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ERNST & YOUNG TO CONDUCT FINANCIAL AUDIT OF UKRZALIZNYTSIA

KYIV. April 14 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ernst & Young Audit Services LLC has won the tender on the procurement of audit services conducted by the State Railway Administration of Ukraine (Ukrzaliznytsia).

This was announced at the presentation of the winner of the tender on Tuesday.

The price offered by the winner was not disclosed at the presentation, while earlier it was reported that Ernst & Young Audit Services had requested UAH 19.8 million (value added tax included) for its services.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (Audit), which requested UAH 25 million (VAT included) for its services, also took part in the tender.

The tender was conducted to receive audit reports on the consolidated financial report of Ukrzaliznytsia for 2014 and 2015, a report on the survey of an interim consolidated report for H1 2015, and to confirm financial coefficients calculated by Ukrzaliznytsia under the conditions of credit agreements signed by the customer with banks-creditors as of December 31, 2015, June 30, 3015 and December 31, 2015.

RADA ADOPTS LAW ON DECENTRALIZATION IN ARCHITECTURAL, CONSTRUCTION CONTROL

KYIV. April 14 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Verkhovna Rada has adopted the law on amendments to some legislative acts concerning the decentralization of authority in state architectural and construction control and the improvement of urban planning legislation.

All in all, 306 deputies voted for law No. 1546.

The law transfers the implementation of state architectural and construction control from the central executive authority to local self-governance and executive authorities, and simplifies certain licensing and conciliation procedures in construction.

The central authorities which currently implement state policy on architectural and construction control will fulfill the functions until they are transferred to local authorities.

The law also improves the procedure of filing a declaration on the implementation of preparatory and construction work, shortens the term of issuing technical conditions in the relevant field, and increases legal responsibility.

UN PLEDGES $300 MLN IN AID TO UKRAINE

KYIV. April 14 (Interfax) – The UN stands ready to provide $300 million in aid to Ukraine, said Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister and Regional Development Minister Hennadiy Zubko.

“The UN has made a preliminary announcement that it could make about $300 million in aid available to Ukraine,” the Regional Development Ministry’s press service quoted Zubko as saying.

Zubko also said that the Ukrainian leadership has drawn up a humanitarian plan for Ukraine, based on the current assessment of funding needed to rehabilitate Donbas, amounting to about $1.5 billion.

“It’s a very serious challenge: one million displaced persons and five million citizens in need of aid. No European country can cope with such a workload on its own today,” he said, adding that the plan has been drafted by the Regional Development Ministry in cooperation with the European Union, UN and World Bank.

Preparations are underway for an international conference on support for Ukraine, to which “many high-level foreign officials have been invited,” he said.

“Very much will depend on how well we will be prepared and what instruments we will propose for solving the problems. We hope many countries will start rallying around the problem facing Central Europe as a whole, not Ukraine alone,” Zubko said.

HEALTH MINISTRY TO PRESENT NEW RELAXED DRUG REGISTRATION PROCEDURE

KYIV. April 14 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Health Ministry of Ukraine has initiated a new procedure on registering drugs and a separate procedure on drugs registered under the relaxed procedure, First Deputy Health Minister Oleksandra Pavlenko has told Interfax-Ukraine.

“In 2014, amendments to the law on drugs were passed and they introduced a relaxed procedure on registering drugs to treat tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, cancer and orphan diseases which were registered in the country with the tough regulatory system. In addition, the law foresaw the limitless registration of drugs after their re-registration. The realization of the requirements [was] delayed, as resolution No. 376 that activates [this policy] was not passed for a long period of time. When we came to the Health Ministry, the resolution was not passed,” she said.

Pavlenko said that when the amendments were drawn up with representatives of pharmaceutical companies the Health Ministry realized that the revised procedure should be approved.

She said that the new procedure will foresee the submission of applications to register drugs directly with the state expert center of the Health Ministry.

Pavlenko said that the Health Ministry will present the draft procedure approved by representatives of pharmaceutical companies for those categories of drugs to which the relaxed procedure will apply.

“We’ve created a separate procedure for checking the materials,” she said.

She also said that the Health Ministry will present the regulations on relations between the Health Ministry and the state expert center when a decision of the Health Ministry on conducting clinical tests has been prepared.

Pavlenko added that the ministry has agreed a list of vitally important drugs covered by state procurement, utilizing budget funds, with international organizations, in particular, the WHO.

ECONOMY MINISTRY TO PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO EXPORTS OF SERVICES

KYIV. April 14 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Economic Development and Trade Ministry of Ukraine will pay special attention to the exports of services from Ukraine, Deputy Minister and Trade Commissioner Natalia Mykolska has said at the forum entitled “Exports: Second Breath.”

“The important direction is adding stress to exports of services. Now it is 17% of total Ukrainian exports. As a rule, in the countries which have a balanced approach to exports of goods and services, it is around 25-30%. The ministry will pay more attention to exporters of services. This is not only the IT sector, these are educational, tourism, medical and other services,” she said.

Mykolska said that infrastructure should be developed and the business climate should be changed so that businesses not conduct transactions via offshore companies.

She said that the ministry will be guided by several key principles, the first being efficiency.

“We have many mechanisms which were little used by business or were not used at all. These are intergovernmental and interagency commissions, negotiations on free trade areas and the attraction of businesses to them. We have mechanisms – visits of our officials to other states. Our task is during each visit of our minister, prime minister or other high-ranking official, they [should] lobby for the trade interests of our country,” she said.

Mykolska added that the ministry will work transparently with small and medium-sized businesses.

SHARE OF UKRAINIAN RISK REINSURANCE IN RUSSIA FALLS FROM 40% TO 18% IN 2014

KYIV. April 14 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The situation on the outward reinsurance market in Ukraine has improved over the past 10 years, with the market becoming more conventional and in 2014 the geographic structure of the reinsurance portfolio was balanced thanks to the reduction of Russia’s share of the market from 40% to 18% with almost no administrative measures being taken, member of the national commission for financial service markets regulation Oleksandr Zaletov said at a first meeting of the investment committee organized by Insurance TOР magazine.

He said that the history of Ukrainian insurance went hand in hand with the reinsurance market in Russia.

Zaletov said that there are three categories of reinsurers who reinsured Ukrainian risks in Russia: subsidiary Russian representatives of global insurers (SCOR, Munich Re), traditional Russian reinsurers (Ingosstrakh, Unity Re, etc), and insurers representing the Russian political elite.

Ukrainian insurers have had time to think and redistribute their flows of outward reinsurance and define new strategic partners, Zaletov said.

“Now the outward reinsurance portfolio is more diversified than it was earlier. The regulator believes that it could revoke rating grants to reinsurance and pegging to the country rating. Today we should return to the international reinsurers rating scale,” he said, adding that the requirements to cover reserves by reinsurers should be toughened to 25%.

According to information presented by the commission at the meeting, 22.9% of Ukrainian risk is reinsured in UK, 21.4% – in Germany, 13.7% in Switzerland, 6.4% in Austria, 3.6% in France, 2% in the United States, 1.7% in the Czech Republic, 1.5% in Poland, 1.1% in Ireland and 1% in Italy.

Zaletov said that the regulator knows reinsurers on the Ukrainian market who receive from UAH 500 million to UAH 1 billion of reinsurance payments and pay nothing on the risks,.

“The regulator plans to toughen checks of these “rural club insurers” registered in the burned down House of Trade Unions in Kyiv. The regulator has several problems with the organization of the checks, as there are no formal signs to initiate the checks under Ukrainian law,” he added.