Business news from Ukraine

PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE AND BILLIONAIRE LAKSHMI MITTAL DISCUSS DEVELOPMENT OF GREEN METALLURGY

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky met with ArcelorMittal Chairman and CEO Lakshmi Mittal, where the sides discussed the development of green metallurgy and increased investment in Ukraine, taking into account environmental characteristics due to international standards. According to the presidential press service on Wednesday, the company, as the largest foreign investor in Ukraine and one of the largest steel producers in the world, will launch the Steel Billion investment program in our country, which provides for investments of almost $1 billion in the ecological modernization of steel production in Kryvy Rih.
“Investments in the Ukrainian economy and the environment are a positive signal for all investors, to whom we will provide comprehensive support,” Zelensky said.
He also pointed out the need to finish the modernization of coke-chemical, sinter and blast-furnace production as soon as possible, which are the largest pollutants. The company confirmed its readiness to complete this program by the end of 2023.
The meeting was attended by First Assistant to the President Serhiy Shefir; Deputy Heads of the President’s Office Ihor Zhovkva and Yulia Svyrydenko; Director of JSC Helios Rostyslav Shurma; CEO of ArcelorMittal CIS Vijay Goyal; CEO of JSC ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih Mauro Longobardo.

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INSURANCE COMPANY “KRONA” RAISES PREMIUM COLLECTION BY 58%

Insurance company Krona (Kyiv) in 2020 collected UAH 117.5 million of insurance premiums, which is 58.35% more than in the same period a year earlier, the rating agency Expert-Rating reported in materials about updating the company’s financial strength rating on the national scale at the level “uaAA-“. According to its data, part of insurance premiums belonging to reinsurers increased by 85.80%, and their share in the structure of gross premiums by 5.20 percentage points, to 35.23%.
The volume of insurance payments and compensations made by the company in 2020 amounted to UAH 34.530 million, which is 18.55% higher than the volume of payments in 2019. At the same time, the level of payments for the year was 29.38%.
The equity capital of Krona for 2020 increased by 24.44%, to UAH 54.110 million, gross liabilities – by 45.59%, up to UAH 29 million. The volume of cash and cash equivalents increased by 19.10%, to UAH 16.160 million. At the same time, taking into account the high growth rates of gross liabilities, the cash coverage of the insurer’s liabilities decreased by 12.39 percentage points and as of the end of 2020 amounted to 55.74%.
The formed current financial investments of the insurer amounted to UAH 3.830 million. They consisted of deposits in banks with investment grade of credit ratings (49.06% of the investment portfolio) and with government bonds (50.94% of the portfolio).
Over 2020, the insurer’s operating profit amounted to UAH 3.030 million, which was 26% less than in 2019. Net profit increased to UAH 870,000.
According to the statements, as of December 31, 2020, the company complied with the criteria and standards established by law for solvency and capital adequacy, liquidity, profitability, asset quality and the riskiness of operations.

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CORONAVIRUS EPIDEMIC IN UKRAINE STARTS TO DECLINE

Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic in Ukraine is starting to decline, the situation in many regions is stabilizing, Health Minister of Ukraine Maksym Stepanov said.
“We have withstood another jump in the incidence of COVID-19, and gradually the situation started to improve. Now in many regions the situation is stabilizing. We have been observing a decline in incidence in Ukraine within ten days,” he wrote on the Facebook page on Wednesday.
Stepanov said that on the eve of Tuesday, April 13, “was the first day when the number of people discharged from hospitals exceeded the number of hospitalized people by 22.8%.”
He also said that 2,000 fewer patients were admitted to hospitals last week than a week earlier, and several regions, in particular Ivano-Frankivsk and Zakarpattia, left the “red” zone.
At the same time, Stepanov said “some regions, in particular the city of Kyiv, as well as Kyiv, Lviv and Poltava regions, continue to be in the ‘red’ zone of increased epidemic danger and the situation there remains extremely difficult.”
“It is very important to continue adhering to the established restrictions and anti-epidemic measures: wearing masks, using antiseptics, avoiding crowds of people,” the minister said.

