Business news from Ukraine

FINANCE MINISTRY PROPOSES LEGALIZING GAMBLING IN UKRAINE

KYIV. Dec 2 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Finance Ministry of Ukraine has proposed that the economic operations of casinos, bookmakers’ offices and online gambling are legalized.

The bill on gambling in Ukraine was posted on the ministry’s website on Tuesday.

The ministry proposes that the regulator is created – the national service for gambling – that will realize the state policy in the area of organization of gambling and issue licenses to gambling establishments. The operation of the service will be coordinated by the Cabinet of Ministers via the Finance Ministry.

According to the bill, legal entities created in the form of the economic entity on the territory of Ukraine with charter capital of over EUR 2 million can organize gambling. The charter capital is to be formed only in monetary funds, without borrowing.

The single operator on the lottery market will be created, and the regulating agency will license it via holding a tender.

The bills envisages requirements to the buildings of casinos, the minimum number of equipment (tables, gambling slot machines and other equipment) and the number of employees depending on the city or district. The cost of the one-year license for casinos varies within EUR 300,000-1 million and for online casinos – EUR 1.5 million.

Restrictions are introduced for bookmakers’ offices regarding their location and the area of buildings where they are placed. The bookmakers’ offices will be able to operate online. Two licenses will be issued – for bookmakers’ transactions worth EUR 1.5 million and for opening the bookmakers’ office worth EUR 1,500-3,000 depending on the city or town.

UKRAINE PLANS TO REVOKE CUSTOMS, TAX BENEFITS FOR IMPORTS OF ENERGY EFFICIENT GOODS

KYIV. Dec 2 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Ukrainian government plans to draw up a bill on revoking customs and tax preferences for imports of energy efficient equipment, appliances and spare parts to Ukraine in 2016.

This is outlined in the national action plan for energy efficiency until 2020 drawn up by the Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Utilities Economy Ministry of Ukraine and approved by cabinet resolution No. 1228-r of November 25 posted on the government’s website.

The government said that the revoking of the preferences would result in the legal groundwork for the development f production of energy efficient equipment in Ukraine via granting equal economic conditions during the realization of energy efficient projects in Ukraine.

The national energy efficiency plan until 2020 states that by late 2015 and in 2016 the draft cabinet resolution on the approval of the technical regulations for energy labeling of air conditioners and TV panels will be drawn up.

According to the document, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry, Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Utilities Economy Ministry and the State Agency for Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving are executors of the plan.

As reported, referring to the State Agency for Energy Efficiency, on September 28, the governmental committee for economic development and European integration chaired by Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk approved the draft cabinet resolution on the national action plan for energy efficiency until 2020.

The approval of the document is one of the key liabilities of the country as part of the implementation of 2006/32/EU directive on energy end-use efficiency and energy services.

The interim goal of the national plan in 2017 is the reduction of domestic energy consumption at the level of 5% of the average indicator for energy consumption in 2005-2009, the agency said.

CABINET SCHEDULES 4G TENDER FOR DECEMBER 2017

KYIV. Dec 1 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Cabinet of Ministers has approved an action plan to deploy LTE (4G), a standard for wireless communications of high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals, in Ukraine, under which a 4G tender is to be called in December 2017.

This is stipulated in Cabinet resolution No.1232 dated November 11, 2015.

Under the resolution, technical specifications for a feasibility study for the introduction of 4G in Ukraine should be approved by the end of the current year. What is more, a foreign consulting agency is to be hired to conduct that study. The consulting agency will be selected by local telecoms market operators. An agreement with the agency is to be concluded this December.

The feasibility study is scheduled to last December 2015 through November 2016. Then the Cabinet will work to prepare respective legislation to introduce such 4G-related notions as “refarming” and “technology neutrality.” Transparent and fair allocation and use of Ukraine’s radio frequency resource should be also ensured legislatively (in February 2017, according to the approved schedule). After that, the National Table of Radio Frequencies and the Plan of Radio Frequencies Use should be amended correspondingly.

