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  • Sea Cargo Up 19%
  • Early Grain Exports Point to Another Record Year
  • Dnipro River Cargo Up 26%
  • Landlocked Belarus to Build River Port to Export Through Ukraine
  • Air Traffic up 19%
  • Hotshot Lviv Sees Traffic Jump 38%, Direct Flights to 30 European Cities
  • Dnipro Airport Rebuild Starts Next Year

Ships and planes give insights into the real economy. Last week, the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, estimated that 47% of Ukraine’s economic activity is off the books. Today’s nine-month transportation numbers tell us what is really going on out there.

Shipping:

Through September, Ukraine’s seaports handled 19.4% more cargo than during the same 9-month period last year. Grain and ore accounted for slightly more than half of the 114 million tons. Grain was up 37%. Ore was up 32%. Containers were up 21%, to 713,000 according to the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority.

Reflecting the dominance of unprocessed commodities in exports, Ukraine exported almost five times as many tons as it imported – 86.3 million tons versus 18.6 million tons. Although exports are up 23.5%, and imports are up only 13%, Ukraine still runs a trade deficit in goods.

Four Black Sea ports handle 87% of the cargo. Growing above the national 19% average were the top three: Pivdennii (Yuzhne) +28%; Mykolaiv +20%; and Chornomorsk +24%. Lagging was Odesa +17.5%. With ever-larger vessels docking at Ukraine’s ports, the number of ships was virtually flat, rising by less than one percent. Despite pressure from Russian Coast Guard ships on the Azov, Mariupol managed to reverse its 2018 cargo decline. Through September, cargo handling increased by 2.3%, to 4.6 million tons.

Since the July 1 start of the marketing year, Ukraine has exported 15 million tons of grain, 36% more than during the same period last year. Similarly, oil seed exports are up by 66% during the same period, to 3 million tons, according to the Ukraine’s Service for Food Safety and Consumer Protection. Last week, Dmitry Sologub, a deputy central bank governor, predicted the overall grain harvest could hit 80 million tons this year, up 14% over last year’s record 70 million tons.

Dnipro River cargo is up 26.4% through September, hitting 8.3 million tons, reports the Sea Ports Authority. Reflecting the use of larger barges, the number of river trips is down 32%, to 8,644. Grain cargo doubled, to 3.4 million tons. Metals were up 27%, to 1.2 million tons. Last year, 10 million tons of cargo moved on the Dnipro. During the late Soviet era, 60 million tons moved on the river. The Rada is debating an ‘Inland Waterways’ bill designed to facilitate public and private investment to allow for 24-hour shipping by modernizing locks, buying buoys, dredging the main channel.

Landlocked Belarus is investing $20 million to construct its outlet to the sea – through Ukraine. Belarus has contracted Beltopenergo, a Minsk company, to build the first stage of an international port at the southern Gomel region village of Nizhniy Zhary, reports Alexey Avramenko, Belarus’ Transport, and Communications Minister. Parallel to construction next spring, Ukraine will conduct a $3.2 million dredging project to ensure a minimum navigable depth from Belarus to the Kyiv Sea, says Viktor Dovhan, an international advisor to Ukraine’s Infrastructure Ministry.

River barges will carry cargo 1,000 km from Belarus to Kherson, where the cargo will be reloaded on seagoing vessels. Dovhan estimates that by 2025 this will add 7 million tons a year to cargo handling at Kherson port. In preparation, Belarusian Shipping Company is modernizing its fleet to allow two-barge caravans – carrying a total of 3,000 tons – to make the Gomel-Kherson voyage, company manager Sergey Zubko tells Ports of Ukraine.

AIR 

Through September, traffic is up 22% at Kyiv Boryspil, compared to the same period last year. The nation’s busiest airport handled 11.6 million passengers, about 43,000 a day.  Charter passengers accounted for 24%. Transfer passengers accounted for 22%, down slightly from last year. Through August, traffic at Ukraine’s top 10 airports was up by 19.4%, to 16 million. To cope with growth, Boryspil starts next year a 5-year, $300 million expansion plan.

