Ukraine

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15:23 PM Thursday, September 21, 2017
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UBJ AM Aug. 29, 2017
James Brooke
Bunge to invest $30 million in Mykolaiv; Vodaphone profit increases 2.3 times; New Flights to Qatar, Slovenia and Ukraine consulate in Iraqi Kurdistan
image/svg+xml Kyiv Lutsk Rivne Zhytomyr Lviv Ternopil Khmelnytskyi Uzhgorod Chernivtsi Vinnytsia Chernigiv Sumy Kharkiv Poltava Cherkasy Kirovohrad Lugansk Dnipropetrovsk Donetsk Zaporizhzhia Mykolaiv Odesa Kherson Simferopol Sevastopol Ivano- Frankivsk

• Bunge is to invest an additional $30 million by the end of 2018 in expanding its production-transshipment complex at Mykolaiv port. Bunge engages in the purchase, sale, storage of oilseeds and grains, the processing of oilseeds, corn and wheat and the production of sugar. Tommy Jensen, Bunge CEO for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said at a press conference: “We are undertaking to provide an additional 400,000 tons of export capacity for the agricultural sector.”

• Signaling a strong a crop of rapeseed, the raw material for canola cooking oil, Ukraine exported 124,300 tons of the seed in July, twice as much as in July of last year. Two thirds of sales went to the EU. UkrAgroConsult forecasts a strong crop this year and a nearly 60 percent jump in exports compared to last year.

With Ukraine’s 7 million owners of farmland prohibited from selling their land, several landowners angry over infringement of their economic liberties have filed complaints with the European Court for Human Rights, according to Oleksander Bakumenko, deputy head of the Verkhovna Rada Agricultural Committee. Politically sensitive, the creation of a land market is a key component of the International Monetary Fund's program with Ukraine.

• A subsidy program for purchase of Ukrainian-made farm equipment will be doubled next year, to $40 million, according to Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman. To increase farm productivity and to boost domestic production of farm equipment, the government reimburses 20 percent of the purchase price of eligible equipment.

• The Israel-Ukraine free trade agreement will except some agricultural products, Ukraine's Trade Representative Natalia Mykolska told Interfax-Ukraine. Talks could lead to tariff quotas, as in the FTA agreements with Canada and the EU, and to transitional calendars for reducing duties on sensitive items, she predicted. This year, agricultural products are expected to account for about 40 percent of Ukraine’s exports by value.

• PM Groysman sees Ukraine as a start-up nation. He wrote on his Facebook page: "Based on experience, including that of Israel, Turkey and some other countries, we are now hammering out tools to make it work. The state's participation in the financial support of promising start-ups is also under consideration." Groysman’s team is studying creating a ‘fund of funds’ for startups. This would be structured to attract investments from sovereign wealth funds.

• Vodafone Ukraine’s net profit in the second quarter of this year was 2.3 times the level of the same period one year earlier. From April to June 2017, Vodaphone, Ukraine’s second largest mobile operator, after Kyivstar saw UAH 2.9 billion in revenue, 6.2% more than in the same period in 2016. With a net profit of nearly $20 million, Vodaphone saw its biggest growth in the second quarter of this year in data transfer on its 3G network.

• Qatar Airways launched its daily flights between Doha and Kiev Boryspil on Monday. Adria Airways, Slovenia’s airline, announces that, starting Oct. 29, it will offer three direct flights each week, between Ljubljana and Kiev Boryspil.

• Ukraine is opening an honorary consulate in Erbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. Ukraine joins 38 nations in opening missions in Erbil, capital of a autonomous region in northern Iraq which has 5.3 million people and a $24 billion, oil-based economy.

• In a key part of this fall’s health reform package, the Cabinet of Ministers has approved the creation of a national agency for procurement of medicines and medical products. Under the new system, the number of drugs for procurement has been cut from 1,083 names to 362 international nonproprietary names, or generics. Ulana Surprun, Acting Minister of Health, said of the Cabinet of Ministers’ move: "It will save money, human resources and time for customers - us."

• Ukrzaliznytsya which uses freight cargo charges to subsidize passenger travel, plans to cut passenger traffic this year by 4 percent, to about 200 million riders. At the same time, the state railroad calculates that it will increase export cargo this year by 4.5 percent, to 81.4 billion kilometer tons.

• As part of the government’s drive to develop ‘e-government,’ the Cabinet of Ministers has approved rules for using funds to buy software, upgrade software and equipment for e-government.

• Ukraine’s banking clean up continues as seven banks closed their doors this year. The number of commercial banks decreased from 96 in January to 89 today, according to the National Bank of Ukraine. Many Ukrainian banks were run along fraudulent lines, prompting Ukrainians to invest their savings in apartments, cars or overseas accounts. Of the surviving banks, 38, or almost half, have foreign capital.

• The European Investment Bank is mulling loaning EUR 75 million to Ukraine for the financing of investments in road safety in Ukraine’s five largest cities -- Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, Lviv, and Dnipro. According to the bank's website, the loan would be part of a EUR 177 million project to improve road safety and to protect the most vulnerable road users -- pedestrians and cyclists.

• From January through July, Ukraine’s steel production fell 15 percent, year over year, to 12.3 million tons. Ukraine ranks 12th worldwide in steel production, according to Worldsteel’s ranking of steel production by 67 nations.

• Ukraine has boosted underground gas inventories to the level of the start of last year’s heating season. Gas inventories are 14.6 billion cubic meters, 20 percent over the level for this time last year.


For comments or story tips, please contact UBJ Editor in Chief James Brooke at james.brooke@theubj.com

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