- Qatar’s QTerminals Signs Concession to Run Ukrainian Port
- Ukraine Pivots to Asia
- Banking Changes
- Naftogaz in Egypt
- Kharkiv Tries Poaching IT Talent
- Agriculture and Employment down
Qatar’s QTerminals signed the concession agreement for the Olvia port in Mykolaiv region, reports Interfax Ukraine. Infrastructure Minister Vladislav Krykliy announced: “QTerminals is to invest about [$124 million] in the development of Olvia port and preserve jobs. The $3 million annual concession payment will be 16 times the port’s profit last year.” QTerminals operates Hamad, the largest commercial port of Qatar, valued at $7 billion
“The successful signing of pilot concessions for the ports of Olvia and Kherson proved that the public-private partnership model can effectively attract private investment in Ukrainian infrastructure,” commented IFC Ukraine chief Jason Pellmar. “Both projects will serve as models for future concessions in various sectors of the Ukrainian economy. This work is fully consistent with our key mission – improve the competitiveness of Ukraine and accelerate its economic growth.”
China strengthens its position as Ukraine’s top trading partner, with $6.6 billion in bilateral trade in the first half of 2020, according to the State Statistics Service. For perspective, bilateral trade between Ukraine and the United States amounted to just $382 million during the same period. China, Russia and Poland are Ukraine’s main export destinations. Ukraine’s top sources of imports are China, Germany and Russia.
Ukraine’s exports to South Korea grew by 89% to $252 million in the first half of 2020, reports the State Statistics Service.
Ukraine’s central bank has established “flexible” guidelines for the restructuring of debt assumed by green energy producers. The National Bank of Ukraine website writes: “The NBU has provided for a possibility for the banks to apply restructuring instruments irrespective of the status of the borrower’s existing leverage.” Kyrylo Shevchenko, the new central bank governor, previously ran UkrGasBank, the nation’s largest lender to solar and wind projects.
The central bank simplifies the banking charter process. The NBU website: “The regulator has reduced the number of documents that must be submitted by banks for approval by managers. Now the process of preparing the appropriate package of documents will be easier and will save time that banks spend on the approval of managers.”
Monetary policy targets an annual inflation rate of 5%, reports Ukrinform, citing the NBU.
Oschadbank plans to auction off non-performing loan portfolios starting in autumn 2020, reports Interfax Ukraine. In the first half of this year this state bank wrote off $800 million in non performing loans. This reduced the non-performing loans in its credit portolio from 55% of total assets at the start of the year, to 48% today. The bank’s NPL targest are: 37% in 2021; 11% in 2022; 7% in 2023.
Naftogaz will develop its assets in Egypt instead of selling them, reports the company’s press service. Last December, the state company announced plans to sell off two oil and gas fields near Alam El Shawish to raise $100 million. Naftogaz Chief Andrei Kobolyev said the SBU opposed the deal. Sergiy Pereloma, first deputy head of Naftogaz “The Management Board and Supervisory Board of Naftogaz have set a clear task for us – the development of assets in Egypt.”
NV magazine publishes its top 100 “most influential” people in Ukraine. The top 5 in chronological order are: President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, tycoon Rinat Akhmetov, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, Presidential Head Andriy Yermak, pro-Russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk.
Kharkiv tries to poach IT specialists from Belarus by offering relocation perks, reports Interfax-Ukraine. “Kharkiv IT-community sincerely empathizes with Belarussian colleagues who are forced to be in unstable conditions and psychological pressure. Kharkiv IT-Cluster understands that in such conditions it is difficult not only for IT-business to maintain stability, but also to live and work,” the organization said.
Epicenter K, a local home improvement chain, is introducing a new browsing format for shoppers. “It is sometimes difficult for a buyer to imagine a complete picture of the future interior according to a single sample, therefore we present expositions in the Ceramics Center in almost the same way as at international exhibitions,” said Julia Korsun, head of the Ceramic Tile department at Epicenter K.