By contrast, traffic at Kyiv Sikorsky was down 7% through September, to 1.9 million passengers. Traffic was hit by Boryspil’s opening last spring of Terminal F, which attracted Ryanair, SkyUp, Yanair, and other discount airlines. In addition, the airport, located in Kyiv’s right bank Zhulyany district, was closed for 10 days in September for repairs of its sole runway.

Lviv is Ukraine’s fastest-growing major airport, recording 38% growth through September. Of the 1.7 million passengers, 91% flew internationally. In 10 days, Wizz Air starts flights from Lviv to Lanarca. Next spring, Wizz Air and Ryanair start flights from Lviv to Budapest. By the end of next month, Lviv will have direct scheduled flights to 32 cities, almost all in the EU.

This week, SkyUp becomes the first airline to base an aircraft in Lviv. The move comes as Ukraine’s discount airline, opens six routes in six weeks from Lviv: Kharkiv, Kyiv Boryspil, Paris Beauvais, Prague, Sharjah, and Tel Aviv. Tatyana Romanovska, Lviv airport director, said Thursday: “This is a big event, because basing airplanes is a new qualitative stage in the development of the airport and a logical step, given the performance indicators that we have been achieving lately.” In the first nine months of this year, SkyUp carried 1.2 million passengers. Eighteen months after launch, SkyUp ranks in 6th in the OAG ranking of Ukraine routes – 9,279 seats each week.

By 2024, the Zelenskiy government aims to increase air passenger traffic by 60%, to 32 million a year, according to a plan approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. Extending the current air traffic revolution, the goal is to more than triple the discount share of the market, from 18% today to 63% in 2024. The government “said that the development of passenger aviation in Ukraine would ‘increase the mobility of the population and have a positive impact on labor productivity,” reports Routes Online in an article headlined: “Ukraine Eyes Further LCC Growth.” Perhaps following the political winds, the Kyiv Court of Appeal recently canceled a previous decision to suspend the license of SkyUp.

Italy’s Ernest Airlines opens its representative office today in Kyiv’s Podil neighborhood. Next year, the airline may base two jets in Ukraine. Catering largely to Ukrainian tourists and workers in Italy, the discount airline has built-in two years a network of 13 Ukraine routes – Kyiv Sikorsky to Bergamo, Bologna, Genoa, Milan Malpensa, Naples, and Rome; from Lviv to Bergamo, Naples, Rome, and Venice; from Kharkiv to Milan and Rome, and from Odesa to Rome.

Zaporizhia airport reopens last Tuesday, Its new runway is to be completed in time to handle a flood of visitors for President Zelenskiy’s Oct. 29 Donbas conference in Mariupol. A newly rebuilt highway connects the Zaporizhia with Mariupol, Ukraine’s largest port on the Azov. Within weeks, Zaporizhia is to inaugurate a new steel and glass passenger terminal, built to handle 1 million passengers a year. With Zaporizhia positioning itself as the main airport for Ukraine’s southeast, SkyUp starts flights in the coming days from there to Kyiv Boryspil, Sharjah and Tel Aviv. With 10 destinations planned by next June, SkyUp mulls stationing a jet in Zaporizhia. 

Zaporizhia will further benefit from the 2020-2021 closure of Dnipro airport, 100 km to the north. On Thursday, Dnipro Mayor Boris Filatov announced that the Rada Budget Committee has allocated $40 million to start rebuilding the Soviet-era landing strip. Last week Zelenkiy told reporters: “We will build an airport in Dnipro in 2020. Nothing is postponed.”

As part of the two-year, $110 million total rebuilds, Alexander Yaroslavsky, head of Kharkiv’s DCH Group, has promised to rebuild the Dnipro air terminal. Earlier, Yaroslavsky rebuilt and promoted Kharkiv airport. This regional success story recently handled its one-millionth passenger for 2019. By contrast, by August, Dnipro handled one quarter fewer passengers than Zaporizhia’s 330,000. Dnipro has one third more inhabitants than its southern rival.

