Business news from Ukraine

UKRLANDFARMING OWNER READY FOR TALKS WITH INVESTORS ON SALE OF MAJOR STAKE

KYIV. Oct 25 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Owner of Ukrlandfarming agricultural holding Oleh Bakhmatiuk is mulling the possibility of attracting investors for a majority stake to improve the company’s financial condition.

“I understand that to attract investors is the only possible way. It was difficult for me to make the decision and sell the majority stake. I wanted to conduct an IPO, but seeing the problem with the National Bank, I understand that Bakhmatiuk is now a problem for Ukrlandfarming and the company cannot develop,” he said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.

According to the businessman, he is currently in talks with Chinese companies and investors from the Middle East.

“We are ready to sell the majority stake if the issue with the creditors is resolved. We need to reduce debt burden and maintain the company’s development. These are the key points I focus on in negotiations with the investors,” he added.

Bakhmatiuk explained now the main issue that remains unresolved is the dispute with the National Bank regarding the financial debt of his banks and companies.

“Valeriya Gontareva [the head of the National Bank] is doing everything to destroy it [the company]. But the company has future, it is a great platform, and it’s a pity if it is destroyed,” the businessman said.

IMC INCREASES OILSEEDS YIELD BY 18% IN 2016

KYIV. Oct 25 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Industrial Milk Company (IMC) has completed the harvesting of oilseeds, threshing 100,500 tonnes, which is 18% up from 2015.

According to a company press release, the yield of soybeans and sunflower exceeded the target figure for 2016.

The yield of soybeans was 3.4 tonnes per ha, which is a record high in the history of soybeans cultivation by IMC. Soybeans were harvested on 6,400 ha, the total yield (in bunker weight) amounted to 21,600 tonnes.

Sunflower yield reached 3.1 tonnes per ha (11% more than in 2015). Sunflower was harvested from 25,000 ha, the total yield (in bunker weight) amounted to 78,900 tonnes.

IMC focuses on cultivation of grains, oilseeds and potatoes. It is one of the largest milk producers in Ukraine. It owns a storage capacity of 554,000 tonnes of grains and oilseeds. Its land bank is 136,600 ha in Poltava, Chernihiv and Sumy regions.

I WOULD LIKE TO SEE INDEPENDENT SUPERVISORY BOARD IN COMPANY – UKRENERGO HEAD

KYIV. Oct 24 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Acting Director of national energy company Ukrenergo Vsevolod Kovalchuk has said that the state-run enterprise requires corporate management reforms.

“I encourage in every way and urge everyone to accelerate the implementation of the so-called law on corporate management of state-run enterprises. Corporatization is a more complicated process. We must be corporatized, but this will happen later when the law on the electricity market takes effect and when bylaws are passed,” he said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.

He said that in the future the supervisory board should be created with independent directors. They will determine the long-term policy of the company.

“One can permit that one director of the state-run company and one minister who manages him settle all issues themselves. Especially taking into account the fact how often these heads are replaced. Culture, development of the enterprise must be seen. A body that is elected for a long period of time, supervisory board, independent directors must exist. I would like to see an independent supervisory board with representatives of our largest creditors as its members. 70% of our investment is made using funds of international financial institutions,” Kovalchuk said.

“Other oversight agencies, independent qualified energy workers and managers should be present. They would form the management policy on the basis of transparent and clear principles,” he said.

Kovalchuk reminded that Ukrenergo attracted Baker&McKenzie to design new regulations, the regulations on the supervisory board and other documents to accelerate these processes.

“Ukraine took a liability to the EBRD [European Bank for Reconstruction and Development] eight years ago. We are waiting for next steps in this directions from the Energy [and Coal Industry] Ministry, Economic [Development and Trade] Ministry and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine,” he said.

EBRD ADVISES UKRAINE LAUNCH TRAINING PROGRAM TO IMPROVE INTERACTION WITH SMALL AND MEDIUM BUSINESSES

KYIV. Oct 24 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukraine should launch a training program for civil servants to improve interaction between the state and small and medium-sized businesses, Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in Ukraine Sevki Acuner said at a business forum in Kyiv on Friday.

It would be a good idea if the government and executive authorities created a training program for civil servants, so that they should better understand the importance of entrepreneurship for economic prosperity of the country, he said.

BUSINESSMEN RECEIVE UAH 1.5 BLN FROM INVESTORS IN FIRST SIX MONTHS OF KUB PORTAL OPERATION

KYIV. Oct 24 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukrainian businessmen have received UAH 1.5 billion of financing to start or develop their own business in the first six months of operation of the KUB portal (credits to Ukrainian business). This helped create 71,000 new jobs, PrivatBank Board Chairman Oleksandr Dubilet has said.

“There is money on the P2P platform. Yes, the rate is high. Depositors want to have the rate of 23-24%. Local authorities today could compensate the rate and make it affordable – 8-9%. It would be beneficial. It would be returned to the local budget… soon via taxes and salaries,” the banker said at a press release at the Ukraine is a Country of Entrepreneurs forum in Kyiv last week.

He said that the program to finance small and medium-sized business via KUB with financing of UAH 20 billion in 2016-2018 could help to create around 1 million jobs.

As reported, PrivatBank acted as the operator of the Р2Р crediting platform in partnership with MasterCard.

The P2P platform allows creditors to receive a chance of issuing credits to borrowers without intermediaries, having bigger rates compared to deposit rates, borrowers to have access to cheap credits and banks to connect to the platform and credit borrowers without spending on the search of clients, assess risks and other things.

PrivatBank was founded in 1992. Its largest shareholders were Hennadiy Boholiubov and Ihor Kolomoisky as of January 1, 2016.

The bank ranked first among the 108 operating banks in the country as of July 1, 2016, in terms of total assets worth UAH 268.85 billion, according to the National Bank of Ukraine.