Business news from Ukraine

NEW U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE YOVANOVITCH ARRIVES IN KYIV

KYIV. Aug 25 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch presented copies of her credentials to Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister and chief of the ministry’s secretariat Vadym Prystaiko on Tuesday.

The parties mentioned a high level of relations between Ukraine and the U.S. and the importance of their further development in all areas, particularly in the security and economic fields, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry website reported.

Prystaiko and Yovanovitch exchanged opinions on the state and prospects of the Minsk peace process and discussed bilateral interaction within the UN framework.

Yovanovitch pointed out to a qualitatively new level of relations between the U.S. and Ukraine and the U.S.’ determination to continue to help Ukraine defend its territorial integrity, pursue reforms, and fight corruption.

It was reported earlier that previous U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt had left Ukraine on August 18 after three years of his service in the country.

U.S. President Barack Obama had earlier announced his intention to appoint Yovanovitch new U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. Pyatt was reportedly named as the U.S.’ prospective ambassador to Greece.

Yovanovitch earlier served as principal deputy assistance secretary in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. From 2001 to 2004, Yovanovitch served as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv and charge d’affaires.

 

GOVERNMENT SIGNS TRILATERAL AGREEMENT WITH EMPLOYERS, TRADE UNIONS FOR 2016-2017

KYIV. Aug 25 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, Federation of Employers of Ukraine (FEU) and Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine (FPSU) have signed a general agreement on regulating the key principles and standards for implementing the social and economic policy and labor relations in the country for 2016-2017.

An Interfax-Ukraine correspondent has reported that Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, Deputy FEU Head Oleksiy Miroshnychenko and FPSU Head Hryhoriy Osovy signed the document.

“We must create relevant labor conditions, produce competitive products and pay fair salaries to Ukrainian citizens. I said this before and today I will repeat this at a government [meeting] – labor of Ukrainian citizens is underestimated,” Groysman said during the signing of the agreement.

The prime minister said that ministries must deepen cooperation with trade unions and employers.

The agreement will be implemented in 2016 and 2017. Osovy said that trade unions are waiting for an increase in minimum wages by 20% after the signing of the agreement.

Groysman said that the government first since 1993 has passed a resolution on the signing of this trilateral agreement. According to the FEU, this is the 11th similar agreement in the history of the country.

The government said that the document contains 191 provisions and three sections: increase of competitiveness of national producers and provision for a rise of employment; salaries, conditions, labor protection and social protection of employees; and social dialog. The document has seven attachments.

The economic section contains general agreements of the sides on taking joint measures aimed at development the domestic market, support of Ukrainian production and solving issues of concern. They include agreements to increase crediting of the real economic sector, pay the public debt to business in VAT refunds and overpaid profit tax.

The sides will hold consultation on setting prices/tariffs of natural monopolies at the economically justifiable level, their regulation and joint control, minimizing their negative impact on the public and producers, as well as targeting assistance to some categories of citizens.

The social section determine the pace of growth of average salaries for the non-budget-funded areas; the rate of remuneration for first labor grade workers and extra bonuses to the remuneration rates and salaries.

Attention should be paid to payment of wage arrears and preventing them. Also important are taking agreements on labor protection, social protection and humanitarian issues.

The parties of the agreement are 95 Ukrainian trade unions represented by five unions of trade unions, 93 organizations of employers and their associations (28 sector and 65 territorial organizations) represented by four Ukrainian unions of employers.

UKRAINE, POLAND SHOULD COOPERATE ON ENERGY SECURITY, DEVELOP ECONOMIC, HUMAN TIES – DUDA

KYIV. Aug 25 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Polish President Andrzej Duda has said that Ukraine and Poland should join efforts to ensure energy security, develop economic and human ties based on mutual respect.

“We need to combine our efforts to ensure energy security, and we have talked a few times about this today, and Mr. President Poroshenko stressed this,” he said speaking with Ukrainian diplomats in Kyiv on Wednesday.

Duda stressed the need to actively develop ties between the two countries to “overcome the isolation”, to develop the transport infrastructure, which will ensure the free exchange of services, to develop investment cooperation between Ukraine and Poland, to promote tourism and interaction between citizens of the two countries.

