UKRAINEINVEST ISSUES THE BUSINESS WEEK, A FREE ON-LINE PUBLICATION CONTAINING A WEEKLY SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT BUSINESS NEWS IN UKRAINE, FOR 18 JUNE, 2018.
Major Swedish retail brand H&M opens its first store in Ukraine
Sweden’s H&M coming to Ukraine. The Swedish clothing chain Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M) opens its first store in Ukraine August 2018 in the Lavina Mall trade and entertainment center. “We are extremely happy to finally open our first store in Ukraine! It is a great honor for us to bring style and conscious shopping to Kyiv and inspire fans of fashion for self-expression,” H&M CEO in Ukraine Dominique Fantaccino said, InterfaxUkraine reports.
- Kyivstar launches ‘m-Agri’ App for farmers. Kyivstar mobile communications, with support of the Agricultural Policy and Food Ministry of Ukraine, has launched ‘m-Agri’ mobile application for small farms, the company announced. «The business application will provide farmers with access to best practices, knowledge base, industry price proposals, news, training resources and online consultations, as well as bringing farmers to new markets to sell their products and provide them with opportunities to grow their business,» the operator said. Designed for mobile devices on the Android system, the app is free for Kyivstar users.
- Sugar exports increase. In May Ukrainian producers delivered 54,000 tons of sugar to foreign markets, up by 29% from the previous month, Ukrinform reports. 72% went to Uzbekistan, 11% to the UK, 5% to Azerbaijan and 4% to Moldova. Ukraine’s total sugar exports for nine months up to the end of May 2018 were 433,300 tons, 36% down on the corresponding period the previous year. Plant protection producer diversifies. The Ukravit Group, a large producer of plant protection agents and micro-fertilizers, has expanded into the pharmaceutical and food supplements sphere. It has acquired 30% of the shares of Chemical Elements Ukraine, Interfax Ukraine reports. The latter is a Cherkasy-based producer and exporter of raw materials for the pharmaceutical market, formerly Khimreaktiv. Ukravit will produce biologically pure supplements for export. In 2019, it will start selecting its own hybrids of seeds, as well as work on the creation of bio-pesticides.
- Transparency International urges amending provision on appeal in AntiCorruption Court law. The law on the High Anti-Corruption Court just adopted by parliament, provides that the cases of National Anti Corruption Bureau (NABU), which are already under consideration in the first instance courts, will be completed there, circumventing the AntiCorruption Court. This contradicts previous agreements with international partners, the website of the International Anti-Corruption Organization Transparency International (TI) says. Civil society activist have charged that this will amount to letting those currently charged with corruption off the hook. «The president of Ukraine must immediately submit changes to the law and correct this mistake,» executive director of Transparency International of Ukraine Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, InterfaxUkraine reports.
- Prime Minister: Audit of AMCU must be transparent and impartial. The Prime Minister demands a large-scale and transparent examination of the Antimonopoly Committee’s (AMCU), especially in cases of hampering and blocking of public procurement he said during a meeting with Head of the State Audit Service of Ukraine, Lidiia Havrylova, he added that he continues to receive complaints. She concurred that «This is an essential issue” and reassured him that the AMCU will demonstrate maximum transparency and a constructive attitude,» the government portal reports.
- Yanair launches regular flights between Lviv and Batumi. Yanair has begun direct scheduled flights between Lviv and Batumi, according to avianews.com. From 19 June, there will two flights a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays. The price of a return starts from USD 179 and includes a meal and luggage of up to 23 kg, Ukrinform reports.
- Kyiv – Izmir air route opens. Pegasus Airlines will begin operating 4 weekly flights to the Turkish city of Izmir from Kyiv’s Sikorsky airport, beginning on 9 July, the press service of the airport reported. The cost of the flight Kyiv – Izmir will start from USD 58 (inclusive of all taxes and fees), and Kyiv-Izmir-Kyiv – from USD 115 dollars.
Banking & Finance
- NBU abandons fixed exchange rate. The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has abandoned the fixed exchange rate of the national currency, the hryvnia, it will now be determined by the market, the Governor of the NBU Yakiv Smolii announced. «We are now guided by the currency supply and demand,” he said. According to the Governor, the NBU has systemically bought and sold currency on the market. Thus, international reserves of more than USD 1.2 billion have been purchased on the interbank foreign exchange market since the beginning of the year. “We must increase reserves, but at the same time, we should not prevent the market from determining the hryvnia rate, which corresponds to the state of our economy,» Smolii explained.
- New EBRD EUR 250 million loan to support sustainable energy development. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is preparing the new Ukraine Sustainable Energy Lending Facility (USELF-III) of EUR 250 million, the bank’s website reports. EBRD launched USELF in 2009 to support and finance the first non-large hydropower renewable energy projects in Ukraine. The original USELF expires on 30 June 2018. Since inception, the facility has invested more than EUR 100 million to finance over 150 MW across all renewable energy technologies, Interfax-Ukraine reports.
- European Parliament (EP) approves third Ukraine Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) programme, entailing EUR 1 billion. The package was approved on 13 June by 527 votes, 124 against and 29 abstentions, Interfax-Ukraine reports. The Council of the EU preliminarily approved the financial assistance for Ukraine, which will be used within two years, to support economic stabilisation and a programme of structural reforms. Disbursements are conditional on Ukraine respecting democratic mechanisms and the rule of law. Parliament, Council and Commission agreed a joint statement in the light of unfulfilled conditions and the cancellation of the third instalment of the previous programme. Since May 2014 Ukraine has received EUR 2.81 billion of macrofinancial assistance from the Union.
- Food prices drop. May food and beverage prices drop as compared with April. Buckwheat and vegetables became cheaper (9.5% and 7.3% respectively) along with prices for milk, dairy products, lard, vegetables and fruits. The price of fish and fish products and bread increased slightly keeping consumer prices overall unchanged, the State Statistics Service portal reports.
- Beer market up. The Ukrainian beer market in 2018 will show positive dynamics, AB InBev Efes President Dmytro Shpakov said. “We expect that the market in 2018 will not only stabilize, but will show positive dynamics, given that in 2018 excise tax was not raised,” he told Interfax-Ukraine. He noted that, according to research by Nielsen, beer consumption in Ukraine increased by 1.6% in 2017 against the fall of 7.2% in 2016.
- Spain’s ACCIONA Energia Global invests EUR 54.7 million in solar energy plant near Kyiv. UDP (Kyiv) from the UFuture investment group has agreed a joint project to expand the Dymerka solar power plant (Kyiv region) from 6 MW to 57.6 MW with Spain’s ACCIONA Energia Global, UDP reports. ACCIONA Energia CEO Rafael Mateo said that the Spanish company will start its operations in Ukraine with the support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
- Norwegians invest in solar projects. Norwegian independent solar power producer Scatec Solar ASA (OSL:SSO) has inked deals for two feed-in tariff (FiT)- backed solar projects in Ukraine with a combined capacity of 83 MW. The solar parks, one of 33 MW and one of 50 MW, will be located in the Cherkassy region and require a total investment of EUR 85 million (USD 100m). Local municipalities have agreed to lease land for the developments. The project finance process is being led by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The Norwegian company will provide engineering, procurement and construction, as well as operation and maintenance and asset management services, Renewables Now reports.