Business news from Ukraine

75% OF UKRAINIANS BELIEVE SITUATION IS NOT DEVELOPING IN RIGHT DIRECTION IN UKRAINE

Most Ukrainians are convinced that the country is not moving in the right direction, according to a poll done by the sociological group Rating. The problems that concern the respondents the most are the war in Donbas and corruption.
According to a poll published in Kyiv on Thursday, 75% of the respondents believe the situation in Ukraine is not developing in the right direction, 13% have the opposite opinion, and 12% are in doubt. In the perception of the problems existing in the country, respondents retain the opinion that the war in the east of Ukraine and corruption are the most important national problems, social problems also prevail: low salaries and pensions, as well as high tariffs for housing and communal services.
The poll was conducted by the sociological group Rating in the period between June 22, 2018 and July 5, 2018. It surveys 3,200 respondents aged 18 or older.

EBRD TO PROVIDE EUR 10 MLN LOAN TO KYIVSKY CARDBOARD MILL

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will provide a loan of EUR10 million to Kyivsky cardboard and paper mill (KCPM), a leading company in the sector and based outside Ukraine’s capital. This will be a seven-year loan to boost energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions, the EBRD said in a statement on July 13. The purchase of a shoe press for cardboard drying will help KCPM reduce the use of steam, increase production volumes and improve the quality of coated cardboard. The replacement of pumps will halve the electricity needs of this equipment. Combined annual savings are expected to reach up to EUR2 million.
New converting and packing lines for the production of tissues will be procured as part of the project and will allow the company to widen its range of products for use in office buildings, hotels, schools and airports. It will also help KCPM increase its domestic and export sales, including those to the EU.
KCPM will upgrade its waste-paper processing equipment, which will allow the firm to improve the quality – and reduce the cost of cardboard production. These improvements will make it possible to reprocess waste paper up to four times. This will be the first production cycle in the country to implement the EU principles of using fewer resources and increasing energy efficiency.
The investments are expected to reduce the company’s annual CO2e emissions by up to 11,000 tonnes. Kyivsky cardboard paper mill is one of the largest cardboard and paper producers in Europe. It employs almost 2,200 people. It sells produce to almost 700 companies in Ukraine, some CIS member states and the rest of the world. In 2017, the mill saw a 14.8% rise in production from 2016, to UAH 4.85 billion. The mill is owned by Pulp Mill Holding GmbH (Austria), its ultimate beneficiary is businessman Volodymyr Krupchak.
The EBRD is the largest international financial investor in Ukraine. Since the start of its operations in the country in 1993, the Bank has made a cumulative commitment of almost EUR 12.1 billion across some 400 projects in Ukraine.

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NBU APPROVES VS BANK AND TASCOMBANK MERGER

The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has approved VS Bank (Lviv) merger with TAScombank (Kyiv) under a simplified procedure, VS Bank reported on its website.
“On July 11, 2018, VS Bank received the NBU’s permission for reorganization via the merger of VS Bank with TAScombank under the simplified procedure,” reads the report.
The merger will be conducted in line with the reorganization plan approved at the general meeting of shareholders of each bank and a merger agreement. TAScombank will become the legal successor of VS Bank’s rights and obligations.
TAS Group was founded in 1998. It has assets in the financial and industrial sectors, agriculture, real estate, pharmaceuticals, and venture projects. The financial sector of the group includes TAScombank, Universal Bank, VS Bank, two insurance companies and several other organizations. The founder and the main shareholder of the group is Sergiy Tigipko.
According to the NBU, as of January 1, 2018 the major owner of TAScombank was Sergiy Tigipko, who owned 99.86851% of securities.
Sberbank sold VS Bank as part of the implementation of its strategy to leave the Ukrainian banking market.