  • Green Light: Centrenergo to be First Big Privatization
  • Rada Cuts Supreme Court in Half
  • UZ Prepares for IPO
  • More Trains to Boryspil Airport
  • Next Year: Wifi on Intercity Trains, Surf the Net Across the Nation 

Opening the way for multi-billion dollar privatization, an appeals court has unblocked the auction of Centrenergo, electricity supplier to Kharkiv, Kyiv and Donetsk regions. With three thermal power plants – Uglegorska, Zmievska, and TripolskaCentrenergo accounts for 14% of Ukraine’s electricity generating capacity, almost four times the total wind and solar installed capacity in Ukraine.

Centrenergo is 78.3% owned by the state. Last December, a tender for its sale was canceled by Kyiv Commercial Court. Dmitry Sennichenko, the new head of the State Property Fund, writes on Facebook of Wednesday’s decision by the Northern Economic Court of Appeal: “The goal of the Fund is transparent, honest, even exemplary privatization of Centrenergo.”

Two weeks after the Rada abolished a list of state companies exempt from privatization, the Yevhen Kravtsov, CEO of the state railroad, announced Wednesday that he is preparing Ukrzaliznytsia for an IPO, the first public sale of company’s shares. Preparation for the IPO will take at least one year and would run parallel to the planned division of the railroad into three divisions – freight, passengers, and infrastructure. With 20,000 km of track, Ukrzaliznytsia is considered the sixth largest railroad in the world.

Noting that he is already purging inefficient mid-level managers, Kravtsov tells UNIAN that companies that prepared for IPOs “always increased their efficiency, improved management processes, improved the quality of services, and also reduced corruption.” Speaking of the IPO, he said: “This makes it possible to raise funds at the highest rate…Depending on the package, it can go from three to eight billion dollars.”

In the latest move to trim government, the Cabinet has ordered the nation’s three largest state companies – the railroad, the postal service, and the gas company – to conduct nationwide inventories of excess or non-core properties. Then, Ukrzaliznytsia, Ukrposhta, and Naftogaz are to sell or rent the properties through the ProZorro.Sales electronic auction platform. In the first step, Ukrzaliznytsia started to lease the property through ProZorro in June. The railroad hopes to earn $250,000 a year in rent.

In one step toward changing the courts, the Rada gave final approval Wednesday to a judicial reform bill that cuts the Supreme Court in half, to 100 judges. The bill also changes the judge selection and purging process.

In the last year, PrivatBank drew 1.5 million new customers, making for a total of 22 million, Petr Krumhanzl, board chair of PrivatBank, told NV Business. In a nation of 40 million people, PrivatBank is the nation’s largest bank and third-largest taxpayer, he said. In the first nine months of 2019, the bank recorded $1.1 billion in profit, 60% of the profits of Ukraine’s entire banking system, said Krumhanzl. Kolomoisky’s lawyers seek to persuade Ukrainian judges that he should be compensated for the nationalization of the bank in Dec. 2016.

Seeking to learn from PrivatBank’s highly successful ‘Privat 24’ mobile app, Mikhail Fedorov, the new Minister of Digital Transformation, has signed a cooperation agreement with the bank. Fedorov’s task is to build ‘the state in the smartphone’ digitizing as many documents as possible, including driver licenses, student ID’s and birth certificates.

By the end of the year, train service from Kyiv to Boryspil Airport will be improved by the addition of a new train and the opening of a stop at Vydubychi, on the Green metro line. With passengers often standing at peak hours for the 35-minute ride to the airport, the train carries more than 3,000 passengers a train, about 10% of the non-transit passengers using Ukraine’s busiest airport.

Intercity trains are to offer Wi-Fi internet access next year, Ukrzaliznytsia CEO Kravtsov told reporters Wednesday at Rail Expo 2019 in Kyiv. This high speed, Czech- and South Korean-made trains go from Kyiv to Dnipro, Kharkiv, Kostiantynivka, Kryvy Rih, Lviv, Odesa, Pokrovsk, Ternopil Zaporizhia, and Przemysl, Poland. Intercity service is to be expanded next year to Kherson.