Unemployment is up 67% y-o-y since the beginning of quarantine measures, reports UNIAN citing the State Employment Service. Between March and August 2020, about 432,000 more Ukrainians were officially registered as unemployed. Given the large size of Ukraine’s shadow economy, the real number is likely to be higher.
Agricultural production in the first half of 2020 dipped 11.2% y-o-y, according to the State Statistics Service. Production by industrial scale-enterprises was down by 15.3% while small-scale producers by 4.2%.
- Wind, Solar and Hydrogen: Renewable Investments Are Renewed
- Saakashvili Prepares Radical Simplification of Customs
- With EU Corona Barriers High, UIA Cancels Fall Flights to a Dozen EU Cities
- Swedes Buy Kyiv Computer Game Co.
Norwegian and Austrian investors plan to invest $1 billion in Zaporizhia to build one of Europe’s largest data centers and a hydrogen production plant, next to the Dnipro hydroelectric power plant. H2 LLC signed a memorandum of understanding with Ukrhydroenergo and Energoatom, Mykhailo Fedorov, Digital Transformation Minister, told reporters in Zaporizhia. Two weeks ago in Kyiv, the principals on the project, Andriy Zhovner, Director of H2 LLC, and Walter Komarek, CEO of Yom Capital Ltd., discussed the project with Olha Buslavets, acting Energy Minister.
In Dnipropetrovsk region, River Wind Ukraine plans to build wind and solar power plants with a total capacity of 4 GW on Kakhovka Reservoir, the regional government reports. Billed as Ukraine’s ‘first hybrid renewable energy park,’ the project calls for covering 10% of the reservoir’s 2,155 square kilometers with floating solar panels placed among 155 to 172 wind turbine towers. Financed in part by German investors, the park is to create hydrogen for export to Germany. Project manager Viktor Dinysyuk tells ecotown.ua: “Germany is ready to buy hydrogen from our company.” Construction is to start next year.
Germany’s Nordex will supply 34 wind turbines for the first phase of the Franco-Norwegian wind farm on Lake Syvash, reports Novii Vizit, a regional Kherson news site. The turbine model – N131 / 3900 – is designed by the kind of weak but steady winds found in the shallow lagoons of Syvash, on Crimea’s northern border. Power China is the contractor of the project, a joint venture between Norway’s NBT and France’s Total Eren.
Witkowitz, a Czech manufacturer of machine-building equipment, plans to invest €50 million in Dnipro’s in Yuzhny Machine Building Plant. Based in the coal and steel region of Moravia-Silesia, Witkowitz plans to invest in reconstructing diesel locomotive train engines and in producing hydrogen engines.
In the government’s latest musical chairs, Andriy Pavlovsky is the new acting head of Customs – the third to hold the post in a year. The outgoing head of Customs, Igor Muratov, was fired for the same reason his predecessor lost the post in April – failure to bring in desired tax revenue for the government. With imports down by 20%, Customs is $1.3 billion below target.
A radical simplification of customs is the goal of legal package drawn up this summer by Mikheil Saakashvili’s National Reforms Council. This fall, the Rada is expected to pass the changes, including elevating the head of Customs to Deputy Finance Minister rank.
- Unify duty rates – think flat tax
- Cut the number of documents needed at the border from 26 to two
- Pay higher than average salaries to Customs employees
- Remove the human interface from Customs as much as possible – in a pilot project to automate customs clearance, Kyiv Customs issued over 1,000 export declarations automatically this summer
- Introduce jail terms to for smuggling and trading in contraband
- Clear imported cars according to a transparent formula – according to make, model, year and condition
- The goal: clear trucks at land borders in 15 minutes
Concorde Capital’s Zenon Zawada writes: “Customs is notoriously difficult to deal with, having created enormous lines at border crossings for as long as can be remembered. Saakashvili’s customs proposals have enormous potential for positive change.”
