Business news from Ukraine

Cyprus has extended until March 4, 2025 temporary protection status for citizens of Ukraine

The Republic of Cyprus has extended until March 4, 2025 the temporary protection status for persons who already have this status.

“The Ministry of Interior informs all interested parties that, based on the relevant decision of the Council of Ministers, the right to temporary protection is automatically extended for one year for those persons who have obtained such a right in Cyprus, i.e. until March 4, 2025”, – stated in the official announcement of the Refugee Service on the relevant website.

And it is specified that “thus, for those who have already received temporary protection, there is no need to submit a new application to the Refugee Service or to issue a new biometric residence permit at the Department of Population and Immigration.

Those who wish to apply for temporary protection for the first time must apply either electronically at http://www.moi.gov.cy/asylum or in person at the Refugee Service head office in Nicosia.

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“Ukrnafta” paid UAH 3.9 bln in dividends for 2023

PJSC Ukrnafta transferred UAH 3.9 billion of dividends to the state budget as an advance payment based on the results of its business activities in 2023, said the company’s CEO Sergiy Koretsky.

“This is the first installment. In total, more than UAH 8 billion will be paid according to the schedule. This is twice as much as the total for the previous 10 years,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

As reported, the Cabinet of Ministers, by its Resolution No. 163-r of February 27, 2024, ordered Naftogaz of Ukraine, Ukrzaliznytsia, Ukrhydroenergo, Ukrainian Energy Machines, Nizhnednistrovska HPP, and Ukrainian Defense Industry to transfer to the state budget at least 50% of the annual dividends on the state share for 2023 in advance by March.

“Ukrnafta is the largest oil company in Ukraine, which operates a national network of 537 gas stations, of which 456 are operational.

Ukrnafta’s largest shareholder is Naftogaz of Ukraine with a 50%+1 share. On November 5, 2022, the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine decided to transfer the corporate rights of the company owned by private owners, which is now managed by the Ministry of Defense, to the state.

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Belgorod-Dniester Commercial Sea Port is put up for auction again

The State Property Fund of Ukraine (SPFU) has announced a privatization auction for the sale of the integral property complex of the State Enterprise Belgorod-Dniester Commercial Sea Port (SCP) on March 21 at a starting price of UAH 183.9 million, the press service of the agency reports.

Last year, the Fund tried several times to sell this property: first, it put it up for sale on March 3 for UAH 187.57 million, then lowered the starting price to UAH 93.78 million, the auction was won by Ukrdoninvest LLC of businessman Vitaly Kropachev, but it then refused to buy at the stage of agreeing on the terms of the sale agreement, and further attempts to sell it in June with a price reduction to UAH 92.46 million failed due to the lack of bids.

Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi ICC is an international universal transportation hub specializing in transshipment of timber, bulk, construction and grain cargoes, as well as iron ore pellets and metal products. Transshipment is carried out both by land and sea vessels and in the opposite direction.

According to the report, the asset is located on a territory of 64.4 hectares. It consists of 59 hectares of the main production area of the port of Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi and 5.4 hectares of the Buhaz port point located in the village of Zatoka. The total area of buildings is 31.3 thousand square meters.

Ships call at the port through the 1.5 km long approach channel of the offshore part of the Dniester-Tsarhorod estuary and the 14.5 km long Dniester-Liman part. The depth of the approach channel is 3.0 m (3.5-4.5 m according to the passport).

The port has its own railroad tracks, as well as engineering networks: water supply, heating, 0.4 kW cable lines and 10 kW high-voltage lines.

According to the SPF, the auction terms require the buyer to pay off wage and budget arrears. As of September 30, 2023, this total debt amounted to UAH 105.5 million. The buyer also has to pay VAT in the amount of 20% of the final value of the property.

If the auction is successful, the Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi ICC will become the second major port infrastructure facility to be sold on the Prozorro platform since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion.

As reported earlier, the SPF sold the integral property complex of the Ust-Dunay port for UAH 200 million on the Prozorro electronic platform. During the auction, its price tripled. The winner was Elixir Ukraine LLC.

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Unity Facility insurance mechanism for grain transportation by Ukrainian sea corridor extended to all cargoes

The Unity Facility insurance mechanism for grain transportation by Ukrainian sea corridor, announced in mid-November 2023, has been extended to ships carrying not only grain but any other cargoes from February 2024, Oliver Wyman partner Crispin Ellison said.