“We need to break the blockade of cooperation that stems from the issues of history and identity. We will not change our history, but we must always maintain an open dialogue based on mutual respect and historical truth,” the Polish president said.

Duda also said that Warsaw will consistently promote the reforms in Ukraine and provide its assistance.

KSG AGRO SEES $2 MLN OF NET PROFIT IN H1 2016

KYIV. Aug 23 (Interfax-Ukraine) – KSG Agro (Luxembourg) with assets in Ukraine saw $1.95 million of net profit in January-June 2016 compared to net loss of $3.825 million a year ago.

According to a company report on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE), its revenue over the period grew by 40%, to $7.14 million.

KSG Agro saw a 22.5% rise in operating profit in H1 2016, totaling $5.29 million and a 7.5% rise in gross profit, reaching $4.86 million.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) over the period fell by 3.3%, to $6.04 million from $5.24 million in January-June 2015.

KSG Аgro is a vertically integrated agricultural group, working in almost all the segments of the agricultural market, including the production, storage, processing, and sale of agricultural products. The total arable land leased by the company is around 63,000 hectares.

UKRAINE BOOSTS STEEL OUTPUT BY 10.5% IN JULY, RETURNING TO TOP TEN STEELMAKERS – WORLDSTEEL

KYIV. Aug 23 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukrainian metallurgical enterprises in July 2016 boosted steel output by 10.5% compared to July 2015, to 2.065 million tonnes, climbing from 11th to 10th place in the ranking of the world’s 66 major steel manufacturers, compiled by the World Steel Association (Worldsteel).

A rise in steel production in July was recorded in most of the top ten countries, apart from the United States, Germany and Brazil.

The top ten steelmaking countries in July were as follows: China (66.807 million tonnes, a 2.6% increase), Japan (8.886 million tonnes, an increase by 0.5%), India (8.082 million tonnes, an increase by 8.1%), the United States (6.877 million tonnes, a decline by 2.2%), Russia (6.131 million tonnes, an increase by 0.9%), South Korea (6.009 million tonnes, an increase by 1.5%), Germany (3.393 million tonnes, a decrease by 6.1%), Brazil (2.705 million tonnes, a decrease by 6%), Turkey (2.661 million tonnes, an increase by 6.5%), and Ukraine (2.065 million tonnes, an increase by 10.5%).

In general, in July 2016, the 66 countries produced 133.742 million tonnes of steel, which was 1.4% up on July 2015.

The top ten steel makers in January-July 2016 included: China (466.516 million tonnes, a decline by 0.5%), Japan (60.935 million tonnes, a decline by 0.8%), India (54.958 million tonnes, an increase by 4.8%), the United States (46.932 million tonnes, a decline by 0.2%), Russia (41.398 million tonnes, a decline by 0.8%), South Korea (39.368 million tonnes, a decline by 2.7%), Germany (25.252 million tonnes, a decline by 2%), Turkey (19.152 million tonnes, an increase by 3.6%), Brazil (17.572 million tonnes, a decline by 12%), and Ukraine (14.477 million tonnes, an increase by 10.3%).

In general, the 66 countries produced 929.633 million tonnes of steel in the seven months of this year, which was 1.2% down year-over-year.

MRIYA ALLOCATES 93,000 HA FOR WINTER CROPS OF 2017 HARVEST

KYIV. Aug 23 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Mriya agroholding has started sowing winter crops for 2017 harvest and allocated around 93,000 ha for them.

The company said in a press release on Monday that as of August 21, over 50% of the planned volume of winter rapeseed had already been sown. The area allocated for this crop is approximately the same as last year – 20,000 ha.

Mriya is preparing the soil for other winter crops, primarily winter wheat, which will be sown on 70,000 ha. In addition, almost 1,000 ha will be sown with winter barley.

The company will also introduce winter rye into its crop rotation for the first time this year.

“We plan to sow the northern portion of our land with rye. The soil there is rather flinty, which makes it impossible to achieve good yields for other crops, for example wheat. Overall, we plan to sow 2,000 ha with rye,” Mriya COO Viktor Kukharchuk said.

Mriya plans to finish sowing winter rapeseed and move on to winter wheat by the end of August. The harvesting of early grain crops is also nearing its end; the company has already threshed over 320,000 tonnes of grain harvested on 84,000 ha.