Ukraine reported a record 1,967 new Covid-19 Wednesday morning, says Health Minister Maksym Stepanov. “Covid is gaining momentum,” warns the Minister. “We have seen this tendency for the last month. We crossed the line very quickly with 1,000 ill per day. Now we are approaching 2,000 ill.” In Kyiv, 215 residents, including 13 children, contracted coronavirus in the latest 24-hour reporting period. Mayor Klitschko writes on Facebook: “The number of Covid-19 patients in Kyiv has increased steeply.”
Concorde Capital’s Zenon Zawada writes: “The situation is getting worse, with the authorities remaining remarkably silent (out of concern for losing poll ratings ahead of the October elections). Hospitals will be overwhelmed if new infections continue surfacing in the daily range of 2,000.”
With the EU showing no sign of lowering its corona barriers to Ukrainians, UIA is cancelling its flights this fall to 11 EU cities and to Tbilisi, Georgia. The EU cities are: Budapest, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Larnaca, Naples, Stockholm, Venice, Vienna, Warsaw and Zurich.
SAS resumed flights yesterday between Oslo and Boryspil. Last October, flights resumed after an 8-year break. But this new service lasted only five months, until corona controls forced suspension of the route in March.
Wizz started flights last weekend between Italy and Lviv. The discount airline now flies between Lviv and Rome Ciampino and between Lviv and Milan Malpensa.
SkyUp, Ukraine’s discount airline, starts flights Oct. 25 between Belgrade and Kyiv Boryspil. In Southeast Europe, the carrier currently operates regular flights to Albania’s Tirana, and Bulgaria’s Burgas.
The Cabinet of Ministers is allocating $4 million in an effort to finally complete the long overdue and long over budget Odesa runway project, Prime Minister Shmygal said. Separately, in a long term effort to provide reliable air service to Zakarpattia, budget money also will be allocated to design an airport for Mukachevo. Located on site of an old Soviet air base, the Mukachevo airport would replace the Uzhgorod airport, which borders on Slovakia.
Sweden’s Embracer Group is paying $36 million to acquire Ukraine’s 4A Games. Founded by three Ukrainian developers in Kyiv in 2006, 4A Games has grown to have 150 employees between Kyiv and the company’s current headquarters in Malta. With Embracer, 4A will continue to develop its Metro which take place in post-apocalyptic Russia devastated by a nuclear war. If 4A meets defined performance targets, Embracer commits to paying the 4A principals a maximum of $35 million within five years.
How Ukrainian startups can attract investment from European venture capital firms will be the theme Sept. 2 of a webinar hosted on Zoom by Adam Smith Conferences. With the participation of leading Europeans and Ukrainians in the field, the discussion will revolve around how to “create better incubator and accelerator resources and create a culture of angel investment in Ukraine.” Speakers include: Victoria Tigipko, managing partner at TA Ventures; Kirill Bigai, CEO & Co-founder of Preply.com; and David Gilgur, Founding Partner at Blue Lake Accelerator and Director at VimesVC. The 2-hour session is free, but participants must register in advance.
- Poltava Mines Enough Iron Ore to Build 100 Egyptian Pyramids
- Cargill Loans €250 Million to Ukraine
- Ad Agencies Expand
- Kyiv’s Cautious Corona Curbs
Ferrexpo Poltava Mining marked this month half a billion tons of iron ore concentrate produced since the mine opened 50 years ago. “The first ton of concentrate was produced in 1970, and after 50 years of operation, PGOK produced the 500-millionth one,” said Viktor Lotous, Board Chairman of Poltava GOK. Over the last 20 years, $3 billion has been invested in Poltava Mining, he said. With demand high in China, the mine and processing plant shipped a record 1.1 million tons of iron ore pellets in March. For comparison, 500 million tons is 93 times the weight of Egypt’s largest pyramid, the Great Pyramid of Giza, according to The Heaviest Objects in the World.
Ukraine is to raise up to €250m in two loans from Cargill Financial Services, the Cabinet of Ministers reported. The loans are to be: three years at 5.95% and five years at 6.85%. One year ago, the Finance Ministry conducted a similar operation, borrowing from Cargill at slightly lower rates: €100 million for two years at 5.15% and €150 for five years at 6.25%.