“By combining the efforts of the industry and the government, we’ve been able to create a mechanism (facility) where prices are well under half of those in the normal commercial market. And now, this month, February, we’ve expanded that facility to include transportation of all cargoes, not just grain,” he said at a Wednesday webinar on political risk insurance organized by the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

He said this will be formally announced on Friday, but the option is already available and effectively triples the mechanism.

Ellison recalled that after Russia withdrew from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, insurance rates increased for the military risk element alone to about 5%, which was completely unaffordable and led to a halt in shipping in July and August.

Established using a public-private partnership (PPP) in which the Ukrainian government provided a $20 million reimbursement fund, the Unity Facility insures approximately 1,000 vessels per year with a maximum insured value of $50 million for each vessel, supporting the export of approximately 30 million tons of grain. The reimbursement fund is accessed through a letter of credit with Ukrainian banks and DZ Bank.

According to Ellison’s submission, a parallel mechanism for cargo coverage, supported by EBRD financing for the Ukrainian government, is being considered.

The expert emphasized that the relatively small amount of insurance capital allowed exporting goods worth about $20 billion, and its estimate is 6-8% of Ukraine’s GDP.

As reported, the Unity Facility was created with the support of the UK government, international reinsurance broker Marsh McLennan and over a dozen more British insurance companies.

According to the Ministry of Restoration, the sea corridor created by the Navy of the AFU and the Danube since August 2023 provided for the export of almost 26 million tons of cargo, of which more than 18 million tons – the products of Ukrainian agrarians. It was specified that from the ports of “Greater Odessa” 854 ships were sent to 42 countries.

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Universalna Insurance Company increased premium collection by 42.9%

In 2023, Universalna Insurance Company (Kyiv) collected UAH 2.005 billion in insurance premiums, which is 42.9% more than in 2022.

According to the company’s website, last year the company increased the collection of payments under hull insurance contracts by 29.2% to UAH 648.212 million, VHI – three times, to UAH 579.294 million, property insurance – by 43.9%, to UAH 104.150 million, personal insurance – by 65%, to UAH 238 million, other insurance – by 2.9 times, to UAH 133.131 million.

The company reduced the collection of payments for motor third party liability insurance to UAH 147.844 million (-0.7%), for agricultural insurance to UAH 502 thousand (down 28.4 times), for aviation insurance to UAH 119.051 million (-43.8%), and for travel insurance to UAH 34.873 million (-10.7%).

Universalna has an international shareholder base, with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development holding 30% of the shares and Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited 70%.

Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited (Canada) is a holding company that, through its subsidiaries, is primarily engaged in accident insurance, property insurance and investment management.

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“Agrotrade” paid UAH 150 mln of taxes and fees

Agroholding “Agrotrade” in 2023 paid 150 million UAH of taxes and fees, of which 86 million UAH went to local budgets, reported the press service of the agroholding in Facebook.

“So far we can’t cultivate all our areas, as some of them are too close to the border and places of active hostilities – these lands suffer from constant shelling and bombing. Despite this, Agrotrade Group continues to fulfill its financial obligations to the state in a timely manner”, – said the general director of the agroholding Elena Vorona.

According to the report, the largest receipts in 2023 from the agroholding received the communities of Sumy region – 32.46 million UAH, budgets of Chernihiv and Kharkiv regions – 25.44 million UAH and 16.24 million UAH respectively, Poltava region – 11.79 million UAH. “Agrotrade” also paid more than UAH 20 mln of unified social contribution.

Realizing the importance of taxes for financing the urgent needs of Ukrainians, “Agrotrade” plans to increase deductions to the state and local budgets, summarized in the agricultural holding.

Group of companies “Agrotrade” – vertically integrated holding of the full agro-industrial cycle (production, processing, storage and trade of agricultural products). It cultivates more than 70 thousand hectares of land in Chernihiv, Sumy, Poltava and Kharkiv regions. Profile crops – sunflower, corn, winter wheat, soybean and rape. It has its own network of elevators with the capacity of one-time storage of 570 thousand tons.

The Group also produces corn and sunflower seed hybrids, barley and winter wheat. In 2014, a seed plant with a capacity of 20 thousand tons of seeds per year was built on the basis of the seed farm “Kolos” (Kharkiv region). In 2018, Agrotrade brought its own brand Agroseeds to the market.

Vsevolod Kozhemyako is the founder and CEO of Agrotrade.

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