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NINE INSURERS LEAD IN TERMS OF PREMIUM COLLECTION IN UKRAINE’S REGIONS

Nine insurance companies led Insurance Top ranking in terms of collection of insurance premiums in Ukraine’s regions in January-March 2018. TAS Insurance Group became leader in ten regions.
According to the ranking, TAS Insurance Group in Volyn region (raised UAH 16.5 million and paid UAH 4.3 million), in Zhytomyr region (UAH 9.3 million and UAH 3.3 million respectively), in Ivano-Frankivsk region (UAH 10.2 million and UAH 4.2 million), in Kirovohrad region (UAH 6 million and UAH 1.5 million), in Luhansk region (UAH 2.1 million and UAH 614,000), in Mykolaiv region (UAH 11.8 million and UAH 3.4 million), in Sumy region (UAH 5.4 million and UAH 2.1 million), in Ternopil region (UAH 20.3 million and UAH 6.2 million), in Khmelnytsky region (UAH 7.6 million and UAH 1.6 million), in Cherkasy region (UAH 10 million and UAH 5 million).
Alliance Insurance Company led in Dnipropetrovsk region (raised UAH 105 million and paid UAH 21 million), Asko-Donbas Pivnichny – in Donetsk region (UAH 12.8 million and UAH 3.8 million respectively), Globus Insurance Company – in Zakarpattia and Chernivtsi regions (UAH 13 million and UAH 6 million; UAH 2.8 million and UAH 886,000), Credo Insurance Company – in Zaporizhia region (UAH 216.4 million and UAH 46 million), AXA Insurance – in Poltava and Kherson regions (raised UAH 15 million and UAH 7.6 million respectively), Oranta – in Chernihiv region (UAH 12 million and UAH 2.8 million), Kniazha Insurance Company – in Vinnytsia region (UAH 15 million and UAH 7 million).
PZU Ukraine raised the largest amounts in premium collection in January-March 2016 in Lviv region (raised UAH 27.2 million and paid UAH 30.6 million), Kharkiv region (UAH 6.8 million and UAH 5.2 million respectively), and Rivne region (UAH 5 million and UAH 2 million).
Arsenal Insurance led in terms of premium collection in Kyiv and Kyiv region (raised UAH 434 million and paid UAH 42 million). It was followed by AXA Insurance with UAH 264 million and Ukrainian Insurance Group with UAH 160 million.

JAPANESE SUMITOMO WILL ACQUIRE 51% STAKE IN UKRAINE’S MINERAL FERTILIZERS SUPPLIER

Japanese corporation Sumitomo will acquire a 51% stake in Spectr-Agro LLC (Kyiv region), a supplier of mineral fertilizers, seeds and equipment to Ukrainian agricultural enterprises. A corresponding agreement was signed between the corporation, Spectr-Agro and Spectr-Agrotechnika LLC on July 11, the Ukrainian company said on Facebook.
“Over 30 years ago, Sumitomo founded the agri-scientific business line (ASBL), starting with the export of plant protection products from Japan, Sumitomo is actively engaged in expanding the supply chain, constantly developing wholesale and retail distribution channels. Today, this activity is carried out in 30 countries around the world. The acquisition of Spectr-Agro is a continuation of the development of Sumitomo’s business in trading in agricultural resources,” the report said.
Spectr-Agro is expected that the acquisition transaction will contribute to the expansion and growth of the company’s activities in Ukraine.
Spectr-Agro was founded in 2009, currently it operates throughout Ukraine. It supplies such agricultural resources as plant protection products, mineral fertilizers, seeds and agricultural equipment to more than 3,500 agricultural producers in the country.
As of October 2017, the company was co-owned by Vasyl Skarlat with a 50% stake, Maria Lavreniuk with 25%, and Volodymyr Lobach with 25%.
In the third quarter of 2017, the company posted UAH 28.205 million in net profit, its revenue was UAH 2.999 billion.

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AGRARIAN FUND IN Q2 SELLS 18,700 TONNES OF GRAIN, 34,200 TONNES OF FLOUR

PJSC Agrarian Fund sold 700 tonnes of grain, 34,200 tonnes of flour and 103,000 tonnes of mineral fertilizers in April-June 2018, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food reported on the website. In the second quarter of this year, the Agrarian Fund’s revenue amounted to UAH 1 billion, the company’s net profit after the payment of corporate profit tax was UAH 2.2 million against an expected loss of UAH 28 million, it said.
The ministry says that flour was sold by the Agrarian Fund in wholesale and retail batches, including in retail outlets under its own brand.

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