Business news from Ukraine


Representatives of the shopping center development market of Ukraine have sent an open letter to authorities asking to start a dialog on consolidation of actions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease COVID-19 and taking steps aimed at reviving business activities after the end of quarantine.
“The shopping centers and the companies that are represented in them are among the largest taxpayers. However, today they are most affected by quarantine, because understanding the responsibility and gravity of the situation visitors have limited access to malls. Developers faithfully and promptly complied with the decision of Cabinet of Ministers No. 210 on preventing the spread of COVID-19 in Ukraine,” they said in a collective letter sent on March 30, the text of which is available for Interfax-Ukraine.
In the letter, the developers drew attention to the need: to harmonize the content of the local protocols of the standing commissions of the fuel and energy complex and the emergency response with the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers; allow the sale of textile masks in malls; provide the opportunity to use public transport for employees of permitted groups of tenants; reduce the amount of VAT and defer the payment of income tax for three months after the end of quarantine; exempt from land fees, real estate tax and income tax; confirm holidays for bank loans; to keep the obligatory payment by the tenants for maintaining malls.
The letter is addressed to the President of Ukraine, Verkhovna Rada, National Bank of Ukraine, Kyiv City Administration, the Bar Association and the European Business Association.
The document was signed by CEETRUS Ukraine Commercial Director Ganna Koryagina, Dragon Capital Property Management Commercial Director Nataliya Kravets, Arricano CEO Anna Chubotina, Chief Operation Officer of Budhouse Group Maksym Havriushyn, CEO of New Business Views (Odesa-based Riviera Shopping City mall) Andriy Brynzylo, representative of Terkury-2 (Podoliany mall in Ternopil) Mykhailo Ibrahimov, Operational Director of Davento Ukraine (network of the Equator shopping centers) Larysa Pervinenko, director of Smena (Hollywood shopping center in Chernihiv) Ruslan Zemliansky, and Commercial Director of Urban Oasis Center Ludmyla Vilischuk.

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Ukrainian business is backing medical workers in the conditions of quarantine imposed over the coronavirus disease COVID-19 pandemic, and is actively buying lungs artificial ventilation machines and other required equipment.
In particular, IMC Agroholding CEO Alex Lissitsa told Interfax-Ukraine that he plans to send about UAH 20 million to the fight against COVID-19.
According to him, part of the funds has already gone to the purchase of a laboratory for the diagnosis of COVID-19 for Chernihiv region. In addition, according to Lissitsa, the IMC intends to purchase 20,000 tests for 11 district hospitals in Chernihiv, Poltava and Sumy regions and 100,000 masks.
Agroprodservice of businessman Ivan Chaikivsky plans to send UAH 3 million to the budgets of district hospitals, where the company processes the land (Ternopil, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv and Kherson regions).
The Milk Alliance Group allocated UAH 100,000 for the purchase of necessary medical supplies and personal protective equipment and disinfectants to medical institutions in the areas where the group has enterprises: Zolotonosha district multidisciplinary hospital, Yahotyn central district hospital and Yahotyn primary health care center. Also, disinfectants, chlorine and washing solutions were provided to medical institutions.
Using the contribution of Board Chairman of Alef Corporation Vadym Yermolaev, Kiddo Charitable Foundation bought a Savina 300 artificial lungs ventilation machine, as well as respirators of protection class FFP2, FFP3 for the medical staff of Dnipropetrovsk region, thanks to which the number of masks in the region’s hospitals has quadrupled, but still remains insufficient.
The Darnitsa pharmaceutical company allocated funds for the purchase of three artificial lungs ventilation machines for Ukrainian hospitals as part of the initiative of the Zagoriy Foundation and the Ukrainian Philanthropic Marketplace to raise funds for the purchase of 50 artificial lungs ventilation machines.
Using the funds of businessman Pavlo Fuks, two digital X-ray diagnostic complexes OPERA RT 20 with a total value of UAH 13.4 million will be installed in City Hospital No.17 and Kharkiv City Clinical Multidisciplinary Hospital No.25 within 5-7 days.
OKKO will finance 20,000 trips for medical workers through the Uber service, 20,000 trips through Uklon and 10,000 through Bolt.
Restaurant chains Tarantino Family, Mafia, MisterCat, PapaFeta and This is Pivbar organized the delivery of home cooked food for Kyiv doctors. These restaurant chains work with the Oleksandrivska Hospital, the Institute of Neurosurgery named after Romodanov, Children’s Hospital No. 2, Children’s Hospital located at 23, Dehtiarivska Street, and Hospital No. 4 at 17, Solomianska Street. The plans of cooperation of restaurateurs are to increase delivery to 2,000-3,000 hot lunches daily. For these purposes, a separate transport, separate kitchens and separate couriers are provided.
The mobile communications operator lifecell provided healthcare workers with free 20 GB and 1,500 minutes of calls in Ukraine for the period until April 30, 2020.
The Kyivstar mobile operator provided free access to the Doctor Online application with the ability to consult a doctor via chat, audio or video call (previously the cost of the consultation in the application was UAH 50).
The Shafa marketplace launched a charity marathon #rozvantazhuyus in order to support health workers. Marketplace will direct all its profits from the sale of things of the marathon participants from March 24 to March 27 to the urgent needs of hospitals. The funds will be transferred to the Tvoya Opora charitable foundation.
The charitable foundation Lifelover, Garik Korogodsky and Tina Mikhailovskaya, provided 2,000 grocery sets for elderly people. Separately, the Department of Social Policy of the Kyiv City Administration in conjunction with the Lifelover foundation will provide 390 children with disabilities, living only with their mothers, with essential kits.
The NOVUS trading network has provided 10,000 essential kits.
Arzinger Law Firm created the Anti-Crisis HelpDesk, highlighting a team of specialists who can be contacted on issues related to COVID-19, economic and other challenges that may have consequences for business.
The Barristers Lawyers Association during quarantine provides free advice to employees of healthcare institutions on criminal and administrative liability, as well as on the observance of the legal rights and interests of health workers.
The microcredit company Moneyveo announced a donation of UAH 3 million for the purchase of artificial lungs ventilation machines for Ukrainian hospitals.
Accordbank set a rate of 0.001% on previously granted consumer loans to health workers and canceled all types of fees under contracts.
PrivatBank allocated EUR 1 million to supply 28 hospitals with artificial lungs ventilation machines and other equipment necessary for overcoming the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Four machines have already been delivered to hospitals in Kyiv, Odesa and Lysychansk.

