Through August, construction is up by 25.5% compared to the first eight months of last year. the State Statistics Service of Ukraine reported. Non-residential is the fastest growing, increasing by 28 percent, compared to 16 percent for residential. Both sectors now are about even in size. In 2016, construction was up by 13 percent, half of this year’s rate. In 2014 construction shrank by 15 percent compared to 2013.
• During the first half of this year, Ukrainians bought 20 percent more household appliances, totaling nearly $1 billion in purchases, news site LIGA.net reports. Pushing sales are the return of consumer credit and rising costs of repairs. Valery Zolotukhin, director of the Allo store chain, says: "This is our highest growth rate since early 2012.” Anatoly Balyuk, head of Diawest, tells Liga.net: “Over the past two years, there has been a pent-up demand for laptops and computers that consumers can now satisfy."
• Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan opposes a recommendation by the European Aviation Safety Agency to expand an existing no fly zone over Ukraine’s southeast secessionist corner to restrict flights by European airlines from much of eastern Ukraine, including Kharkiv, Dnipro, Zaporizhia airports. Austrian Airlines has flights from Vienna to Dnipro and Polish LOT has flights to Kharkiv. Kharkiv and Zaporizhia are the fastest growing airports of Ukraine’s eight largest airports.
• All the three airports are in a 300 km radius from Torez, Donetsk region, where the MH17 passenger jet was shot down in July 2014 by a Russian-supplied missile. Last week in New York, the foreign ministers of Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine signed a memorandum backing criminal prosecution of perpetrators of the shoot down, that killed 298 passengers and crew.
• With an eye on Ukraine’s strengthening farm sector, UkrAVTO Corporation, the nation’s leading car dealer, is testing expanding into tractors. Recently it presented South Korea’s LS tractors at the AGROEXPO 2017 exhibition held in Kropyvnytsky. The company said: “The growing popularity of agricultural forums indirectly indicates that agriculture and the agro-industrial complex are beginning to recover, therefore, UkrAVTO has presented a range of LS tractors for the purpose of studying demand.”
• Through August, Ukraine’s sunflower oil production was up by 38% compared to the same eight months last year. August production was 153,000 tons – triple the level of August last year. Farmers have discovered that sunflower seeds have the highest profit margins of Ukraine’s major commodity crops.
• Concorde Capital’s Alexander Paraschiy writes about “the utter misery of Ukraine’s local stock market. Out of five remaining “blue chips” (components of the Ukrainian Exchange Index), Ukrnafta is on the verge of bankruptcy, and Centrenergo is going to reorganize itself in a way that its shares are unlikely to be freely traded. In light of the recent case of a 41% stake in another UX component, Motor Sich (MSICH UK), being frozen - with the risk of the company's other shares also being banned from trading - we see little chance for the local stock market to become resurrected from the brink of death. That utterly undermines the proposal by some lawmakers to introduce compulsory pension accounts in Ukraine as part of ongoing pension reform."
• To reduce the monopoly power that Russia’s Nord Stream could hold over gas supplies to Europe, the EU wants Ukraine to continue to ship Russian gas west. To play that role, the EU has set a series of steps that Ukraine must adopt to become a modern gas hub: de-monopolize the internal market, launch a new operator for the Gas Transmission System, promote gas production inside Ukraine, move the point of receipt of Russian gas to Ukraine’s eastern border, expand north-south pipelines, and involve international operators in the management of the domestic gas transmission system. These steps were announced by Oleksandr Lisnichenko, oil and gas director of Ukraine’s Energy and Coal Industry Ministry.
• In a boost to the national treasury, the Prosecutor General’s Office has started to confiscate $200 million held by ‘Yanukovych’s mafia.’ The Sosnovsky District Court of Cherkasy recently ruled to confiscate $200 million in bank assets of the entourage of ex-president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych.
• Italy was the top destination for Ukrainians who booked hotel rooms last summer on Booking.com, according to data analysis by Mastercard. The next most popular were: Poland, Germany, Hungary and Spain. Visa free travel is boosting Ukrainian travel to the European Union.
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