Concorde Capital’s Alexander Paraschiy writes of the new loans: “The conditions under Cargill’s private loan look close to market rates, taking into account that Ukraine’s public six-year debt (EUR-denominated Eurobond maturing in June 2026) trades currently at 6.61% YTM. The loan will allow Ukraine to partially compensate the large foreign currency debt outlays of August-September, which amount to about $3 billion.”
The Finance Ministry raised the equivalent of $91 million in its weekly government bond auction – one quarter the $366 million raised one week earlier. Highlights were: 6-month hryvnia bonds placed at 7.82%; 2-year hryvnia bonds placed at 10.14%; and 8-month dollar bonds placed at 3.39%.
Due to the corona-recession, state budget revenues are $1.4 billion below plan for the first half of this year, Valery Patskan, chairman of the Accounting Chamber, writes on Facebook. About 37% of the drop is due to a fall in customs duties due a 20% drop in imports during the first half.
Watching “the sharp aggravation of the situation in the Republic of Belarus,” President Zelenskiy said after a security council meeting: “The events in this country could significantly affect Ukraine.” But hours earlier, as labor slowdowns spread through Belarus’ two oil refineries, the Cabinet of Ministers reintroduced special duties on imports from Russia of: liquefied gas (3%), diesel (4%), and most types of coal (65%). The duties expire Dec. 31.
Pre-election populism at the Rada. President Zelenskiy vetoed a bill that would extend through the end of next year the moratorium on foreclosures for foreign currency mortgage loans. Why? The way the Rada sponsors worded the bill last month, it would have banned foreclosures under any loan agreement. As written, the bill would have brought “chaos into Ukraine’s entire financial system,” writes Concorde’s Paraschiy.
Banda, a leading Ukrainian ad agency, is opening an office in California, its first office outside of Kyiv. Yaroslav Serdyuk, the agency’s co-founder and strategy director, writes on Facebook from California: “We already have four ongoing projects in the U.S.: designing a brand identity for a promotional campaign of a Hollywood film, brand creation for two investment funds, and we are also preparing to launch a new campaign for a cannabis brand.”
France’s MSL public relations company is opening an office in Kyiv, strengthening parent company Publicis Groupe’s presence in Ukraine. The new office will be led by Olena Sukhanova, a 9-year veteran of Ukrainian marketing agency Tabasco. Last year, MSLGROUP was the only European company in the top10 of the Holmes Report 250 Global Ranking of PR Firms.
The founders of Nova Poshta are investing in Fedoriv Agency’s Kooperativ co-working space at 23 Sichovykh Striltsiv, Kyiv. The investors, Viacheslav Klimov and Volodymyr Popereshniuk, plan to convert the ad agency’s existing space in Arena City into a working hub with places for 100 people.
With Ukraine reporting record levels of new Covid-19 infections – about 1,600 a day for the last week – Kyiv is mildly tightening restrictions this week. Everyone is to carry an ID on the street. Masks are to be worn in ‘indoor public spaces’ and on all public transport. Trams, trolleybuses, buses and minibuses carry only seated passengers. But the metro allows standees. Kyiv tightened restrictions after Covid-19 cases occupied 52% of reserved hospital beds. In the five months of the virus, 2,116 Ukrainians have died of the disease, including 155 in Kyiv.
Schools will open as scheduled Sept. 1, Health Minister Maksym Stepanov promises. Online learning will be mandatory only in the nation’s ‘Red Zones.’ Currently these are three towns and five districts – less than 1% of Ukraine’s 37 million people. In one ‘Red Zone’ city, Lviv region’s Sambir, the town council refused to tighten restrictions after local business owners protested outside the council building.
With local elections coming in two months, politicians have no appetite for a return to the severe lockdown of last spring. Concorde Capital’s Zenon Zawada writes: “The Zelenskiy administration has largely remained silent on the surge in infections. Moreover, no significant quarantine and lockdown restrictions have been introduced. Only in Kyiv and two regions are hospital bed occupancy rates exceeding 50%, indicating that the situation is relatively stable despite the surge.”
