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8:39 AM Thursday, October 19, 2017
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UBJ AM Oct. 6, 2017
Ukraine gas producer seeks foreign partner for Black Sea; Kernel to build sunflower mill in Western Ukraine; EIB loans EUR 400 million for small and medium businesses
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

China’s joint venture with Ukraine’s Motor Sich has been “created with the ultimate aim of transferring Ukrainian technology to China,” the Financial Times reports from Beijing. At last month’s aviation show in Beijing, a slide at the Skyrizon-Motor Sich booth set a 20-year goal for the Chinese company: “Independent innovation is to be mastered.” Since 2015, 100 Chinese experts have visited the aviation motor company’s factories in Kharkiv and Zaporizhia, the FT reports. At the same time, ‘hundreds’ of Ukrainian engineers now are working at the massive Skyrizon facility in Chongquing. Last month, Ukraine’s SBU froze China’s shareholding in Motor Sich. Now, the newspaper reports from Kyiv, alks are underway to find a compromise.

The European Investment Bank is loaning Ukraine EUR 400 million to support small and medium-sized businesses over the next five years. The Finance Ministry initially is channeling the money through Megabank and Ukrgazbank.

Ukraine needs to unblock privatization in order to unlock economic growth and attract foreign investors, said Francis Malige, EBRD Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. Speaking to journalists at a financial forum in Kyiv, he said of privatization: "There are still no results. And this is one of the biggest failures."

Ukraine’s foreign reserves hit $18.6 billion on Sunday, the highest level since early 2014, the National Bank of Ukraine reported. With reserves up 20 percent this year, Ukraine is expected to end 2017 with $20 billion in reserves.

To simplify bank transfers of foreign currency, the National Bank of Ukraine has dropped a requirement that customers submit scanned copies of documents to their bank to analyze foreign exchange transactions. Gradually, the central bank is loosening foreign exchange controls.

Ukraine’s largest gas producer, Ukrgazvydobuvannia, plans to start producing natural gas in five licensed areas on the Black Sea shelf. Oleg Prokhorenko, head of the state-owned company, said he wants to conduct exploratory drilling in 2019-2020 and to start production in early 2021. By 2023, the company wants to reach an output of 5 billion cubic meters of gas per year. The company has no offshore experience and is looking for a foreign partner.

Ukrainian Association of Renewable Energy, an industry group, will propose cutting the feed-in tariff for solar plants in favor of raising it for biomass and biogas. Ihor Tynny, a member of the association and owner of several hydroelectric power plants, unveiled the plan at the Kyiv International Economic Forum.

Intel, the US technology company, may close its office in Ukraine, according to media reports. In recent days, companies working with Intel Ukraine, have received letters "in connection with the liquidation of the company," the reports say. Dmitry Kalita, head of Intel's offices in the region, replied to queries saying: “On October 4, nothing changed in the work of the Ukrainian office.”

Ukraine’s Kernel, the world’s largest producer and exporter of sunflower oil, is mulling building a sunflower processing plant in Western Ukraine in 2018-2019. The company, which is traded on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, is considering Khmelnytsky or Ternopil as the site, Vitaliy Stavnychuk, Kernel’s director of agribusiness development told Interfax at the Kyiv International Economic Forum.

Poland’s Energy Minister Krzysztof Thuzhevsky has promised to stop importing coal from Ukraine’s separatist-controlled corner. Ukrainian Energy Minister Igor Nasalik told 112 TV: “We received assurances that a complete check will be carried out, such supplies will be banned."

Through September, Ukraine imported 13 million tons of coal for $1.9 billion. Of the imports, 55 percent came from Russia, 25 percent from the US, and six percent from Canada. Compared to the same period last year, Ukraine’s coal imports increased by 83% in dollars and 11% in tons.

A London broker emailed this view Thursday of the IMF and Ukraine: "In the short- to medium-term, we think funding for Ukraine is on solid ground. It’s clear that commitment from within the IMF is driven from a high level and with geopolitical motives in mind; so long as the Ukrainian government at least makes token progress on the desired reforms, we think that the program and the additional funding it catalyses will continue."

As Ukraine’s economy reorients to the West, a new nationwide poll shows warming views toward the EU. The EU-funded ‘EU NEIGHBOURS east’ project polled Ukrainians last spring. It released results this week:

  • 43% of Ukrainians have a positive image of the EU and 58% Ukrainians believe relations with the European Union were good.
  • More than 70% of Ukrainians believe that the EU represents values such as human rights, economic prosperity, rule of law and individual freedoms.
  • 58% of people in Ukraine trust the European Union, compared to the United Nations (51%) and NATO (46%).
  • More than half of Ukrainians (56%) are aware of the EU’s financial support, and 36% of this believe that the support is effective (up from 34% last year).

Ukraine International Airlines daily evening flight from from Kiev Borispil to Kherson has proved so popular that it will add a daily morning flight, starting Oct. 29. UIA flies Brazilian-made Embraers on the one hour and 15 minute route.

With visa free tourism to the EU working smoothly, the Greek Tourism Organization is opening a national tourist office in Kyiv. Last year, 11,000 Ukrainian tourists visited Greece in 2016. This year, the number is expected to be higher.


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