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15:23 PM Thursday, September 21, 2017
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UBJ AM Aug. 7, 2017
James Brooke
150 Bitcoin ATMS for Ukraine; US co. to spend $100 million develop gold mine; van sales grow faster than car sales
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

• 150 Bitcoin ATMs are to be installed in Ukraine by the end of this year, including 20 to 30 machines in Kyiv, according to Michael Chobanian, founder of Kuna Bitcoin Agency and Kuna Cryptocurrency Exchange.

• Avellana Gold, an American company based in Cyprus, has developed a $100 million investment plan to extract gold and gold-polymetallic ore from the 151-hectare Muzhievo deposit in Western Ukraine’s Zakarpattia region. Located 30 km east of Hungary, the mine is Ukraine’s only working gold mine. Avellana bought the mine last November. It plans to increase quadruple processing of ore bearing rock to 500,000 tons a year.

• Ukraine’s grain harvest could be 60-63 million tons in 2017, forecasts the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food. This would be 4 to 9 percent below last year’s 66 million ton harvest, a post Independence record.

• Ukraine has transferred the first $450 million of $1 billion owed this year to the IMF, according to a "Gromadske" interview with a National Bank of Ukraine official. The debt stems from the 2014 standby agreement. The bank official did not predict problems with paying the remaining $550 this fall, predicting that Ukraine will end this year with international of $20 billion.

• Belarussian investor Viktor Prokopenya has withdrawn his bid for the Ukrainian subsidiary of Russia's biggest bank Sberbank, telling Reuters that surmounting the bureaucratic hurdles would take too much time. A few days earlier, Ukraine’s central bank said it blocked the sale of the Sberbank unit to two Russian investors due to a failure to provide the necessary documents.

• Reflecting growth of small and medium companies, sales of new commercial vehicles are growing faster than sales of new cars, according to Ukrautoprom, the vehicle sales association. From January to July, sales of commercial vehicles, largely van,s increased by 53 percent, to 6,258 units. By comparison, new car sales from Jan. to June were up 36 percent to 35,700.

• Ukraine’s spending on road repair and construction should grow steadily to $2 billion a year by 2019, Infrastructure Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Omelyan told Obozrevatel.

• Ukraine’s fast Intercity trains ran at 96 percent capacity in July, carrying 513,000 passengers, or 34 percent more than in July 2016. Currently, Intercity high-speed trains operate from Kyiv to Kharkiv, Lviv, Zaporizhya, Dnipro, Pokrovskaya, Kostiantynivka, Odesa, Ternopil and as well as to Peremyshl, Poland. During the first seven months of this year, nearly 3 million people took the trains. By comparison, Boryspil International Airport handled 4.7 million passengers during the first half of 2017.

• Shrugging off terrorist attacks, the number of Ukrainian tourists visiting Turkey during the first half of this year increased by one third, to 214,000, compared to the same period in 2016. Noting that passport-free tourism started June 1 between Ukraine and Turkey, Ukraine’s Hospitality Industry Association forecasts that Ukrainian tourism to Turkey will grow even more in the second half of this year.

• Expansion of Ukraine’s air links to Poland continues as Wizz Air will inaugurate direct flights on Aug. 25 from Kyiv Zhulianiy to Lublin and to Poznan. This will be Ukraine’s first direct flight to Lublin, Poland’s ninth largest city and a major destination for Ukrainian university students. LOT Polish Airlines started flights in May between Lviv and Poznan.

• Ukraine’s largest passport office will open Saturday in Kyiv, on Peremohy Square, across from the National Circus. Located on the third floor of the Ukraine Shopping Mall, the 26th office of Document, a state company, will open on August 12, two months after visa free travel to the EU started for Ukrainians holding the biometric passports.

• Within four years, a number of Ukrainians traveling by plane should more than to double hitting 20 million per year, Infrastructure Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Omelyan told Germany’s OstContakt business magazine. "Our strategy envisages that within four years the number of air passengers will increase from 8 to 20 million people per year," the minister said. He added that now 4-5% out of 43 million Ukrainians travel by plane. This percentage should grow to 15-20% by 2021.


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

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