Returning to the air after coronavirus travel curbs, UIA had to “start practically from scratch,” to rebuild business, airline president Yevgeny Dykhne writes on Facebook. From mid-June to mid-August, Ukraine’s flag carrier carried 113,345 passengers on 1,238 flights. Last year, the airline carried 4 million passengers.
- Belarus Strikes May Starve Ukraine’s Roadbuilders of Asphalt
- Belarus Eurobonds: Worst Performers of Emerging Markets
- Ukraine’s Garage Sale: Government to Auction Leases for 4,262 Empty Buildings
- A Rebound Coming? Ukraine Buys Back GDP Warrants
For Ukraine, the biggest impact of strikes spreading across Belarus may be a shortage of asphalt for President Zelenskiy’s $3 billion drive to pave 4,000 km of highways this year. Ukraine imports half of its asphalt in heated, liquid form from Belarus. “Objectively, there is nothing to replace Belarusian volumes – and this is half of the market,” Serhiy Kuyun, director of the A-95 Consulting Group, writes on his Facebook page. “Russian supplies are closed, and Ukrainian traders are just mastering imports by sea.”
Ukraine also gets about one third of its diesel and gasoline from Belarus. But the strikes and slowdowns will only result in a ‘hiccup’ for Ukrainian prices, Kuyun predicts. “First, we have been living with a huge surplus of diesel fuel and gasoline for half a year. Traders sell it to zero at best, the market is so overwhelmed. Second, the Ukrainian market is open for supplies from all sides.”
Most of Ukraine’s imports of Belarus petroleum products come from the Belarus’ largest refinery, in Mazyr, on the Pripyat River, 250 km north of Kyiv. According to Argus Media, it appears that Mazyr workers will be on a 3-hour lunchtime strike this week. At Naftan refinery, near Belarus’ northern border with Lithuania, workers are on strike. The refinery which is owned by Belneftekhim, was already shut down for scheduled maintenance.
On the IT front, Ukrainian IT companies are “already accepting individual divisions of IT companies in Belarus as guests,” Olha Kunichak, manager of the European Business Association’s IT Committee tells Interfax-Ukraine. “Ukrainian IT companies are ready to cooperate and help our northern neighbors.” To restrict protesters, the Belarus government has been shutting off the Internet. Ukraine started this summer a fast track program to grant work permits to foreign IT specialists. According to Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation, Ukrainian universities only graduate 15-17,000 IT specialists annually, while the fast-growing sector needs 40,000 a year.
Ukraine is recalling its ambassador from Belarus to protest Lukashenko’s “repeated and groundless” statements against Ukraine, Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said. President Lukashenko’s return to of Russia mercenaries who had fought on the separatist side in the Donbas war, “derailed the trust between our nations and inflicted a heavy blow upon our bilateral relations,” Kuleba said.
Leases for 4,262 empty buildings totaling 2.5 million square meters – or 10 times New York’s Empire State Building – will go up for electronic auction this fall under streamlined rules approved last week by the Cabinet of Ministers, announces Leonid Antonenko of the privatization department of the State Property Fund. The full of list of leases to auctioned by ProZorro.Sales includes: 1,070 offices, 837 warehouses, 566 factories, 61 spaces at airports, and six sites for renewable energy plants at Chornobyl. While much of the vacant space is in the big five cities, there are thousands of square meters up for lease in Cherkasy, Kropyvnytskyi, Mykolaiv, Rivne and Zaporizhia.
Ukraine ranks first in a ranking of 39 Eastern European and developing countries for public procurement transparency. Following 64 indicators for the Transparency Rating, the authors placed Ukraine at the top with a score of 97% and Tajikistan at the bottom with a score of 38%. Poland got 74%, Hungary 67% and the Czech Republic 65%. Russia and Belarus were not studied by the group, the Soros-funded Institute for the Development of Freedom of Information. For the last four years, all government purchases of goods worth more than $7,300 have to go through the ProZorro online tendering system.
