Business news from Ukraine

PIF OF SAUDI ARABIA WANTS TO INVEST UP TO $150 MLN INTO UKRAINIAN FARMING COMPANY

The Public Investment Fund (PIF), a sovereign wealth fund owned by Saudi Arabia and a global leader in the volume of investment in agriculture, with the acquisition of the Mriya farming company has made the largest investment in the Ukrainian agricultural sector over the entire period of Ukraine’s independence and plans to additionally invest large funds in the company, Head of Office of the National Investment Council of Ukraine Yulia Kovaliv has said.
“With acquiring Mriya’s assets, the PIF plans additional investments in the technology park and assets of the holding over the next two years in the amount of up to $150 million,” she told Interfax-Ukraine.
“We assume that the next step will be investment in transport and port infrastructure,” Kovaliv said.
In this regard, she pointed out the importance of adopting a new concession law, which is waiting for second reading in parliament. It can become a tool to attract this and other strategic investors to the transport sector.
“Potentially, the PIF is ready to consider projects in the energy and real estate sectors,” the head of Office of the National Investment Council also said.
As reported, Mriya Farming Plc (the U.K.) and SALIC UK Ltd. (Saudi Agricultural & Livestock Investment Company, the U.K.) entered into a share purchase agreement for the sale to SALIC of the Mriya group’s Ukrainian farming assets, including infrastructure facilities, machinery, and companies owning land lease agreements.

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UKRAINIAN FARMAK TO INVEST $10 MLN IN CONSTRUCTION OF PLANT IN UZBEKISTAN

PJSC Farmak (Kyiv), among top three leaders of the pharmaceutical sector of Ukraine, plans to invest $10 million in construction of a pharmaceutical plant in Uzbekistan, the company’s press service has reported. “With a view to the export development, Farmak is considering an investment project with investment of $10 million to localize production in the Republic of Uzbekistan with the launch of production in bulk and a gradual transition to full-cycle production, with the development of technologically more complex products, in particular, radiopaque and biotechnological products,” the press service of the company said, citing Chairperson of the supervisory board Filia Zhebrovska.
At present, Farmak is fourth in sales in the pharmaceutical market of Uzbekistan, the portfolio of products sold in this country totals 120 items.
The company said that the head of the Farmak’s supervisory board and Ambassador of Uzbekistan to Ukraine Alisher Abdualiyev have already agreed on the construction of the plant.
“The new production facility of Farmak will expand the range of medicines that are produced in Uzbekistan, reduce dependence on imported production and create a basis for further expansion of the pharmaceutical cluster,” Abdualiyev said.
Farmak is a member of the Association Manufacturers of Medications of Ukraine (AMMU).

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EUROPEAN B2B ACCELERATOR STARTUP WISE GUYS PLANS TO INVEST UP TO EUR 2 MLN IN UKRAINE

European B2B accelerator Startup Wise Guys plans to invest up to EUR 2 million in Ukraine startups at an early stage in the coming two years. Startup Wise Guys CEO Cristobal Alonso told Interfax-Ukraine that of the 100 startups, in which the accelerator has invested for seven years in the European market, 15 companies are from Ukraine. In total, these Ukrainian startups received support from Startup Wise Guys in the amount of about EUR 600,000.
“By 2020, we plan to make investments in 100 more startups, of which, with the current trend, 15-20% will be allocated to Ukrainian companies. We are planning to increase the total investment, respectively to EUR 50,000. Of this amount, EUR 30,000 will be cash, and EUR 20,000 is investments in the growth program. We would be able to pre-invest another EUR 50,000 in the half of the companies which the accelerator invested in, and in the event of particularly successful startups [Startup Wise Guys will invest] another EUR 100,000 more,” Alonso said.
According to him, earlier investments were up to EUR 40,000, including EUR 20,000 of financial assistance and EUR 20,000 in the development program.
During the acceleration program Ukraine Startup Hunt in Kyiv, a total 48 applications were submitted from Ukrainian startups, of which 20 were allowed to take part in the first qualifying round, and 10 entered the second round. As a result, Startup Wise Guys selected four startups to participate in the final round, which will be held in September this year. The startups-winners will receive up to EUR 30,000 of the seed money, a wide network of contacts, promotion and recommendations for expanding to all European countries.
Of the four winners, three teams were selected in the B2B SaaS and one in the Fintech segment.
Among the winners are Zirity (web and mobile AR application for real-time eyeglasses fitting), StudyDive (the online platform for selection of short-term and long-term educational programs (courses, trainings, seminars), NUWORK (HR tool for recruiting personnel for HoReCa) and Geologic Group (a geolocation solution to improve the security of providing banking services).

