• The National Bank of Ukraine has pulled PricewaterhouseCoopers Audit LLC’s domestic bank auditing rights after the big four accounting firm failed to identify a $5.5 billion hole in the balance sheet of PrivatBank, the Financial Times reports.
• Ukrainian International Airlines plans to expand long distance haul flights by starting direct service to Shanghai and Toronto, Aron Mayberg, the board chair, told Liga.net. Yuri Miroshnikov, the airline president, recently said the Toronto flight could start next year from Boryspil.
• Air passenger traffic in Ukraine, both international and domestic, increased by 42%, during the first half of this year, according to Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman.
• Ukraine’s government wants to begin talks with the European Union on joining the Schengen visa zone, according to European Integration Minister Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze.
• IFC, a World Bank Group unit, will provide up to $15 million to the Emerging Europe Growth Fund III in an effort to help small and medium sized Ukrainian businesses secure financing, The Financial reports. Managed by Horizon Capital and its CEO, Lenna Koszarny, the EEGF III has a target size of $150 million and focuses on investments in fast-growing, export-oriented companies in IT, light manufacturing, and agribusiness.
• President Petro Poroshenko signed a bill Thursday creating the Energy Efficient Fund, a fund intended to maximize energy savings in the nation’s housing market. Poroshenko said Germany has committed up to 100 million euros to the fund.
• Ukraine intends to stop purchasing anthracite coal for thermal power plants, aiming to be completely coal-free by the end of next year, according to Energy and Coal Industry Minister Ihor Nasalyk.
• Kernel, Ukraine’s largest sunflower oil producer and grain trader, increased its sunflower seed crushing volumes by 5.7% in the fourth quarter of FY 2017.
• Ukraine’s leading sugar producer Astarta will receive a $25 million loan from the Dutch Development Fund FMO to be used for the modernization of the company’s sugar plants and the construction of a wastewater treatment plant.
• Ukraine’s 94 largest state companies saw a 20-fold increase in their net profits over the first nine months of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. Their collective profit was nearly $1.5 billion.
• Three Ukrainian ice cream producers, Kharkiv-based Khladprom, Laska (Kirovohrad region) and Lasunka (Ternopil region), are fighting for the right to export their frozen treats to the European Union. The verification process is stringent - only 16 out of 44 ice cream producers have been approved by the EU since 2015.
• The planned Lviv-Krakovets highway would be the first toll road in Ukraine if completed, Interfax reports. Financing for the highway is contingent on the guarantee of at least 18,000 vehicles per day of paid traffic. The existing highway runs 70 km, connecting, Lviv, Western Ukraine’s largest city, and Ukraine’s busiest border crossing with Poland.
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