Ukraine’s Finance Ministry has repurchased about 10% of outstanding GDP-linked securities, the Finance Ministry announced Friday on the Irish Stock Exchange. Known as GDP warrants, the securities have payouts triggered by two consecutive years of GDP growth. By spending up to $300 million to quietly buy back these securities, the government may be expecting a post-Coronavirus growth bounce next year. After Ukraine’s economy GDP fell 11.4% in Q2, the central bank predicts that economy will shrink by 6% this year and rebound by 4% next year.
Concorde Capital’s Alexander Paraschiy calculates that the purchase was at 90% of par and writes: “This is also a good signal for the holders of GDP warrants, as it indicates MinFin is anticipating large payments under the warrants in the mid-term.”
Timothy Ash writes: “Now most official forecasts have a 4% plus growth for 2021. With the changes at the [central bank], the Zelenskiy administration is going for a pro-growth agenda, which might mean lower rates, cheaper currency, perhaps looser fiscal – note minimum wage hikes.”
In a sign the Corona-recession has eased, Ukraine’s electricity consumption in July was only 0.7% below last year’s level, according to Ukrenergo, the nation’s state power transmission company. Industrial consumption was down 3.2% yoy, but household consumption was up 4.7% and consumption by chemical industries was up 15%.
The central bank expects to receive the second tranche from the IMF by the end of this year, Kyrylo Shevchenko, the new governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, says in an interview with RBK-Ukraina. The IMF approved the 18-month, $5 billion program on June 9, and the first tranche – $2.1 billion – was disbursed three days later. Release of the remaining $2.9 billion depends on four reviews. However, Shevchenko’s predecessor, Yakiv Smoliy quit on July 1, citing pressure from President Zelenskiy. Since then, talk of a September review has faded.
Last week, the central bank bought $223 million, strengthening the hryvnia mildly to UAH 27.3/$1. So far this year, the National Bank of Ukraine has bought $1 billion more than it sold, latest data show. Demand for dollars this summer has been weak as vacationers are largely bottled up inside the country, unable to take advantage of visa-free access to the EU.
Last year, Ukrainians made 26 million trips out of the country, while foreigners made 15 million trips here, according to the State Statistics Service. Tourism accounts for only 1.5% of Ukraine’s GDP, well below Belarus – 6.4% — and Georgia – 26.3%. To generate more inbound tourism, Ukraine has dropped visa requirements for Chinese tourists and allowed Indians, South Africans and Filipinos to apply for visas online. “Simple arithmetic shows the advantages of visa liberalization: the average check of one Chinese tourist in Ukraine is about $950,” says SkyUp, Ukraine’s discount airline. After coronavirus and visa barriers drop, SkyUp mulls launching flights to: China, India, Bahrain Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, UAE, Qatar, Egypt, Lebanon, and Tunisia.
- Ukraine Invites Belarus IT Workers to Move Here
- Exports to China Double
- Chinese State Co. Wants to Build Deepwater Port in Ochakiv, a Historic Chokehold on the Dnipro
- Kharkiv’s Yaroslavsky Offers to Raise $1 billion to Revive City’s Aircraft Plant
- Kolomoisky’s Airplane Shell Game?
Belarus is Ukraine’s fourth largest trading partner, largely a transit country for goods restricted by the Russia-Ukraine trade war. Despite this close economic relationship, President Zelenskiy probably will not travel to Grodno, Belarus on Oct. 8-9, for an annual bilateral trade and investment conference. Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told UA: Ukrainian Radio: “Until the situation in Belarus stabilizes, it would be reckless to announce any visit or initiative.”
Eying Belarus’ dynamic IT industry, Ukraine’s Digital Transformation Minister posted an appeal to Belarus IT companies and specialists to relocate south of the border — to Ukraine. “Belarus has been going through one of the deepest political crises in its history,” Mikhalo Fedorov posts on his Facebook page. He says that, under a new recruitment program, foreign IT specialists can get their Ukraine work permits in 5-7 days – “that’s all.” Noting that this year’s quota is 5,000 “highly qualified IT specialists,” he says the national distribution is: Dnipropetrovsk, Odesa and Lviv regions – 600; Kharkiv – 700; and Kyiv – 2,500.