Oleksandra Klitina is the new deputy infrastructure minister working to get new electric trains for Dnipro and Zaporizhia regions.

  • London Court Whacks Kolomoisky
  • Econ Minister: 90% of State Companies Should be Sold
  • Low Inflation to Trigger Interest Rate Cut Next Week
  • Ryanair Aims to Expand Ukraine Routes by 72%
  • From Kherson: first Ryanair, then Rockets?

In a case closely watched by the IMF and Western investors, a London appeals court gave the green light Tuesday to Ukraine’s government to sue Igor Kolomoisky and his main business partner for $3 billion. Kolomoisky is appealing the decision of the Court of Appeal in London and Wales. But, lawyers say the U.K. Supreme Court rarely overturns decisions of the Appeals court. Without setting a trial date, the Appeals court told Kolomoisky and his business partner, Gennadiy Boholyubov, to prepare their defense by the end of next month.

Appeals Court Justice Fancourt also reinstated a worldwide freeze on $2.6 billion in the pair’s assets. PrivatBank, under government control since Dec. 2016, charges that the tycoons misappropriated funds by funneling loans through firms they controlled including three companies in the U.K.

“There is no difficulty with the Bank’s proving a good arguable case of a fraudulent scheme,” Justice Timothy Fancourt wrote in his 74-page ruling. “While it is not part of my function at this stage to make final factual findings about the scheme, the evidence is nevertheless strongly indicative of an elaborate fraud perpetrated by someone, allied to an attempt to conceal from any auditor or regulator the existence of bad debts on the Bank’s books, and money laundering on a vast scale.”

The new management of PrivatBank also is suing Kolomoisky and Boholyubov in Cyprus and in Delaware.For the former owners, going to a foreign court is very risky,” Peter Krumhansl, a Czech who chairs PrivatBank’s board since 2018, tells NV Business. “A foreign court is usually independent and makes decisions in accordance with the law. This is likely to be a decision not in their favor. Therefore, they prefer to go to the Ukrainian courts, where more than 400 cases are pending today. On the contrary, we go to foreign jurisdictions.”

Over the last six months, Ukrainian judges have ruled in favor of Kolomoisky, one of Ukraine’s richest men. A Kyiv Economic Court judge has repeatedly postponed a ruling the legality of the privatization and may be waiting for the end of the IMF annual meeting in Washington this week. On Friday, the Kyiv Post reported that two defense lawyers say the judge in Kyiv’s Economic Court, Liudmila Shkurdova, “is biased in favor of the billionaire oligarch.” In 2017, the IMF supported the injection of $5.5 billion to save PrivatBank, the nation’s largest bank. Now, IMF makes clear that a return of the bank to Kolomoisky would kill prospects of IMF aid.

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Seven top Ukrainian officials are in Washington this week to argue Ukraine’s case for an IMF program at the annual joint meeting of the IMF and World Bank. The team includes National Bank Governor Yakiv Smoliy, Finance Minister Oksana Markarova, and Timofei Milovanov,  Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture. Last month, an IMF team spent two weeks in Kyiv but was unable to reach a staff-level agreement due to the possibility of a return of PrivatBank to Kolomoisky.

More than 90% of Ukraine’s 3,643 state companies should be privatized, Economy Minister Milovanov writes on Facebook. Of the total, only 200 to 300 should be kept under state control. Of the rest, one third should be declared bankrupt. The rest should be sold as potentially viable companies.

The IMF forecasts Ukraine’s GDP will grow by 3% this year and by 3% next year. By comparison, of the 27 nations of the IMF’s ‘Advanced Europe’ area, only two are to grow more than 3% in 2020: Ireland – 3.5%; and Malta – 4.3%. In the 10 nations of ‘Emerging and Developing Europe,’ Ukraine would be in 5th place – behind Serbia – 4%; Romania -3.5%; Hungary – 3.3%; and Bulgaria – 3 .2%.

