A major part of the USD 14.4 billion that will be spent on the holding of the finals of the EURO 2012 European Football Championship in Ukraine has been invested by the state, rather than by businesses, as it was expected earlier. According to experts, it will be extremely difficult to cover such expenses, UKRINFORM reported, with reference to the Kommersant-Ukraine publication.

The amount of funds invested in UEFA EURO 2012 was huge - about UAH 115 billion according to the latest government estimates. Moreover, more than half of these funds - UAH 63 billion - has been allocated from state and local budgets.

This amount has been reviewed about 30 times over the last five years. Initially, most of the money - about UAH 20 billion - was to be allocated by private investors, and the state was to allocate only UAH 1.42 billion. But the crisis ruined these plans: the construction of 80% of buildings in the country stopped by the autumn of 2008. Therefore, investments were made from the state budget.

The largest amount of funds was spent on infrastructure facilities. By November 2011, Ukraine managed to complete the construction of four stadiums in EURO 2012 host cities. By March 2012, it is planned to finish work at Donetsk Airport and Terminal D at Boryspil Airport (Kyiv), whereas from May 2012, high-speed Hyundai trains will start running between the host cities. The construction of 34 hotels is now underway, and 271 hotels are being reconstructed.

The holding of the championship has become a real springboard for the hotel real estate market. According to UEFA rules, Ukraine should provide more than 18,000 rooms only for the accommodation of official groups of the championship.

In order to fulfill this demand and stimulate investors, in 2011, the Cabinet of Ministers introduced a partial compensation for loans borrowed for the construction of hotels.

First Deputy Chairman of Prominvestbank Vyacheslav Yutkin said that during the championship, hotels would raise prices by about 1.5 times, whereas in other countries that hosted European football championships, the cost of accommodation grew by 20-30%. However, taking into account the size of investments, their profit will be small.

"The final match will bring the highest income, when all of the hotels will be packed in full. The promotion of hotels and the status of facilities where fans and delegations will get accommodated are more important," he said.

The championship's sponsors also expect an increase in their awareness. According to forecasts by McDonalds, the official EURO 2012 sponsor, sales in the summer of 2012 will grow by 10% compared to previous years. Earlier, plans to enter the Ukrainian market were announced by Subway, KFC and Burger King.

The owners of restaurants and bars also expect an increase in revenues. In July 2012, they will collect three times more profit than in the same period last year, according to Yaroslav Hordiyenko, the owner of Ciro's Pomodoro.

Nobody currently makes forecasts for the return of funds invested in EURO 2012, especially in the public sector. The Ukrainian authorities said immediately after winning the right to host EURO 2012 that the country's revenues from hosting the tournament will exceed investments by three times. But now experts describe these forecasts as unrealistic.

According to the estimates of the Ukrainian Economic Development and Trade Ministry, the holding of UEFA EURO 2012 will ensure an increase in real GDP of 0.8 percentage points next year, which corresponds to about UAH 10 billion.

It should be noted that over the past few years, major sporting events brought only losses to host countries. Thus, the last European Football Championship, which was held in the summer of 2008, brought Austria and Switzerland only EUR 470 million, with the investment of EUR 750 million, while South Africa's losses for the World Cup in 2010 exceeded EUR 4 billion.

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