From 2010 to 2016, Ukraine made the most progress in the world for improving the ease of doing business, according to a new Financial Times analysis of the World Bank’s annual “Doing Business” reports since 2010. As a group, the post-Soviet countries made the largest strides. Of this group, Ukraine was the leader. Helped by a low starting level, Ukraine rose 24 bypoints, moving from 39.69 to 63.9. In the national ranking, Ukraine is now in 80th place, between New Zealand in first place and Eritrea in last place, at 189.
• Ukraine’s State Property Fund sold 25% stake in energy company DTEK Donetskoblenergo at the starting price of 143.8m hryvnia in a privatization auction on Wednesday. For lack of bids, other auctions scheduled for Wednesday did not take place for shares in the state-owned regional power generating companies of Donbas and Sumy. On Tuesday, an auction for Odesaoblenergo was cancelled for the same reason. By the end of this week, auctions are to be held on the Kyiv International Stock for shares in Dniprooblenergo, Zakhidenergo and Kyivenergo.
• During the first half of this year, Ukraine’s exports of goods to the EU increased by 26 percent, amounting to $8.2 billion, according to the State Statistics Service, or Gosstat. Heading east, Ukraine’s exports to CIS countries grew by 24 percent, amounting to $3.3 billion. On the import side, EU countries sold $9.5 billion worth of goods to Ukraine, up 24 percent. CIS sold $4.9 billion in goods to Ukraine, up 34 percent.
• During the first half of this year, Ukraine exported $8.7 billion worth of agricultural products, up 28 percent from last year. Farm products account for 42 percent of all Ukrainian exports this year, according to Ukraine’s Agricultural Policy and Food Ministry.
• EU purchases of Ukraine sunflower seeds have boosted Ukraine’s exports to the highest levels in five years, according to Ukragroconsult. Since September, EU countries have bought 68 percent of the 188 thousand tons of seeds exported by Ukraine.
• Boosted by strong harvests in the Black Sea region, global wheat production will grow to 743.18 million tons in the 2017-2018 marketing year, the USDA predicts. This is 5.35 million tons more than its previous forecast. The USDA forecasts that world corn production will decrease slightly this year, by 3.42 million tons, to 1,033.5 million tons. In Ukraine, corn production is to increase by 1.1 million tons.
• During the first half of August, Wizz Air set a company record for occupancy of its flights out of Kyiv's Zhuliany Airport. On its 70 flights, the average occupancy was 94.4 percent, according to the airport's Facebook page.
• In a move that may indicate that Apple Inc. plans to open official stores in Ukraine, it registered its trademarkk, Premium Reseller, last week in Ukraine. Under this brand, Apple runs shops around the world for demonstrating and selling Apple computers, software and consumer electronics.
• Cigarette taxes would jump by one third in January, to almost two hryvnia a cigarette, under a bill submitted to the Rada. If approved, Sevodnya news site estimates this would add almost half a billion dollars to the national treasury.
• Questioned by reporters about lifecell’s loss of 2.2 million subscribers over the last two year, Ismet Yazici, the new CEO of Ukraine’s third mobile phone company, after Kyivstar and Vodaphone, said: “"We have come here to buy, not to sell. We believe in the future of the Ukrainian market. That is why Turkcell Group plans to invest in it in the future, as we have positive hopes for the future.”
• In the first half of this year, 1 billion hryvnia, the equivalent of $43 million, was taken out of Russia’s three banks in Ukraine – Sberbank, VTB and Prominvestbank – according to the National Bank of Ukraine. In foreign currency, the deposit outflow amounted to $116 million – from Sberbank $69.45 million; from VTB Bank $25.34 million; and from Prominvest $21.1 million.
• Russian internet group Mail.ru stands to lose at least $13 million this year as a result of Ukraine's blocking of its popular social networking sites, VKontakte and Odnoklassniki. Ukraine blocked the sites on May 15. Since the sanctions were imposed, Facebook has seen a steep rise in Ukrainian users. A Canadian company StartupSoft has launched Ukrainians.co, a new social network resembling VKontakte.
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