Lower inflation in September is expected to prompt the central bank to cut the prime rate. In September, the consumer price index increased by .07%, month over month – less than half the 1.9% increase one year earlier. With inflation expected to end the year at 7-7.5%, 13 out of 15 economists polled by Reuters predict a rate cut by the Oct. 24 meeting of the National Bank of Ukraine board. While most economists predict a half a percentage point cut, Oleksiy Blinov of Alfa-Ukraine predicts a full percentage point cut, bringing prime to 15.5%.

Despite low demand, the Finance Ministry managed to slightly reduce yields on short term government bonds auctioned Tuesday. The government sold the dollar equivalent of $46 million in bonds, barely half the volume sold last week, then largely for 3-year bonds. The new rates are 3-month bonds – 15.35%; 12-month bonds – 15%; and 2-year bonds – 15.1%. Last week, the National Bank of Ukraine resumed buying hard currency, buying $134.5 million. Since the start of the year, the central bank purchased almost $3.9 billion.

Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline, plans to carry one third more passengers on its Ukraine routes next year, hitting 2.1 million. To reach this goal, the discount airline plans to increase its routes by 72%, adding 18 routes to its current 25. Aimed at migrant workers, most of the new flights will go to Poland and Germany. In two weeks, Ryanair starts flights from Kharkiv to Poznan and Vilnius. From Ukraine, Ryanair flies from Kyiv Boryspil, Kharkiv, Lviv, and Odesa.

On Dec. 21, Ryanair starts service from Kherson, its fifth airport in Ukraine. Ryanair will fly two times a week to Krakow, Poland, David O’Brien, the airline’s commercial director, said on a visit to Kyiv. Kherson is Ukraine’s eighth busiest airport, but aviation executives say the airport can triple its passenger catchment population by attracting travelers from Crimea. Most of Crimea’s 2.2 million people live about three hours by car from Kherson. Due to sanctions, Crimea’s Simferopol airport only has flights to Russia.

To boost domestic aviation in Ukraine, Europe’s largest nation, the government plans to introduce a bill to abolish value-added tax on domestic flights by the end of this year, Infrastructure Minister Vladislav Krykliy said at a press conference with O’Brien. The VAT tax artificially suppresses domestic air travel, complains airline executives. There is no VAT on international tickets.

Space Logistics Ukraine, a Dnipro-based group, is studying building a $50 million rocket launching ‘spaceport’ in southern Ukraine, probably Kherson, group founder Dmitriy Legeza, tells Liga.net. Two weeks ago, the Rada easily approved a law abolishing state licensing for space activities and introducing licensing for testing, launch, navigation, and return of spacecraft. During the Soviet era, much of the brains and factories for the Soviet rocket industry were located in Dnipro, then a closed city. 

  • IMF Negotiations Ongoing
  • No Land for Foreigners Until 2024
  • Ukrainians Reach for Non-alcoholic Beer
  • Kernel places $300 Million in Eurobonds
  • Alfa-Bank Launches Next-Gen Cards
  • Poultry and Pork Exports Up
  • Electric Trains for Zaporizhia and Dnipro
  • New Head of Odesa Region

Negotiations with the International Monetary Fund are still ongoing, reports Minister of Economic Development, Trade, and Agriculture Timofei Milovanov. He rejected media speculation that talks ceased after the IMF left in September without announcing a draft memorandum. “The negotiations have not been suspended. This week the finance minister, I and the NBU board chairman will meet with the IMF in Washington,” writes Milovanov. Last week, First Deputy Chairman of the National Bank Yekaterina Rozhkova said that chances for a new IMF program for Ukraine are “very high.”

Revised bill to ban the selling of agricultural land to companies whose ultimate beneficiaries are foreigners until 2024. Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk writes on Facebook “At the last meeting, the president, along with key agrarian associations and farmers, listened to all the comments and suggestions. A revised model is presented – the parliamentary committee on agrarian policy created an integrated draft law on the basis of the government bill,” he said. The ban does not apply to foreigners who have been working in Ukraine for more than three years and pay taxes to the state budget.

