Toshiba and Kharkiv’s Turboatom to sign cooperation agreement. The Energy and Coal Industry Ministry has announced that the Japanese Embassy has confirmed Toshiba’s readiness to sign a memorandum of understanding next month “to cooperate with Ukraine in modernization of equipment for the nuclear energy sector, in particular, production and modernization of turbines, including for nuclear facilities in third countries.” The details of the agreement have not been disclosed.
Coal imports increase. During the cold first four months of 2018 Ukraine imported 7.4 million tonnes of coal, mainly from Russia (64%, costing $643.6), the U.S. (28.7%, $288.4 million), and Canada (4.8%, $48.4 million), which constituted an increase of 30% % y-o-y. The total costs of the expenditures to cover hard coal and anthracite imported so far in 2018 reached $1.004 billion, as compared to $2.744 billion in 2017, $1.467 billion in 2016, the State Fiscal Service reports.
Coal production falls. Meanwhile, coal output fell by almost 20% in the first quarter of this year. This followed the trend seen in 2017 when production of thermal and coking coal shrank by 14.6% against 2016, to 34.916 million tonnes. Russia’s aggression in the Donbas deprived the country of coal, particularly thermal anthracite and has forced it to import.
Iron exports soar, imports decrease. In Q1 2018 Ukraine boosted exports of steel-making pig iron by 87.7% y- y, to 1.023 million tonnes. In monetary terms this meant an increase by 2.2 times, to $339.946 million. Almost half of the deliveries were to the United States (47.66%), with Italy (19.33%) and Turkey (10.94%) accounting for much of the remainder. In the same period, Ukraine imported 414 tonnes of similar products costing $256,000, as compared to January-April 2017 when the figures were 1,022 tonnes, valued at $522,000. The main suppliers were Russia (67.97% of deliveries in monetary terms), and Germany (32.03%).
Finance Minister attends EBRD Forum in Jordan; meets with World Bank and Jordanian officials.Finance Minister Oleksandr Danyliuk has been in Jordan to attend the 2018 Annual Meeting and Business Forum of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Its theme was “Energizing Economies,” Ukrinform reports. During the working visit the Ukrainian delegation was due to meet with senior World Bank officials, as well as the Jordanian Finance Minister, to discuss bilateral cooperation.
Largest wage debtors “named to be shamed.”The Ministry of Justice has published a list of companies with the biggest wage debts. "Let Ukraine know its ‘record breakers.' The government and the justice ministry intend to put an end to this shameful phenomenon of wage arrears," Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko wrote on Facebook. The largest debtor is Kharkiv State Aircraft Production Enterprise, part of Ukraine's state-run military and industrial concern Ukroboronprom (UAH 74 million, or US$2.8 million), Mykolayiv Shipyard (UAH 30.1 million, $1.1 million), and Football Club Metalist Kharkiv (UAH 28.6 million, $1 million). Since the beginning of 2018, the State Executive Service has recovered UAH 116.2 million ($4.4 million) in arrears related to wage payments, UNIAN reports.
Bank Credit Dnipro registers further losses.According its financial report, in Q1 2018, the bank, which is owned by oligarch Victor Pinchuk, lost UAH 116.924 million, which is double the y-o-y figure. The bank’s assets decreased by 9.36%, to UAH 8.417 billion, while operating costs increased by 4%, to UAH 127.942 million. The bank ranked 21st among 84 operating banks in the country as of 1 January 2018 in terms of total assets (UAH 9.411 billion), according to the National Bank of Ukraine.
Ukraine's central bank registers new “Globus” payment system. It will handle cash and non-cash transactions by individuals and legal entities. The Globus system is the eighteenth international payment system to appear on the Ukrainian market, UNIAN reports. Apple Pay is expected to be next.
Government recognizes need to develop regional airports. Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelyan has acknowledged the need to construct and repair runways at regional airports, which in turn will stimulate investment. Speaking on Channel Five TV, he said: "A lot of airlines are ready to enter Ukrainian regional airports, but… there are no runways, there are no terminals that would accelerate servicing, while this is one of the key issues for low cost air carriers. Therefore we must invest in the runways as a state to get a highly competitive market and business for the state as well.”
Odesa airport prioritized for reconstruction. Minister Omelyan has already announced that the reconstruction of Odesa airport will be completed in 2019. It will include construction of a new runway that can accept heavier aircraft, including the Boeing-767, which, in turn, can double passenger traffic, Interfax-Ukraine reported.Kharkiv International Airport getting busier. The volume of passengers using it in the first four months of 2018 was 20% more than a year ago and totaled 236,900. In April, Wizz Air low cost airline returned to the airport, and Ukrainian International Airlines also began a flight between Kharkiv and Milan.