- The number of Kyivstar subscribers using mobile roaming in the EU increased by 25% last year, over 2016. Kyivstar, the nation’s largest largest mobile operator with 26.4 million subscribers, said the most popular countries were: Poland, Romania, Turkey, Hungary, Germany, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Russia, Moldova and Belarus. Last year, Kyivstar reduced the cost of roaming mobile services in 34 countries. At home, Kyivstar saw an explosion in use of mobile Internet, up almost four times in 2017, compared to 2016.
- ICU's investment group has increased its assets in management to more than $500 million, ICU managing partner Makar Paseniuk tells Interfax. Over the last five years, the average annual growth of assets under management has been 25%. He said: “The growth is due to the positive investment result, the launch of new products, and M & A transactions.” A major manager of private pension funds, Paseniuk said he looks forward to more business through pension reform and to the creation of a commodity exchange in Ukraine. He said: “Ukraine with its potential is now one of the best countries for investment."
- In its first two years of investigations, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine has returned to the state almost $10 million and prevented the theft of about $75 million, NABU reports. Repayments were the result of court orders and voluntary decisions.
- Japan’s Toshiba Corp. plans to bid to supply turbine generators for use in Energoatom nuclear power plants, Asahi Shimbun newspaper reports. Ukraine’s state-run nuclear power company is building two new nuclear reactors and plans to replace some generators at its 15 working reactors. Toshiba’s nuclear power plant design business collapsed after the 2011 tsunami damaged a nuclear power plant in Fukushima (not designed by Toshiba). In recent months, Toshiba began looking overseas to sell nuclear power equipment.
- Poltava Petroleum Company, a British-Ukrainian joint venture, will restart its drilling program in coming days, pushing several wells down to 3,000 meters, reports Viktor Gladun, acting CEO of JKX and Director of Poltava. The company’s drilling budget for 2018 is about $10 million. In a press release, Gladun praised the Rada’s decision in December to cut rental fees in half for new gas wells. He said: "The new fiscal system of Ukraine for gas-extraction business is one of the most favorable in Europe.”
- Bankrupcty for Zaporizhia Automobile Plant, or ZAZ, is a matter of days, reports UkrAVTO, the owner since 2002. Once Ukraine’s largest car manufacturer, ZAZ sales last year dwindled to 1,673, or 2% of the new cars sold in Ukraine last year. Only a decade earlier, in 2008, ZAZ produced 258,000 cars, or 41 percent of the cars sold in Ukraine that year. A post-Independence joint venture with Daewoo Motors failed when the South Korean car maker folded in 2001. Since then, ZAZ has had on and off assembly partnerships with Chevrolet and China’s Chery Automobile.
- Usage of “counterfeit cement” has dropped in Ukraine, the International Cement Review reports citing Ukrcement, the cement producers association. Defined as “non-factory cement and cement of unknown origin,” counterfeit cement fell from 21.5% in 2014 to 8% in 2017.
- Austria and Ukraine will hold a trade and investment forum in Kyiv in mid-March, during a visit to Ukraine of Austria’s President Alexander van der Bellen. On Thursday, at a press conference in Vienna with van der Bellen, President Poroshenko invited Austrian energy companies to participate in a tender to manage Ukraine’s massive gas transportation system. Although Vienna is only a two-hour flight from Kyiv, this was the first time that Poroshenko visited Austria during his nearly four-year presidency. He said bilateral trade increased by 17% during 2017. Austria last year expanded its honorary consulate in Lviv, a former Habsburg empire city still known to German speakers as Lemberg.
- The U.S. House of Representatives passed the "Ukraine Cyber Security Cooperation Act" by 404 votes, a large margin. The bill aims to promote bilateral cooperation “in the area of cyber security at the time of the continuing efforts to counter Russian hybrid aggression," the US embassy in Ukraine posted on Facebook. The bill is designed to help Ukraine secure government computer networks from cyber intrusions, to cut Ukrainian reliance on Russian information and communications technology, and to facilitate cyber security information sharing. Before becoming a law, the bill needs to pass the Senate and then to be signed by President Trump.
- Addressing a key concern of the IT industry, a high level Intellectual Property Council will develop legal protection of intellectual property in Ukraine. The Council will be led by Stepan Kubiv, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development and Trade.
- To promote biotechnology in Ukraine, the US-Ukraine Foundation is offering $25,000 in prizes to 40 Ukrainian biotech students, researchers and entrepreneurs. Winners will be encouraged to travel to the US to engage with the American biotech community through educational exchanges, conferences and trade shows. The top four winners will receive $2,500. The next four will be invited to participate in a biotech forum in the US, with travel paid by the Foundation. The Foundation’s Biotechnology Initiative was launched last fall thanks to a gift from Irene Hoffman, a Ukrainian-American biotechnology entrepreneur in North Carolina.
- “A top Arab carrier” – presumably Qatar Airways – may start flying this year to Lviv and Kharkiv, Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan told reporters Thursday. Recently back from meetings with Qatar Airways executives in Doha, Omelyan said: “If this air carrier starts transportation from Lviv to Asia and from Kharkiv to Asia, then we will see many Poles who will come to Lviv, because it is nearby and it is cheap to get to Asia, and we will see Belarusians who will fly to Kharkiv.”
- On Sat. Feb. 17, a major event of hotel industry, the International Hospitality Conference, is to draw 300 participants to the InterСontinental Kyiv Hotel. Industry experts will present market statistics and analysis, data on income levels of Ukrainian and European hotels, forecasts for the industry, and information on new services. There will be speakers from Britain, France, Germany, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine. The conference is organized by Hoteliero Hoteliers and Restaurateurs Club.
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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