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The Ukrainian Business Council has proposed that business activities are resumed from April 3, the introduction of additional measures should not be quitted and gradually cancel the restrictions imposed, the Council has said on its website. “We must save the economy. Business must work and pay taxes – everyone. We must support healthcare as a whole and doctors… Therefore, we propose to partially resume business activity from April 3, by no means introducing new measures and gradually canceling the current restrictions,” the Council said in the statement.
At the same time, the Ukrainian Business Council offers the following steps to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease COVID-19: extensive testing and isolation of infected people, enhanced control of infected people in self-isolation using electronic means, specific restrictions on public transport for risk groups – cancellation of benefits for risk groups, equipment of medical facilities and protection of doctors.
According to the Council, the state should move from banning the operation of a wide business segment to banning only certain segments, which involve large crowds.
“The introduction of a state of emergency at this time does not seem appropriate, it is enough to introduce a state of emergency in some regions,” the Ukrainian Business Council said.
“Representatives of the Ukrainian Business Council coalition, which includes 84 Ukrainian associations, urge the president, parliament and government to immediately consider the proposed measures, initiate a joint meeting and create a Crisis Response Center with the participation of experts from the Cabinet of Ministers, the Office of the President, the Verkhovna Rada, business and independent experts to discuss and work on the actions that will ensure effective response to the epidemic and do not harm the economy,” the Council said.