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CHINESE COMPANIES READY TO INVEST IN HIGH-SPEED RAILWAY LINES IN UKRAINE

Public joint-stock company Ukrzaliznytsia has announced that China Eximbank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China are ready to invest in the development of Ukrainian railway infrastructure, increase of its quality and the speed, according to a posting on the website of Ukrzaliznytsia after the discussion of issues of developing high-speed railway traffic and the upgrade of Ukrzaliznytsia’s rolling stock jointly with representatives of Chinese banks and railway companies in Kyiv. Ukrzaliznytsia reported that representatives of Chinese railway companies expressed their desire to find a successful economic model for promoting high-speed traffic in Ukraine.
“China’s Eximbank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China will be willing to invest in the development of Ukraine’s railway infrastructure, improving the quality of its use and speed,” Ukrzaliznytsia said. Welcoming colleagues from China, acting Board Chairman Yevhen Kravtsov said that their readiness for dialogue testifies to the seriousness of their intentions.
“The construction of a high-speed railway line was discussed at the level of the ministry, and today we see the construction of this line as a national project. I see a great potential in it, but Ukrzaliznytsia’s own funds are not sufficient for its implementation,” Kravtsov said.
He said that Kovel, Lviv and Mukachevo are promising points for connecting them with European narrow gauge track, and this is a realistic project for Ukrzaliznytsia in the coming years. Kravtsov also invited Chinese companies to participate in the tender for the electrification of the Dolynska-Mykolaiv-Kolosivka line.
The meeting was attended by representatives of Chinese companies: China Road And Bridge Corporation, China Railway Construction Corporation International Limited, China Railway Siyuan Survey and Design Group, China Railway Engineering Co., Ltd., China Railway International Group and China Railway Limited Group.

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BORSCHAHIVKA PHARMACEUTICAL PLANT TO INVEST UAH 176 MLN IN PRODUCTION OF PILLS AND CAPSULES

JSC Research and Industrial Center Borschahivka chemical and pharmaceutical plant plans by the end of 2018 to invest UAH 176 million, including in the completion of the upgrade of the new production line. “We invested UAH 76.9 million in development in 2017. Until the end of 2018, we intend to invest UAH 176 million in the production update. This money will go, including, to complete the construction of a new site for the production of pills and capsules, the launch of which is scheduled for 2019,” Director General of the plant Yulia Zdarevska told Interfax-Ukraine.
She said that the capacity of the new workshop will be 500 million pills and capsules, which will increase the total production capacity of these dosage forms by 27%.
Zdarevska also said that in the fourth quarter of 2020, the plant plans to put into operation a finished goods warehouse for 5,000 pallet positions.
In addition, the company plans to reconstruct the department of sterile antibiotics and a site for the production of medicines in vials, and intends to expand the capacity of the production site of lyophilic preparations.
“The renovation of equipment is only one of the components of the development of the plant in general. The purchase of new equipment and software is necessary, because we plan to expand production and output new products both to the domestic market and to foreign ones,” the plant’s director general said.
In addition, she recalled the company’s plans to expand the geography of exports and establish relations with foreign partners, invest in the development and conduct of research.
Currently, the plant’s medicines are manufactured in five main workshops, each of which fully complies with GMP standards, and production lines are equipped with modern high-tech equipment from leading European companies.

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NORWAY PLANS TO INVEST IN UKRAINIAN ENERGY SECTOR – NORWEGIAN FM INE ERIKSEN SOREIDE

Norway is considering the possibility of expanding investments in the energy sector of Ukraine, Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide has said. “We will continue to provide support for energy efficiency, reforms, our dialogue with Naftogaz, corporate governance … We are also looking at how we can expand this support,” she said at the second international Ukraine Reform Conference, held in Copenhagen (Denmark). She noted that Ukraine’s reform efforts in recent years have stimulated a flow of investment in the energy sector of Ukraine, in particular, in renewable energy.
However, we would like to see more investment between Ukraine and Norway in both directions, she added, stressing that investments are possible as a result of effective structural reforms.
A truly independent Anti-Corruption Court will only become a catalyst for private investment, she said.
At the same time, the official said that even pre-election moods should not prevent Ukraine from realizing its goals, so that the expectations of Western partners remain at a high level.

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