• The World Bank is improved its economic growth forecasts for Ukraine. According to Unian, the World Bank now predicts growth of 3 to 3.5% in 2018, and 3 to 4% in 2019.
• Ukraine’s largest bank, PrivatBank, loaned associates of then-owner Ihor Kolomoisky over $1 billion between mid-2015 and mid-2016, OCRRP reported. After the loans were distributed to seven associates, the bank was nationalized in late 2016.
• Yandex, Russia’s top search engine website, is closing its offices in Kyiv and Odesa. The pullout comes after Ukraine’s State Security Service accused the site of illegally collecting Ukrainian users' data and subsequently sending inforormation to Russian security agencies.
• Ukraine’s Infrastructure Ministry backs limiting bus and rail travel with Russia. According to Interfax-Ukraine, Infrastructure Ministry Minister Volodymyr Omelyan says he supports the idea. He added that it is up to the government to make a decision.
• Passport free travel between Ukraine and Turkey has started, Business Standard reported. Citizens of each country can now stay up to 90 days’ visa free and may use their national ID cards instead of passports.
• Prime Minister Volodomyr Groysman says Ukraine will improve trade links with Japan, Interfax-Ukraine reported. At a meeting with Japanese trade representative Keidanren Teruo, the prime minister described Ukraine’s recent economic growth as a good signal for Japanese investors.
• Transparency International, the Ukrainian government and the Open Ownership Consortium have signed a MoU to integrate Ukraine’s beneficial ownership information into the Open Ownership global register. Transparency International says the decision will make it easier to identify the real owners of companies and will help to combat corruption.
• Ukraine’s steel output fell 17.7 percent year-on-year in January-May, to 8.7 million tons, Uaprom reported. This contrasts with output growth of 5.5% in 2016. Pig iron output fell by 22.1 percent to 7.9 million tons in the first five months of this year. Rolled steel production decreased by 20 percent to 7.5 million tons.
• Ukraine and Thailand have signed a trade pact and a legal agreement, Interfax-Ukraine reported. Ukrainian foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin signed the agreement in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, Ukraine’s largest trading partner in the region.
• The IMF and the World Bank back a draft bill on reforming Ukraine’s pension system. According to Interfax-Ukraine, the social policy ministry thanked experts from both organizations for assisting in drawing up the draft law.
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