Business news from Ukraine

Spain plans to cancel visa program in exchange for real estate investments

The Spanish government intends to cancel the program that provides foreigners with “golden visas” in exchange for real estate investments, the Financial Times reports, citing a statement by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

Currently, citizens of non-EU countries can obtain a Spanish residence permit for a period of three years by investing at least EUR 500 thousand in real estate in the country.

The abolition of the program will improve the situation with the availability of housing in Spain, Sanchez said.

“Currently, 94 out of 100 of these visas are issued for real estate investments in large cities that are already facing a very difficult market. Those who already live there, work and pay taxes, can hardly find decent housing,” the prime minister said.

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Foreign direct investment of France and Spain in China increased 5-7 times in January-February

The volume of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the economy of mainland China in January-February 2024 decreased by 19.9% compared to the same period last year and amounted to 215.1 billion yuan ($30 billion), according to the Ministry of Commerce.

In particular, the inflow of foreign investment in the high-tech sector increased by 10.1% to 28.27 billion yuan.
At the same time, France’s foreign direct investment in China in January-February increased by 6.9 times in annual terms, Spain’s – by 5 times, Germany’s – by 2.4 times.
Over two months, 7.16 thousand new enterprises with foreign capital were registered in the country, which is 34.9% more than in January-February 2023, Xinhua reports.

“The 34.9% growth is the highest in the last five years. This indicates that multinationals are still optimistic about the development opportunities of the Chinese market,” a ministry spokesperson told the agency. – “Despite the decline in the volume of actually utilized FDI in the first two months, this is the third highest figure in the last ten years.

“At present, the favorable factors for attracting foreign investment in China outweigh the unfavorable ones, and the investment prospects are still bright,” the ministry representative added.

As reported, the volume of FDI in 2023 decreased by 8% and amounted to 1.13 trillion yuan.

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UMCC has started selling titanium raw materials to Italy, Spain and Germany and is systematically expanding its export geography

PrJSC United Mining and Chemical Company (UMCC), which has taken over management of Vilnohirsk Mining and Metallurgical Plant (VGMK, Dnipro region) and Irshansk Mining and Processing Plant (IGOK, Zhytomyr region), has started selling titanium raw materials to Italy, Spain, Germany and is systematically expanding its exports.

According to the company, despite the difficulties and risks of wartime, it shipped more than 102 thousand tons of products in 2023. The planned supply volumes for 2024 are 200 thousand tons.

Yegor Perelygin, First Deputy Chairman of the Board of UMCC, quoted in the information, noted that due to effective approaches and communication with potential buyers, the company signed contracts for the supply of approximately 80 thousand tons in the fourth quarter of 2023 and the first quarter of 2024.

“We were able to attract a series of subscriptions for finished products from stable market players and open new ways to supply world-class end users. We have integrated the coordination and logistics management functions in the commercial unit, become more flexible and focused on an individual approach to strategic customers. As a result, we have opened the UMCC brand to well-known end users in Italy, Spain and Germany,” he explained.

Mr. Perelygin added that by the end of the second quarter of this year, UMCC’s rutile and zircon may become absolutely regular and key components in the raw material portfolios of major processors in Italy, Spain and Germany.

At the same time, companies in the United States and the Czech Republic remain strategic partners for UMCC’s ilmenite concentrate. We are also launching export deliveries of Irshansky GOK’s ilmenite to one of the largest end users in North America. The company plans to sell about 60 thousand tons in the near future. The company emphasizes that the supply chain and end users of these products are strictly controlled by the company and law enforcement agencies.

“Our success is due to our large team. These are more than 4,000 professionals who work in the NONstop mode. Together, we have made a good start for 2024 and are moving step by step towards our strategic goal of producing value-added products and significantly curtailing the aggressor’s influence in the markets of critical minerals and strategic materials,” summarized Perelygin.

The United Mining and Chemical Company started its actual operations in August 2014, when the Ukrainian government decided to transfer the property complexes of Vilnohirsk Mining and Metallurgical Plant (VGMK, Dnipropetrovska oblast) and Irshansk Mining and Processing Plant (IGOK, Zhytomyrska oblast) to its management. Previously, these plants were leased to Firtash’s structures. Then the company was transformed into a PJSC and then into a PrJSC.

In August 2016, the government included UMCC in the list of companies to be privatized in 2017. Its deadline was postponed several times, and the tender was disrupted twice.

UMCC used to sell its products to more than 30 countries and was one of the world’s largest producers of titanium raw materials, accounting for 4% of the global market. The company mines titanium ore.

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Spain to prepare new military aid package for Ukraine

On Friday, February 23, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba met with Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares.

“During our meeting, I thanked Jose Manuel Albares for Spain’s support and solidarity with Ukraine. Spain will prepare a new package of military assistance to Ukraine, which will include ammunition. We also discussed President Zelenskyy’s Peace Formula and the Global Peace Summit in Switzerland,” Kuleba wrote on social network X.

“We agreed that Ukraine’s accession to the EU is on the right track,” the Foreign Minister added.


KSG Agro exported 4600 tons of wheat to Spain in December

In December 2023, KSG Agro agricultural holding exported 4600 tons of wheat to Spain, the company’s press service reports.

According to the report, the wheat was purchased by grain trading companies.

“In wartime, any export delivery is always a task with many unknowns. However, despite numerous difficulties, we continue to export grain to international markets. In the current most difficult period of Ukraine’s history, the food security of many countries depends on us, agricultural producers and exporters,” said Sergiy Kasyanov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of KSG Agro, as quoted in the report.

As reported, in the first quarter of 2023, KSG Agro exported 4,200 tons of grain crops mainly to Asia and Africa. Deliveries were made as part of the “grain corridor” through the ports of Odesa and Odesa region.

KSG Agro, a vertically integrated holding company, is engaged in pig breeding, as well as the production, storage, processing and sale of grains and oilseeds. Its land bank is about 21 thousand hectares in Dnipropetrovska and Kherson regions.

According to the agricultural holding, it is one of the top 5 pork producers in Ukraine.

In January-September 2023, KSG Agro received $1,336 million in net profit, which is almost 14 times more than in the same period in 2022. Its EBITDA for the three quarters of this year increased by 67% to $4.5 million, and sales revenue increased by 16% to $11.9 million.

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Spain is interested in importing Ukrainian corn and sunflower

Spain is ready to promote Ukrainian agricultural exports and is interested in importing Ukrainian agricultural products, in particular corn and sunflower, Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Luis Planas Puigades said at an online meeting with Ukrainian Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Mykola Solsky on Monday.

According to the press service of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy, during the online meeting, the parties discussed the export of Ukrainian agricultural products and food security. In particular, the extension of Ukraine’s duty-free and quota-free trade regime with the European Union.

“Spain fully supports Ukraine in the face of Russia’s unprecedented and illegal aggression. This includes both military and humanitarian assistance. The Spanish Minister of Agriculture emphasized that support for Ukraine also means promoting Ukrainian exports, which is a key factor for the economy to continue to function,” the Ministry of Agriculture said, adding that Spain is interested in importing Ukrainian agricultural products, in particular corn and sunflower.

“I reaffirmed Spain’s support for the continuation of trade measures to support Ukraine during a video conference with the Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine. Ukrainian farmers have managed to maintain production despite the difficulties,” Puigadez wrote on the social network X after the talks.

For his part, Solsky thanked his Spanish colleague for his understanding and support.

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