22:47 PM Friday, September 21, 2018
UBJ AM Sept. 15, 2017
Yalta conference starts today; Central bank leaves interest rates unchanged; OKKO owner starts ‘second Bukovel’ ski area; US IT company builds ‘InnoHub’ in Kyiv
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• Victor Pinchuk's two-day Yalta European Strategy conference starts today Friday at Mystetskyi Arsenal. The morning speakers are: President Petro Poroshenko; Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President for Energy Union, European Commission; Suma Chakrabarti, President, European Bank for Reconstruction; John Kerry, 68th U.S. Secretary of State (2013-2017); and David Cameron, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (2010-2016). Afternoon speakers include:Bernard-Henri Levy, French philosopher and writer; Paul Krugman, New York Times economics columnist; Robert Gates, US Secretary of Defense (2006-2011); Newt Gingrich, 50th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and John R. Bolton, Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

• A Marshall Plan for Ukraine would last for 10 years and would bring in $5 billion a year, Stepan Kubiv, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, told reporters Thursday. Co-author of the plan, Andrius Kubilius, a former prime minister of Lithuania, said at the briefing that, with this infusion of investment, Ukraine ‘s GDP would grow at 6 to 8 percent a year for a decade.

• The International Monetary Fund has not yet decided on the date of the mission's arrival in Ukraine
as part of the fourth review of the EFF program, IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice said in Washington. Timothy Ash reacts from London: “Slightly disappointing, as had been talk of mission coming in late September. I guess still waiting to see if IMF Dep MD Lipton is feeling the luv during his visit to Kyiv this week.”

• Ukraine’s central bank left borrowing costs unchanged for a third meeting as faster-than-expected inflation prevents it from trying to rescue fading economic growth, Bloomberg reports. The National Bank of Ukraine kept its key policy rate at 12.5 percent, according to a statement Thursday. Timothy Ash reacts: “NBU assumes no energy price hikes - which assumes the IMF cut them some slack and the $2bn in IMF disbursements comes by year end, taking reserves up to $20bn. I can see reserves at $20bn, assuming a successful Eurobond exchange issue this week. But it still seems optimistic to get IMF agreement over no gas price hikes.”

• Ukraine’s central bank planned to sell up to $100 million at a foreign exchange auction Thursday. Timothy Ash: “Inflation has disappointed, and a strong/stable UAH is important for the NBU in its fight to bring inflation back to target/single digits.”

• Ambassadors of G7 countries to Ukraine call on the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to pass without delay the pension reform proposed by the Cabinet of Ministers. Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman expects the Ukrainian Parliament to finally adopt a bill on pension reform next week.

• Vitaliy Antonov, President of Galnaftogaz and owner of OKKO, a chain of 400 gas stations, is building a ski resort in his native Lviv region. The winter/summer resort would be located in Slavske, a 2-hour drive south of Lviv city. Billed locally as ‘a second Bukovel,’ the resort could eventually have 75 km of ski trails and cost EUR 500 million, Igor Svistun, former head of the Skoliv district administration, told

• Ukraine has set a discount of 75 percent on port fees for oil transit shipments moved though the Ukrtransnafta oil terminal in Yuzhny, near Odesa, Port News reports. The discount takes effect in January, and is part of a wider, 20 percent reduction in fees across Ukraine’s 13 Black Sea ports.

• Another four Ukraine enterprises won the right to export food products to the EU, according to Ukraine’s State Service for Food Safety and Consumer Protection. They are: one for eggs, one for milk and dairy products, and two for fish and fish products. Now 106 food Ukrainian producers are authorized to export to the EU.

• Ukraine may impose substantial curbs on meat exports to stabilize domestic prices, which jumped by more than 40 percent in some cases this year, a senior government official tells Reuters. Average domestic prices for pork surged 43 percent in the first eight months, while beef and poultry were up 26 percent and 31 percent higher respectively, according to Ukraine's state statistics service. According to the Ukrainian Agrarian Council, Ukraine exported 228,418 tons of meat in the first eight months of 2017, nearly 30 percent higher than a year earlier. Denys Marchuk, the council's deputy head, said: "We've became hostage to exports. The price rises on the world market make it profitable to supply meat for foreign markets.”

• Innovecs, an American software development outsourcing company, with an R & D center in Kyiv, plans to build a new 600 square meter multimedia space - InnoHub. The goal of the project is to create an interactive platform for team development, knowledge sharing and international communications among developers. Scheduled to open in December, the project is managed by Olga Safina, former head of communications for Kyiv’s UNIT.City.

• Nigerians in Ukraine are urging their government to reverse a plan to shut their embassy in Kyiv, according to Britain’s Guardian newspaper. In a protest letter, community leaders noted that 8,000 Nigerians work here and 10,000 study in Ukrainian universities, largely in medicine, aviation, science and engineering. Martins Dele Lawani, a community leader, also noted that Ukraine sold arms to Nigeria to fight the Boko Haram terrorist group, ignoring an arms sale blockade by the U.S. and several European nations.

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