Business news from Ukraine

UKRAINIAN EXPORT OF BERRIES IS $66.5 MLN IN 2017

Exports of soft berries from Ukraine, mostly bilberries and blueberries (61%), in 2017 in monetary terms amounted to $66.5 million, according to the Ukrainian Horticultural Association. “Currently 44% of all exports in terms of volume and 47% in monetary terms fall on forest fresh and frozen bilberry,” it said. At the same time, association analysts expect that the volume of export of this berry will decrease as will its share in exports.
“The main reason is that the number of people who collect forest berries is declining, because many of them left for the EU for seasonal earnings due to the visa-free regime,” the experts explained.
According to the report, about 6% of exports of berries in monetary and quantity terms fall on wild forest blackberry. In general, “wild” berries account for about 50% of all exports in quantitative terms and more than 50% in revenues. However, the association said if not to take into account “wild-growing” berries, then the share of raspberry in exports in 2017 was 59%, that of garden strawberry some 24%, and blueberries some 15%.

PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE REVEALS NO VIOLATIONS IN WORK OF EXPRESS DELIVERY COMPANY NOVA POSHTA

The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine (PGO) did not reveal any violations during the searches at the offices of Nova Poshta on March 16, Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko assured Nova Poshta co-owner Viacheslav Klimov. “The funds of customers of Post Finance [the Forpost system] seized during the search will be returned. The legal service of the Nova Poshta group of companies will answer all questions of the Prosecutor General’s Office and will provide all the necessary materials that will allow making a lawful decision on the case,” the group wrote on Facebook.
At the same time, it notes the prosecutor general expressed concern about the use of carriers in schemes for transportation of illegal goods. “The parties agreed to develop a joint action plan to prevent possible cases of transportation of illegal goods,” Nova Poshta stated.
PGO Speaker Andriy Lysenko, in turn, wrote on Facebook that during a meeting of Yuriy Lutsenko and Viacheslav Klimov, the parties expressed interest in the lawful organization of work of the leader of the Ukrainian express delivery market. “The prosecutor general and the Nova Poshta representative agreed on cooperation to improve the company’s work, minimize the risks of carrying prohibited goods and prevent possible illegal financial services in order to evade taxation. For this the working meetings of Nova Poshta lawyers and financiers with the representatives of the Prosecutor General’s Office will be held, as well as control purchases of goods and services will be made,” the speaker said.
He also said that Lutsenko informed Klimov about the numerous facts of violations, which were revealed in work of the Nova Poshta branches. In particular, this concerned the transfer of non-excise alcoholic drinks and narcotic substances in large quantities. The investigators also received information from the Interior Ministry regarding possible tax evasion in the course of money transfers.
As reported, with reference to Lutsenko’s press secretary Larysa Sarhan, the Prosecutor General’s Office suspects officials of the companies affiliated with Nova Poshta LLC of non-payment of taxes in especially large amounts, and therefore on March 16 it conducted searches in the central office in Kyiv and other offices of the company in Poltava, Odesa, Dnipro, Kharkiv, and Lviv.
Later it became known that Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman instructed the Ministry of Justice, the Business Ombudsman Council, the Ukraine Investment Promotion Office to analyze the cases of searches at the enterprises and prepare a meeting of the special commission formed in the framework of monitoring the implementation of the law on business protection “stop masks-show.”

TRACTEBEL ENGINEERING FROM ENGIE GROUP CONFIRMS POSSIBILITY OF BUILDING LARGE SOLAR PLANTS IN UKRAINIAN CHORNOBYL ZONE

Tractebel Engineering from ENGIE Group in a preliminary feasibility study for building a ground solar power plant with a capacity of 1.2 GW in the exclusion zone around Chornobyl nuclear power plant (NPP) offers a modular concept of building eight 150 MW substations. “We understand that the north of Kyiv region is not the best location for solar plants, but this is the area that needs this project. Tractebel Engineering’s conclusion about this project is rather cautious: the construction of solar plants is possible,” Head of the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management Vitaliy Petruk said, when presenting the feasibility study in Kyiv.
“Based on the results of the feasibility study, the construction of solar stations is cost-effective and will require more than EUR1 billion of investments,” Yulia Kovaliv, the head of the office of the National Investment Council, said.
Tractebel Engineering explains the feasibility of the phased construction of solar plants with the desire to avoid difficulties with logistics. According to the document, the estimated time for building one substation will be about 17 months.
At the same time, the project of Chornobyl solar plants requires a more detailed economic justification, the report of Tractebel Engineering says. According to it, radiation pollution will increase costs for stations in comparison with the typical solar station project, but it does not undermine the economy of the project.
According to Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Ostap Semerak, the approximate cost of investments in the whole project with a capacity of 1.2 GW will be about EUR1 billion.

MINING AND METALLURGICAL GROUP METINVEST PLANS EUROBONDS REFINANCING

Metinvest mining and metallurgical group has offered the holders of eurobonds with maturity till December 31, 2021 to redeem the securities ahead of schedule. According to a report by the holding on the website of the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE), currently 2021 eurobonds worth $1.187 billion are in circulation. The group is ready to buy the entire issue.
The initial stage of accepting applications ends at 16:00 London time on April 3, 2018. At this stage, the group proposes buying out 2020 eurobonds at 100.5% of the nominal value and is ready to pay extra 1% of the face value for consent and 3.75% of the face value for early consent.
The deadline for submitting applications is 16:00 London time on April 19, 2018. Along with the redemption, the issuer will pay accrued interest.
Metinvest also reached agreement with the creditors, who provided pre-export financing (PXF financing), about the revision of the terms of the loans, including their extension. At the same time, the group announced the issue of new securities. Metinvest intends to use the funds obtained in such a way to buy out 2021 eurobonds, refund PXF financing, as well as cover all related costs.

MITSUBISHI OPENS FIRST FAST CHARGING STATIONS IN UKRAINE (KYIV, DNIPRO, KHARKIV)

MMC Ukraine, the official distributor of Mitsubishi Motors in Ukraine, has joined the expansion of charging infrastructure in Ukraine, opening the first fast charging stations in the Mitsubishi dealer network in the cities with the population exceeding one million people, in particular Kyiv, Dnipro and Kharkiv, the press service of the company has said. The stations are opened on the eve of the introduction of Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV cars (a hybrid car with charging from the electricity mains) in the Ukrainian market.
“The technological flagship of Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV for the fourth year in a row has been leading in sales in the European market, surpassing the mark of 100,000 cars sold,” a press release says.
The ABB fast charging stations produced by the Netherlands are compatible with all electric vehicles with CHAdeMO charger types, and the standard charging time is 15-25 minutes, depending on the car’s characteristics. They have a power of 50 kW and are suitable for work in extreme weather conditions from 350 degrees below zero to 500 degrees above zero. The stations are installed in the official dealer centers NIKO Diamant (Kyiv), Niko Dnipro (Dnipro), and Techno-Art (Kharkiv).