• Park Inn by Radisson Kyiv Troyitska opens this weekend, adding 196 mid-priced rooms to Kyiv’s hotel market. Located between the Olympiiskiy Sports Complex and the blue line Metro station of the same name, the hotel was not finished in time for the UEFA Euro 2012 football championships. Now, it will welcome fans for the May 2018 UEFA final match. The hotel has six conference rooms, a third floor restaurant, and underground parking. The hotel joins three Radisson Blus in Ukraine, two in Kyiv and one in Bukovel. The only other Park Inn in Ukraine, in Donetsk, has been ‘de-branded.’
• In a bet that Kyiv office real estate prices are bottoming out, Dragon Capital has acquired two business centers "Prime" and "Eurasia" for a total of 42,563 square meters. Both centers are on Zhylianska Street, within a 15-minute walk from Dragon’s headquarters on Saksahanskoho Street. Key tenants include: Microsoft, PWC, Deloitte, EPAM, Sanofi. Last year Dragon bought Kyiv’s Pyramid shopping center and the warehouses West Gate Logistics and East Gate Logistics. Tomáš Fiala, Dragon Capital's CEO, said: “With this investment, we increased our portfolio to five properties in three main sectors of commercial real estate, the total area of which is more than 205 thousand square meters.”
• Story Lab, a London-based investor, producer and distributor of entertainment content, is launching a branch in Ukraine. Iliya Rzhondkivsky will be managing director, and Pavel Cherepin will be development director. Story Lab global president Michael Iskas said: "Ukraine is a growing market and is becoming a more and more influential part of the CEE region, with a variety of formats and series being produced and sold locally."
• Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman is setting a 5 % GDP growth target for 2018. The draft national budget for 2018 foresees growth of 3%. On Thursday, Groysman told a business conference in Kharkiv: “Our goal is more than 5% of GDP. This is what is achievable, something that will make the development of our economy quite tangible.” National elections are set for March 2019.
• Ukraine’s GDP grew by 2.4% in the first half of 2017, leading the central bank to raise its forecast for the entire year. Dmytro Solohub, a deputy governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, told bank heads on Wednesday: "We can see from current indicators that our forecast of 1.6% GDP growth in 2017 turned out to be somewhat conservative. It will be higher."
• Turboatom, the Kharkiv-based turbine manufacturer, has signed $211 million in contracts, including a $100 million deal with Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB. With Westinghouse, state-controlled Turboatom will work on increasing the efficiency and capacity of Ukraine’s Russia-equipped nuclear power plants. Westinghouse supplies nuclear fuel to Ukrainian plants, increasingly taking market share from Russia. Prime Minister Groysman said after a ceremony in Kharkiv: "We have just signed contracts for 5.5 billion UAH. This means that in the coming years the enterprises will be loaded with work, about 15,000 people will receive wages, and this cycle will involve more than 10 Ukrainian enterprises.”
• Through July, Ukraine has boosted electricity exports by 43% to 3.519 billion kWh, according to the Energy and Coal Industry Ministry's website.
• Taking a new step toward a Israel-Ukraine free trade pact, the two nations have agreed on terms of liberalizing industrial goods markets, according to Natalia Mykolska, Ukraine's Trade Representative. On finishing the latest round of talks in Tel Aviv, she said: “We have made significant efforts to accelerate the conclusion of the Free Trade Agreement in order to deepen economic relations with this country.” Through July, Ukraine’s exports to Israel are up 25.6% year over year, to $345.7 million.
• The next step for Canada’s new Free Trade Agreement with Ukraine will be to cover services and investment, Andriy Shevchenko, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Canada, has told Ukrinform. President Poroshenko visited Ottawa Sept. 22-23.
• Average nominal salaries across Ukraine were 37% higher in August than one year earlier, Gosstat reports. The average monthly wage was UAH 7,114, or $273. The biggest growth was in the West, where six regions recorded wage increases of 40% or more. Inflation is about 16% a year. As for wage disparities, the highest salaries are in Kyiv, $425. The lowest -- $214 – are in Chernivtsi, a largely rural region bordering Romania.
• Salaries of Ukrainian soldiers and border guards are to increase 4.5 times on Jan. 1, Oleh Slobodian, chairman of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine wrote on Facebook.
• On Tuesday, the Rada will debate pension law changes, a key item in the IMF reform checklist.
• Through August, general budget revenue is up 43.4% year over year. Behind the increase is growth in rents on mineral extraction, enterprise profit taxes, and personal income taxes. So far this year, the general budget has a $2.6 billion surplus. Alexander Paraschiy of Concorde Capital writes: “State collections are in good shape.”
• The European Investment Bank board has voted to lend Kharkiv EUR 160 million to extend the Oleksiyivska ‘Green’ subway line. Within six weeks, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is to approve a matching sovereign loan of EUR 160 million for the project. The project will: extend the Green Line 3.5 km towards Kharkiv airport; build two new stations -- Derzhavinska and Odeska; build a metro car depot; and buy 85 passenger cars. The tunnel will be built by open cut technology and use of a tunnel boring machine.
• The Deposit Guarantee Fund is cutting by 37% the asking price for Respublika, the massive unfinished shopping and entertainment center on Kyiv’s Ring Road, at Teremki. A project of fugitive oligarch Dmitry Firtash, Respublika has the potential to be Ukraine’s largest shopping center, with 450 stores, a 22,000 square meter entertainment zone, and parking for 4,000 cars. In the internet auction, scheduled by ProZorro.sale for next Thursday (Oct. 5), bidding will start at UAH 1.57 billion, or $60 million.
• From the front lines with love: Konti, a Donetsk company, plans to produce 200 tons a month of its Bonjour Konti desserts for export to the EU, the US and the CIS. Production resumed this month at its factory in Kostiantynivka, 60 km north of the secessionist zone.
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