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BUSINESS OMBUDSMAN OF UKRAINE NOTES GROWTH IN COMPLAINTS ABOUT TAX ISSUES

In 2020, the Business Ombudsman Council (BOC) received 1,193 complaints about work of the State Tax Service, State Customs Service and State Fiscal Service of Ukraine, which is 120 complaints more than in 2019, and a total of 1,737 complaints were received during the year, which is 91 more than a year ago.
“In 2020, the Business Ombudsman Council received 1737 complaints and completed the investigation of 1159 cases, which is 9% and 2% more than in 2019 respectively,” BOC said in its annual report published on Wednesday.
In total, four subjects of appeals accounted for 85% of business complaints about violations of state bodies: tax issues (64%), actions of law enforcement agencies (12%), actions of state regulators (5%) and customs issues (4%), according to the report.
“Despite the moratorium on most tax audits and reduction of complaints on this subject, the number of business appeals on tax issues increased by 14% in comparison with 2019 (from 981 to 1117 appeals). In particular, the number of complaints about tax invoices suspension tripled (from 95 to 273), by 63% on inclusion in risky taxpayers’ lists (from 127 to 207), by 36% – on non-enforcement of court decisions on tax invoices registration (from 108 to 147),” BOC said.
Complaints were predominantly lodged by Ukrainian companies (89%), mostly small and medium-sized businesses (76%). Traditionally, the most active in terms of the number of complaints were wholesalers (26%), manufacturing (12%), agribusiness (12%), real estate (11%) and individual entrepreneurs (10%) representatives.
In 2020, with the adoption of respective laws and regulations, the following were implemented: a mechanism to inform the company of the reasons for inclusion in the risky taxpayers lists and ways to be removed therefrom was introduced; regular work of the Expert Council on preparation of generalized tax consultations was resumed; renewal of electronic VAT administration system indicators for taxpayers, whose registration was canceled and subsequently renewed, was provided.
Business Ombudsman Marcin Święcicki said that BOC is waiting for a new version of the bill on the business ombudsman.
“A new version of the draft law on the Business Ombudsman Institution, which takes into account all the key comments of MPs and stakeholders, is awaiting registration in the Verkhovna Rada. The law should stabilize the BOC activities, regulate its cooperation with complainants and state bodies, as well as clearly define the rights and responsibilities of the institution,” the press service said, citing Święcicki.

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PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE INVITES JAPANESE PM TO KIEV FOR INDEPENDENCE DAY

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has thanked Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga and invited him to Kiev to celebrate the Independence Day of Ukraine.
“Glad to talk to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. Grateful to Japan for supporting Ukraine’s territorial integrity. The support of G7 & in particular Japan, one of our key partners, is crucial. I’ll be glad to see you in Kyiv at the celebration of Ukraine’s IndependenceDay & at the Crimean Platform summit,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

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UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT PASSES AT FIRST READING BILL ON ISSUE OF UAH 20 BLN GOVERNMENT BONDS FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF AFFORDABLE MORTGAGE PROGRAM

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (Parliament) adopted at first reading bill No. 5308, which proposes the issue of securities for UAH 20 billion for the implementation of the Affordable Mortgage president’s program.
The bill in the first reading was supported by 263 MPs. “The bill provides that the Ministry of Finance shall issue government domestic loan bonds… with the subsequent acquisition of shares in state ownership in exchange for the shares of the additional issue of Ukrainian Financial Housing Company to provide citizens with housing and resolve issues of financial and economic activities of the company in connection with the accession to the State Mortgage Institution,” one of the authors of the bill, a member of the Rada budget committee Lesia Zaburanna said from the rostrum of parliament.
Currently, the activities of the State Mortgage Institution are unprofitable, she added.
According to the lawmaker, the adoption of this bill will allow continuing the implementation of existing state programs and will allow in the short term providing about 8,000 mortgage loans for the purchase of housing. It would be possible to buy 12,000 apartments for subsequent transfer to financial leasing.

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