A near doubling of exports to China reduced Ukraine’s trade deficit to $1.3 billion for the first half of this year, the lowest level in recent years. The State Statistics Service reports exports to China rose 93% yoy to $3 billion, to Poland dropped 14%, to $1.5 billion; and to Russia dropped 17%, to $1.3 billion. Overall, Ukraine exported $22.9 billion worth of goods and imported $24.2 billion. For imports, Ukraine’s imports from China dropped 7%, to $3.6 billion; from Germany dropped 17%, to $2.5 billion; and from Russia dropped 43%, to $2.2 billion.
China’s purchase of ship parts and R&D services for aircraft engines made it the largest buyer of military equipment from UkrOboronProm during the first half of this year. Of $145 million in sales, the biggest buyers from the state defense conglomerate were: China, Turkey, Pakistan, India, Jordan, Vietnam, Azerbaijan, Algeria, Morocco, and Ethiopia. Of all deliveries, 56% went to Asia-Pacific.
China Railway Construction Corporation is talking with Vadym Novinsky’s Smart Holding about building a deep water port at Ochakiv, a Black Sea port 60 km south of Mykolaiv city. A strategic chokepoint controlled by at least 10 different nations over the last 2,000 years, Ochakiv is 3.6 km across from the Kinburn Spit, a position that controls shipping to the mouth of the Dnipro. Smart Holding reports the Chinese are discussing doubling the depth of the harbor, to 15-18 meters, building a 70 km rail spur to Mykolaiv, and building port terminals for grain and iron ore, two products that dominate Ukraine’s trade with China, now its largest trading partner.
Last month, CRCC, China’s second largest state-owned construction company, signed a memorandum of understanding with Ukraine’s Infrastucture Ministry about modernizing Ukraine’s inland waterways. These are the Dnipro, which flows through Kherson, and the Southern Bug, Ukraine’s second longest navigable river, which passes through Mykolaiv. For both projects, the Chinese team was led by Li Junqiang, executive director of CRCC’s subsidiary CRCC14 Overseas Construction and Development Co Ltd., and Wang Chuang, deputy general director of CRCC’s 14th Bureau Group.
Nibulon, the largest shipper on the Dnipro, is building a Black Sea port complex in Ochakiv and restoring the fish canning factory. To supply the cannery with fish, crustaceans and mollusks from the Dnipro-Buzky estuary, Nibulon’s CEO Oleksiy Vadatursky writes on his Facebook page that he is considering building shallow water fishing vessels at Nibulon’s shipyard in Mykolaiv.
Fresh from announcing a deal with Chinese investors to take over Motor Sich, Ukraine’s jet engine factory, Alekander Yaroslavsky offers to raise $1 billion to revive the aviation plant in his home city of Kharkiv. Earlier, Yaroslavsky’s DCH group rebuilt the terminal of Kharkiv airport and revived production at the Kharkiv Tractor Plant. Kharkiv Aircraft Plant has not made a plane since 2014. It largely survives by making spare parts and performing maintenance. It owes $8 million in back salaries. Yaroslavsky offered to raise: $100 million to pay off debts; $500 million to complete airplanes on the production line and to start new ones; and $400 million for design development.
Flights resume between Kyiv and Yerevan, Armenia and between Kyiv and Almaty, Kazakhstan. Air service to the two countries was suspended five months ago as part of the coronavirus travel restrictions.
Do the math: Ihor Kolomoisky’s Windrose airline is receiving its 14th aircraft, a leased ATR-72-600. Within a year, Windrose is to receive another five of these regional turboprops, bringing its fleet to 19. At the same time, Kolomoisky’s UIA is cancelling leases and cancelling orders. Currently. UIA’s fleet is down 33, with 14 in storage. In 2013, Kolomoisky’s airline Aerosvit filed for bankruptcy and several jets were transferred to UIA.
The original English version is from our partner UBN – Ukraine Business News. For more information and news archive, go to: www.ubn.news.
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