Kernel places $300 million worth of 5-year Eurobonds with a coupon rate of 6.5%, Interfax Ukraine reports, citing the company. JP Morgan and ING Bank were the underwriters. In January 2017, Kernel placed Eurobonds worth $500 million. Kernel is the world’s largest producer of sunflower oil and its shares are traded on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

Ukrainians are drinking more and more non-alcoholic beer, reports Novoye Vremya, citing a local consulting firm. In the first eight months of 2019, sales of non-alcoholic beer increased by 11.3% when compared to the same period last year, and amounted to $10 million. “The growth rate of the non-alcoholic beer market is ahead of the alcoholic beer market, which is also growing, but by 2.2%,” says AB InBev Efes Ukraine Marketing Director Anna Rudenko. Beer companies including Carlsberg Ukraine and Umanpivo are also introducing new non-alcoholic products that cater to modern tastes. Between 2016 and 2018, the production of non-alcoholic beer grew by 21.5%, according to Ukraine’s State Statistics Service.

Grammarly, a tech company started by three Ukrainians in 2009, has received a “unicorn” valuation of over $1 billion. The company has a head office in San Francisco and smaller offices in Kyiv and New York. Grammarly is an artificial intelligence-powered digital writing tool that includes grammar checking, spell checking, and plagiarism detection services.

Alfa-Bank launches numberless credit cards, according to a Facebook post by Advisor Arkadiy Vershebenyuk. Starting from October 15, „Alfa-Bank will be the first in Ukraine to start issuing unique payment cards without personal details. The card number, expiration date and CVV code will be displayed only in the mobile application, which will make the card as safe as possible,” he said.

Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhia regions to get new electric trains, according to the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Oleksandr Klitin. The purchases will be made using funds from the European Investment Bank. “A meeting was held with representatives of the European Investment Bank on the implementation of a pilot project for suburban rail transportation in the Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhia regions. We plan to purchase new trains and optimize routes,” he said.

Poultry exports increased by 24.5% in the first nine months of 2019, while pork exports saw a 6% boost, reports the State Fiscal Service. Revenue from these exports reached $443 million.

Andriy Yarmak appointed as Acting Director of the State Enterprise for Air Traffic Services of Ukraine (UkSATSE), reports the Center for Transportation Strategies. Last week, the Cabinet of Ministers dismissed Alexandr Dotsenko from the post. A state-owned enterprise, UKSATE provides air traffic control, management of airspace, and radio communications. Earlier in August, NABU agents searched UkSATSE over possible corruption after $16 million was sent to the company’s account at PJSC Platinum Bank, a bank later declared insolvent.

Businessman Maxim Kutsyi to be new head of the Odessa Regional State Administration. Kutsyi, 36, is the ultimate beneficiary of several companies in construction and media. “My doors will always be open to everyone: the military, representatives of public organizations, religious denominations, ordinary citizens. Let’s make our country better together. Let’s work together,” Kutsyi said.

  • Zelenskiy Signs New Investment Laws
  • Shadow Economy Half of GDP
  • E-residence Plus Digital State
  • Motor Sich is the National Interest
  • Ukrposhta Bids for Bankin
  • Small Coins to Disappear
  • Debt-to-GDP Ratio Drops
  • Boryspil Traffic Booms
  • SkyUp to Sri Lanka 

Zelenskiy signed new laws promoting investment and abolishing some taxes on investment. The legislation is aimed at closing loopholes, introducing new legal instruments that protect property rights, and eliminating taxes on investment in infrastructure.  Reports the presidential press service: “The laws aim to improve the investment climate in our country in specific areas, which were chosen based on a comprehensive assessment of the compliance of Ukrainian legislation with the best world practices described by the World Bank Group in its Doing Business rating methodology.”

