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UBJ AM News: March 20, 2017
A pair of hefty investments for Ukraine are in the works, while an annual investment conference in Kyiv produced some newsworthy commentary.
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

The International Finance Corp. could invest up to $20 million into the Emerging Europe Growth Fund III mainly for investment in Ukraine, Interfax Ukraine reported. The IFC board will discuss the project at a meeting April 28. The fund, which has a target amount of $150 million, will invest in export-oriented, fast-growing, mid-size companies in Ukraine and Moldova that have potential to grow from local into regional market leaders. The fund will primarily target minority stakes in high-growth Ukrainian companies.

The government-run Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority plans to invest about $130 million this year to enhance port infrastructure, the agency’s public affairs office told Unian.

Ukrainian farmers have sown 11 percent of the country's planned spring grains area since the season began March 8, the Agriculture Ministry said Friday, the Times of India reported. The world's third-largest grain exporter expects to sow 7.2 million hectares of spring grains this year, or 200,000 more hectares than in 2016, according to the newspaper. However, the country’s overall grain harvest this year is unlikely to match last year's record.

Declaring 2017 “the year of low-fare airlines in Ukraine,” Infrastructure Minister Volodomyr Omelian announced on Ukrainian radio that two more budget carriers are negotiating entrance into the Ukrainian market, Novoe Vremya reported. The news comes on the heels of Ryanair’s announcement last week that it will launch service in Ukraine in the coming months.

A central bank deputy governor said Russian banks with branches in Ukraine are in talks about selling their Ukrainian assets, according to television station Inter. The official said the five banks at issue have good liquidity and are capable of fulfilling their obligations to their customers.

Russia is one step closer to banning money transfers to Ukraine as the Duma on Friday approved a bill to that effect on second reading. If approved on its third and final reading and signed by President Vladimir Putin, the bill will become law.

The three most important things Ukraine needs to do to attract investment are privatization, reformation of the corporate management of state-run businesses and land reform, a leading EBRD official said at the 13th Dragon Capital annual Ukraine Investor Conference in Kyiv on Thursday.

The European Investment Bank approved financing for a production line to process tomatoes in Ukraine, Interfax Ukraine reported. The total cost of the project and the identity of the recipient of the money were not disclosed.

Despite achieving success with a number of crucial reform efforts, Ukraine still has a deeply corrupt judicial system, and that is hampering its ability to woo investment, the head of the EU delegation to Ukraine, Hugues Mingarelli, said at the Ukraine Investor Conference last week. He said the lack of the rule of law is the main reason investors refrain from coming to Ukraine, adding that drastic judicial reforms must be undertaken.

The government will implement measures to stop trade with businesses in the Donbas that are beyond the control of Ukrainian authorities, Prime Minister Volodmyr Groysman said, according to Ukrinform.

For comments and news tips, please email UBJ AM editor David Edwards at david.edwards@theubj.com.

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