• The National Bank of Ukraine, the central bank, has made public for discussion a new liberal draft law on currency. According to Oleg Churia, bank deputy chairman, the core concept is freedom to conduct foreign exchange operation "allowing everything that is not forbidden." At the same time, the bank says lifting the temporary foreign exchange controls imposed in 2014-2015 will occur gradually.
• Raiffeisen Bank Aval, for the first time in the history of Ukraine, provided the International Finance Corporation, or IFC, with a loan in national currency. According to the Raiffeisen press service, a UAH 400 million loan, or $15 million, was issued by the bank for eight years. The first hryvnia loan will go to Auchan Retail. Before, IFC only made loans in Ukraine in dollars or euros.
• Ukraine’s inflation rate continued its fall, slowing in July to 0.2%, from 1.6% in June, 1.3% in May and 0.9% in April, the State Statistics Service of Ukraine has reported. Prices of meat and meat products grew most of all, by 5.9% and 5.1%. While prices of shoes fell by 4.6% and clothes by 4.3%. So far, the growth of consumer prices in annual terms stands at 15.9%. Concorde Capital predicts that Ukraine will end this year with the CPI at 11.8%.
• By December, the government will hold tenders to issue licenses for 4G mobile service in two ranges, 1,800 MHz and 2,600 MHz. The tenders, held by National Commission for Communications Regulation, could generate a total of $250 million for the government. PM Groysman said Wednesday: "We expect that the public and competitive sale will attract money to the budget, but the main thing is that the new communications system will be created, which is important infrastructure for economic growth."
• Ukraine’s state railroad will be run on a temporary basis by Yevhen Kravtsov, First Deputy Infrastructure Minister, Prime Minister Groysman said. Ukrzaliznytsia Board Chairman Wojciech Balczun, a native of Poland, resigned this week after one year on the job. Kravtsov headed the railroad’s supervisory board of Ukrzaliznytsia. Kravstov now promises to agree to “some” hike in freight rates within a month, Interfax-Ukraine reports. The PM said: “We will announce a new tender to select the best candidate to manage this important enterprise at once."
• Ukrainians were the top buyers of apartments in Poland last year, outstripping British and Germans, according to Polish Radio. Last year, foreigners bought about 4,500 apartments, about 7% of sales. About 1.4 million Ukrainians work in Poland and 30,000 Ukrainians attend university there.
• Through July, Ukraine increased exports this year of titanium ore and concentrate by 60.5%, compared to the same period last year, to 353,022 tons. In monetary terms, the increase was 32 percent, to $57 million. According to the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine, the biggest buyers are: Czech Republic, China, and Turkey.
• Due to record world harvests, the EU started on Tuesday to apply a temporary import duty of 5.16 euros per ton of corn, rye and sorghum. The duty affects world wide imports, but it does not affect Ukraine’s annual duty free quotas for corn exports to the EU.
• Ukraine has lost 11% of its domestic pig herd due to African swine fever since the epidemic hit the country in 2014, according to Maxim Martynyuk, acting Agriculture and Food Minister, Globalmeatnews reports.
• In September, Ukraine will start issuing domestic passports in the form of an ID card with an electronic digital signature, or EDS. By the end of the year such a signature also will be available on a SIM card as part of a MobileID program. Taking a cue from Estonia, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman says Ukraine plans to introduce such online services as online childbirth and marriage registration. He says the most popular electronic service now is the registration of individual entrepreneurs, with 1,211 entrepreneurs already registered.
• Tax collections jumped by 29 percent during the first seven months of this year, compared to the same period in 2016. The new total is 454 billion UAH, according to the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine.
• Reflecting decentralization, local budgets are up by about 25 percent, or an additional $1 billion, for the first seven months of this year, according to Hennadiy Zubko, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Utilities Service.
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