From November 2015 to June 2017, a plan of measures should be approved and implemented to make frequencies in the 790-862 MHz bandwidth, now used by radio broadcasting (television) services, available for the deployment of LTE technology. In June 2017, frequencies in the 694-790 MHz bandwidth shall be made available and measures shall be taken to ensure electromagnetic compatibility and joint operation of radio electronic means of special users and general users of LTE.

In December 2017, the government plans to conduct refarming (to reallocate the frequencies) and the introduce technology neutrality on the basis of 3GPP specifications.

The final plan will be considered completed when a 4G tender is to be called in December 2017, which will provide “telecoms market subjects with a competitive right to use radio frequency for LTE technology, including packages within different bands, and determine the winners that have met all the conditions and offered the highest bid for a corresponding band.”

 

UKRAINE SOWS WINTER CROPS ON ALMOST 90% OF PROJECTED AREA – AGRICULTURE MINISTRY

KYIV. Dec 1 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Winter crops in Ukraine have been sowed on 6.6 million hectares of the 7.4 million hectares projected by the Ministry of Agricultural Policy and Food.

According to the ministry, winter wheat and triticale were sown on 5.6 million hectares (or 91% of the forecast), rye on 145,000 ha (or 92% of the forecast), and barley on 879,000 ha (84%).

Winter rapeseeds were sown on 649,000 ha with the forecast being 823,000 ha.

A survey of the area sowed with winter crops as of November 27, 2015 showed that sprouts had been obtained on an area of 5.3 million hectares, or 80% of crops. Crops on 3.4 million hectares (64%) are in a good and satisfactory state, those on 1.9 million ha (36%) are weak and thinned.

As reported, the ministry expects the area sowed with crops for the 2016 harvest to reach 7.4 million hectares, which is 17.5% less than the harvest in 2015.

EBRD, UKSATSE RESUME COOPERATION UNDER EUR 41.2 MLN LOAN

KYIV. Dec 1 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Ukrainian State Air Traffic Services Enterprise (UkSATSE) on November 30 resumed cooperation under an air navigation system modernisation project originally negotiated in 2012 and UkSATSE will utilise a long-term loan from the EBRD of up to EUR 41.2 million.

An Interfax-Ukraine correspondent has reported that the updated document was signed by EBRD Director for Ukraine Sevki Acuner and UkSATSE Head Dmytro Babiychuk.

Under the new agreement, the loan will help UkSATSE implement the investment programme approved by the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL).

The investment programme comprises the replacement and modernisation of UkSATSE’s communication, navigation, surveillance and data processing equipment.

EBRD said that it is of particular importance to both UkSATSE and Ukraine, as it enhances the safety and security of the air navigation service provision over the Ukrainian territory and helps increase flight efficiency for airspace users.

Acuner said that the loan is issued under guarantees of the Ukrainian government.

The project is expected to be supported by a parallel loan of a similar size and nature from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

UkSATSE said that it plans to send EUR 20 million to increase the quality of navigation in the country and international airspace over the Black Sea in 2016.

The financing facility is opened for 10 years.

KERNEL WANTS TO EXPORT 4.5 MLN TONNES OF GRAIN IN FY2016

KYIV. Dec 1 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Grain exports in FY 2016 (July-June) will total 4.5 million tonnes, the founder and board chairman of Kernel Andriy Verevsky said at a phone conference with investors.

“This financial year we plan to realize our ambitious plan: to export 4.5 million tonnes of grain,” he said.

Verevsky said that the company completed the winter crop sowing campaign, although due to bad weather, wheat sprouts are growing slowly.

“Today the situation is better than a month ago, but it is early to make the final decisions on further actions. Maybe, 10-15% of fields will be re-sowed with spring crops. It is not a problem for us. We have resources. We could re-sow with corn and soybeans, which would balance additional expenses,” he said.

Verevsky said that in September 2010 Kernel signed a contract with Creative on crushing 200,000 tonnes of sunflower seeds on a tolling basis. The contract would expire soon. There are no new contracts, although Kernel is working on this direction.

Kernel is a vertically integrated company which has been operating in the Ukrainian agribusiness sector since 1994. The group produces sugar and sunflower oil, distributes bottled oil under the brand names Schedry Dar, Stozhar and Chumak Zolota, exports oil and grain, and provides elevator storage services for grain and oilseeds.