• Energoatom plans to sign a $250 million loan next month with Bank of America Merrill Lynch to build Ukraine’s centralized spent nuclear fuel storage facility, according to Yuriy Nedashkovsky, president of the state company. Holtec International of the US won the contract to design the facility and to introduce technologies to treat spent nuclear fuel. Kyiv’s SK Ukrbudmontazh LLC won the tender to build the actual facility, for $35 million.
• Metinvest mining and metal group boosted capital expenditures budget this year by 66% year-on-year, to $193 million. Metallurgical accounted for 37% of capital expenditure and mining for 61%. Of its $3 billion in sales in the first half of this year, Metinvest B.V., parent company of Metinvest mining and metals, sold 38% of its products to the EU, 21% percent to Ukraine, 20% to the Middle East and Northern Africa, and 11% to the CIS.
• A bill to legalize all crypto currency transactions in Ukraine has been submitted to the Rada. The bill defines crypto currencies, such as bitcoin, as legal properties which can be exchanged for goods and services. The draft law proposes that the National Bank of Ukraine regulate the crypto currency market in the country, bitcoin.com reports.
• Through August, Ukraine’s food exports grew by 25% year-over-year, to $11.475 billion, the Agricultural Policy and Food Ministry reports. The top exports are: vegetable oils with a 26% share, corn 20%, wheat 13%, and poultry 2%.Top buyers are: India - $1.3 billion; Egypt – $986 million; the Netherlands – $763 million; Spain – $732 million; and China – $632 million. Exports to the EU expanded by 37% to $3.6 billion, significantly faster than the average.
• Ukrainian farmers have harvested 43.7 million tons of grain, with an average yield of 3.86 tons per hectare this year, Reuter reports, citing the agriculture ministry. The ministry has said the country could harvest up to 63 million tons of grain this year. Drought is pushing yields down from last year’s record 66 million tons.
• Since 2015, Ukraine has attracted EUR 700 million in investment in alternative energy – solar, wind and biomass, according to Sergey Savchuk, head of the State Agency for Energy Efficiency. Household garbage opens new opportunities for investment, he said. Each year, Ukraine produces 10 million tons of household waste – enough to produce 3.5 million Gcal of heat and 1.2 billion kWh.
• Ukrainian Renewable Energy Forum’17 will be held Nov. 30 at the Fairmont Hotel in Kyiv. Conference organizers expect to draw 500 sector investors, and officials from 20 countries.
• Ukraine’s state railway plans to raise freight rates next month by 15%, pacing annual inflation. Rates were to go up 22.5%, but Ukrzaliznytsia backed off in face of opposition by companies. In the railroad, a monopoly, freight subsidizes passengers.
• Within two weeks, Ukraine and Turkey will meet for their eighth round of talks on a free trade agreement. Talking to Channel 5 after the visit here by Turkish President Recep Erdogan on Monday, Ukraine’s Trade Representative Natalia Mykolska said: “The parties agreed to intensify the negotiation process.” Turkey is the third largest importer of goods from Ukraine.
• Germany agrees to provide UAH 100 million ($4 million) in loans to Ukrainian small and medium-size enterprises. The German-Ukrainian Fund and KredoBank have signed the agreement which will provide loans in hryvnias at 15% percent, close to Ukraine’s current inflation rate of 16%. Germany’s state development bank, KfW, has pledged to provide Ukrainian SMEs with $11 million in hryvnia loans over the next 40 years. Priority areas are: “agriculture, forestry and fisheries, processing industry, temporary placement and organization of food, electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply.”
• Through Friday, about 300 arms companies from 13 countries are showing their wares at Ukraine’s largest annual security and defense show, Arms and Security 2017, at Kyiv’s International Exhibition Center on the Left Bank. In turn, in Washington, DC, UkrOboronProm, the state arms making conglomerate is showing its products for the first time at the Association of the United States Army exposition.
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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 email@example.com