Ukrainian banks in the fourth quarter of 2019 reduced interest rates on hryvnia loans for businesses by 2.4 percentage points (p.p.), to 15.7% per annum, following a reduction in the refinancing rate by the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU). According to the banking sector survey posted on the National Bank’s website, the reduction in the cost of hryvnia loans for individuals was less noticeable: in the fourth quarter of 2019 the rates fell by 0.5 percentage points, to 33.6% per annum.
At the same time, according to the document, the rates on foreign currency loans to business entities are at a historically low level of 4.6% in December 2019.
The report also notes that the rates on deposits of individuals began to decline only in December, following the reduction in rates by state banks.
“During the year, state banks kept deposit rates at a high level due to inertia in the management of liabilities and assets and legal risks of PrivatBank,” the document says.
So, according to the report, the value of 12-month hryvnia deposits of individuals in the fourth quarter of 2019 decreased by 0.7 percentage points, to 15.1% per annum, in January 2020 it continued to decline by 1.1 percentage points, and in the first week of February by another 1 percentage point, to 13% per annum.
At the same time, the value of 12-month household deposits in U.S. dollars for the fourth quarter of 2019 decreased by 0.6 percentage points, to 2.6% per annum, and in 2020 by another 0.7 percentage points.
In addition, according to the document, the cost of hryvnia funds of corporations during the fourth quarter of 2019 fell by 2.7 percentage points, to 10.3% per annum.

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On the basis of Small and Medium Entrepreneurship School (SME School, the project of Vasyl Khmelnytsky’s K.Fund), UFuture opens UNIT School of Business in UNIT.City. The first open day at the new educational institution will take place on October 10 in UNIT Factory, Kyiv.
UNIT School of Business works in a new format for Ukraine: the program includes 119 hours of practical work on each participant’s real business instead of theoretical lectures. Entrepreneurs bring their daily tasks and look for profitable ways to solve them together with teachers. For this, the school’s experts have developed short practical programs for business modeling, marketing, sales, brand building, effective innovative tools that are easy to apply in the work of a small and medium Ukrainian business.
“We’ve created UNIT School of Business because in Ukraine, we haven’t found any entrepreneurship school organized at a really great level. We understand how difficult it is for an entrepreneur to take a break even for two months, not to mention two years. Therefore, our programs are short and effective,” Artem Makeev, CEO of the project, said.
Creators of UNIT School of Business have taken into account the experience of the educational business project “Superludi” (“Superpeople”) and SME School (1.5 thousand graduates in the past three years). The mentors of the institution are market experts and business practitioners of UFuture, UNIT.City innovation park, UDP development company, Biopharma innovative pharmaceutical company, ITernal group of IT companies and an ecosystem of tech solutions, Lean Institute Ukraine, and “Superludi”.
“Nine out of ten businesses in Ukraine are closed during the first year of existence. Not because of external reasons, but because of the lack of knowledge. We’ve collected the necessary knowledge and will help to apply it in business,” Vlad Nozdrachev, partner of UNIT School of Business, Founder and Project Manager of “Superludi”, said.
UNIT School of Business is a part of UNIT ecosystem which includes, in particular, Ugrow (a closed community of entrepreneurs with regular events, group coaching and mentoring support, access to which is available to students of UNIT School of Business), INDAX accelerator (helps to build production, including investments), Sector X accelerator (finds clients and partners in IT field and helps businesses enter the western market).
The open day at UNIT School of Business will start on October 10 at 16:00. The program of the event includes speeches by representatives of the business school and Ugrow, informal communication with graduates of SME School. The first 100 people who register at will be able to take part in the open day.
The launch of the new curriculum of UNIT School of Business will take place on October 21.
UFuture is a holding company of Ukrainian entrepreneur Vasyl Khmelnytsky that integrates his business and impact-investment projects. The company has a diversified portfolio of assets in the fields of real estate, infrastructure, industry, renewable energy, pharmaceuticals, and IT. Currently, UFuture’s assets are estimated at $550 million, and the total capitalization of the businesses it invested in is more than $1 billion. UFuture is a majority shareholder in UDP development company (specializing in large infrastructure projects), Kyiv Sikorsky International Airport (the second international airport in Ukraine by passenger traffic), national operator of outdoor advertising RTM-Ukraine, and a group of IT companies and an ecosystem of tech solutions ITernal. UFuture is a strategic investor in the pharmaceutical company Biopharma and UDP Renewables, renewable energy investment and development company. UFuture is also developing new business projects including UNIT.City innovation parks in Kyiv and Kharkiv, LvivTech.City in Lviv; Bila Tserkva industrial park and a manufacturer of modern electrotechnical systems, Plank Electrotechnic. UFuture supports social projects in the fields of education and economics, including the Kyiv International Economic Forum (KIEF), Lean Institute Ukraine, UNIT School of Business, UNIT Factory innovative IT-schools in Kyiv and Kharkiv, Secondary education institution Novopecherska School, the all-Ukrainian online platform iLearn, and others.

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