30 businesses specialised in trading a variety of industrial and consumer goods.
The revenues from trading operations were re-invested into new projects depending on the market opportunities and needs of the Ukrainian economy.In the subsequent years, Ukrainian Financial Group kept up with the pace in its trading business by expanding its scope of targeting, selection and implementation of project opportunities in various areas of a wholesale and retail business, from transactions with goods and services to the construction and equipment of trading facilities to management restructuring and employee training.