Ukraine

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8:35 AM Friday, December 15, 2017
UBJ.am
UBJ AM Oct. 10, 2017
Google leads $20 investment in Kharkhiv startup; Turkey and Ukraine want to triple trade; Production of cars and buses doubles; Fin. Minister Danyliuk to Washington to defend IMF program; Hryvnia loses 5% against dollar in six weeks;
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

Google is leading a $20 million investment in Ukrainian startup GitLab, founded by Dmitry Zaporozhets of Kharkiv. GV, formerly known as Google Ventures, said: "Developers love GitLab hybrid multi-threaded solutions.” At present, about 100,000 organizations use GitLab solutions. Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress, is joining the GitLab board.

Turkey and Ukraine want to triple trade to $10 billion ‘as soon as possible’ Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday night at a press conference in Kyiv with President Poroshenko. Ukraine and Turkey abolished double taxation and passports for bilateral tourism.

Production of cars and buses doubled during through September, totaling 5,696, Ukrautoprom reports. Skoda’s Eurocar, on Zakarpattia’s border with Slovaka, is the main manufacturer, making 61 percent, or 4,164, of the cars since January.

Ukraine is committed to its IMF aid program and expects to receive a further tranche of funds this year, Finance Minister Oleksandr Danyliuk tells Reuters. Danylyuk travels to Washington this week for talks with the IMF on the $17.5 billion bailout amid concerns that progress on economic reform has slowed. Danylyuk said in London: "Our goal is to complete the program successfully by 2018."

London’s BMI Research says timely disbursal of IMF 4th tranche is unlikely as Ukraine dropped plans to rise gas prices and adopted a “watered down” pension reform. BMI, a unit of Fitch Group emailed that it is “increasingly skeptical” about the structural reform commitment of President Poroshenko.

Ukraine is more attractive for investors in ‘frontier market’ debt, due to “declining geopolitical concerns and stable oil prices,” Chia Liang Lian, head of emerging-market debt at Western Asset Management, tells Bloomberg.

Britain and Ukraine signed a protocol in London to avoid double taxation. Finance Minister Danyliuk and British Minister Alan Duncan signed the document, which applies to individuals and companies.

Foreigners would be allowed to lease any of almost 6,000 state-owned properties , under a draft order under review by the Justice Ministry. Dmytro Parfenenko, first deputy head of the State Property Fund, expects approval shortly. He writes on his Facebook page: "If (foreigners) can privatize, why not take property on lease? We have more facilities for leasing than for privatizing. Now we offer 5,955 facilities."

Since Aug. 21, Ukraine’s hryvnia has lost 5% against the dollar. Over the last month, the National Bank of Ukraine has spent $220 million to defend the hryvnia from a deeper drop. Alexander Paraschiy of Concorde Capital writes: “We are keeping our projection on hryvnia at UAH 28.0 - 28.5 per USD by year end.”

Prices rose in September by 2%, pushing year over year inflation to 16.4%, the State Statistics Service reports Monday. Since January, inflation has hit 10.2%, above the National Bank of Ukraine’s nine month target of 8%.

TransferGo has launched online money transfers from Poland to Ukraine. Magdalena Golbevska, TransferGo Manager Poland, reports the number of Ukrainian workers in Poland has increased by seven times in five years, from 170 000 in 2013, to 1.3 million today. Ukrainians now account for 54 percent of foreign students in Polish universities. Golbevska says her transfer company offers «a fast (almost instantaneous), cheap and safe online service available on mobile devices.» Ukrainian workers in Poland will send about $2.2 billion home this year.

Ukrainian tourists are big spenders in Poland, Alexei Doroshenko, chairman of Ukraine’s Association of Suppliers of Trade Networks, told Kommersant. Attracted in part by VAT refunds, Ukrainian shoppers spent $500 million in Poland during April-June of this year. He estimates that Ukrainians rank second, after Germans, for shopping tourism in Poland.

The state railroad is spending $65 million on housing to retain young specialists tempted to move to better paying jobs in the private sector, or to emigrate, Yevgeny Kravtsov, chairman of Ukrzaliznytsya, told workers at a meeting. Apartments are being built through 2021 and wages will be increased. Kravtsov said of the company which has 400,000 employees: "We want to save the cadres in the industry thanks to this powerful stimulus."

Prime Minister Groysman is setting up a working group to draw up a law “providing for responsibility -- perhaps, even criminal -- of representatives of law enforcement agencies and supervisory structures for exerting excessive pressure on business," Ukrinform reports. The PM said: “We must put an end to pressure of law enforcement agencies once and for all."

Ukraine can become a European growth leader if it modernizes its business environment, Prime Minister Groysman told a ‘Culture of Integrity” round table. He said: "Nobody doubts that Ukraine can demonstrate a fairly fast and stable economic growth. We can actually become one of the largest economies on the continent.”

China is aggressively buying Ukrainian barley, purchasing in the first two months of the market season 87% more than during all of last year. In July and August, China imported 560,000 tons, UkrAgroConsult reports.

EU tariff quotas for 18 key imported farm goods are to expand by 10% a year on average for the next five years. This step system includes such food products as poultry, lamb, milk, honey, eggs and wheat, according to the website of the Agricultural Policy and Food Ministry. As of last Wednesday, Ukraine has fully used EU quotas for honey, sugar, barley cereals and flour, preserved tomatoes, grape and apple juice, oats, barley, corn and wheat.

Ukraine can halve gas consumption through conservation and investment in solar, wind, and biomass energy, Hennadiy Zubko, Minister for Regional Development told the Kyiv Sustainable Energy Forum. With some of Europe’s most attractive ‘green tariffs’ Ukraine is drawing increasing amounts of investment in alternative energy.

“Money and Ports – 2017,” a conference supported by the World Bank, will be held in Odesa on Oct. 26. The Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority highlights the networking opportunities: “The conference will offer opportunities for fruitful communication between the heads of transport companies, cargo owners, traders, financiers, carriers, terminal operators, marine agents, freight forwarders; representatives of state structures.”


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UBJ a.m. is reported by UBJ Editor in Chief James Brooke, a former New York Times foreign correspondent and Bloomberg Moscow bureau chief. For comments and story tips, Brooke is reachable at james.brooke@theubj.com

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