Ukraine’s shadow economy was the equivalent of 47.2% of the official GDP in 2018, 1.5% higher than in 2017, according to EU-backed research published by Kyiv International Institute of Sociology. The country’s retail and construction industries the biggest culprits. Tax evasion continued to be pervasive, with the main schemes being underreporting business income, hiding the real number of employees, and under-the-table pay. The study suggests one third of company employees in 2018 were not officially employed.

Ukraine’s national bank forecasts a reduction in the debt to GDP ratio to 55%, Dmytro Sologub, deputy governor of the National Bank of Ukraine tells RBC-Ukraine. “Due to the strengthening of the hryvnia this year, the ratio of government debt to GDP will be less than 55%. In a country where it was more than 80%.”

The government will implement an “electronic residence” system, announces Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov. Zelenskiys administration is working on digitizing all current services for citizen and business services. There is to be high speed mobile internet availability in all parts of the country. “We understand that the development of the digital state requires access to the Internet. There are different data on access. We are now developing a single map of the whole country to properly allocate resources, understand where the problem really exists,” said Fedorov. A Digital Transformation Committee has been set up in Parliament. Each ministry has a deputy minister for digitization.

Keeping Motor Sich up and running is in Ukraine’s national interest, Zelenskiy said during Thursday’s press marathon. In August, the Washington warned Kyiv about selling Motor Sich, the Zaporizhia-based aircraft engine manufacturer, to China. “I know that both the Antimonopoly Committee and Abromavičius at Ukroboronprom and law enforcement are investigating this matter…. Our priority is to keep our company, to study, and then resolve the issue with our Chinese partners … We must keep the company, no matter how many shares we have, to keep Motor Sich in Zaporizhia because it is a real threat to leave more than 20,000 people without jobs.”

Ukrposhta’s bid for a limited banking license is “in progress,” company Director-General Ihor Smelyansky tells Interfax Ukraine. Ukrposhta hopes to offer banking services to large swathes of the population without convenient access. With over 11,000 branches, the state-owned enterprise offers post services in all of Ukraine’s regions. The National Bank is opposed, arguing that there are already four large state-owned banks in the market.

Naftogaz executive director Yuriy Vitrenko says his experience will help him in his additional post on the Ukroboronprom Supervisory Board. He writes on Facebook: “Appointing me as a member of the supervisory board of Ukroboronprom gives me a task … my experience in corporate reform and time at Naftogaz, my knowledge and skills can be helpful in accomplishing this task.”

The Council of Europe and the EU Delegation to Ukraine are implementing a €500,000 joint anti-money laundering program, reports Ukrinform. The project will be implemented between 2019 and 2022 and seeks to strengthen Ukraine’s institutional capabilities and regulatory framework in line with Council of Europe and other international standards.

Over 5 million small-denomination coins will be withdrawn from circulation in October, reports the National Bank. Physical cash hand decreased by 2.3% in 2019 as advanced non-cash payments become more popular in Ukraine.

Nova Poshta launches commercial air delivery service, the company reports. A standard package will be charged 30 UAH per kilogram, about $1.25. Packages have a maximum weight limit of 30 kilograms. The new service is aimed at providing speedy delivery service between western and eastern Ukraine.

Kyiv’s Boryspil Airport saw 24.2% more traffic in August 2019, making it the second fastest-growing airport in Europe, only behind Milan Malpensa, reports  on Facebook Georgy Zubko, Boryspil’s director for commercial and strategic development.

Ukrainian budget carrier SkyUp Airlines launches seasonal flights from Kyiv to Colombo, Sri Lanka, with a refueling stop in the UAE. Flights will run from Oct. 27 through March.

SkyUp’s fleet grows to nine aircraft after another jet was delivered by Boeing, reports the Center for Transportation Strategies, citing information from co-owner Alexander Alba. “Now the 9th SkyUp plane — a Boeing 737-900 ER, tail number UR-SQI — is flying from London to Ukraine. This is the largest product in Boeing’s next generation family, and it has 215 seats in our configuration.” 

The original English version is from our partner UBN – Ukraine Business News. For more information and news archive, go to: www.ubn.news.