Business news from Ukraine

OPENING INTERNATIONAL RIVER CHECKPOINT TO INCREASE CARGO TRAFFIC BETWEEN BELARUS, UKRAINE – INFRASTRUCTURE MINISTRY

KYIV. Aug 7 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Opening an international river checkpoint will increase increasing cargo traffic between Belarus and Ukraine, according to the press service of the Infrastructure Ministry of Ukraine,

The press service said the issue was discussed at a meeting of the ministry’s representatives, Kyiv river port PJSC, the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine and Kyiv City Customs Office.

According to the ministry, vessels are currently unloaded and cargo is processed at the international checkpoint in Kherson. According to the ministry, a new checkpoint in Kyiv will increase the volume of river cargo traffic between Ukraine and Belarus.

Chairman of the Board of Kyiv river Port Andriy Savchuk expressed his readiness to work on the issue.

“To start the preparation of technical-economic grounds for the project, it’s necessary that a detailed analysis be conducted regarding how opening of a checkpoint will affect the dynamics of cargo traffic on river transport from the Belarus,” he said.

Based on the results of the meeting, the Fiscal Service and Infrastructure Ministry decided to give relevant information regarding the dynamics of cargo traffic from Belarus in 2013-1015 and the prospects of its growth if a checkpoint in Kyiv is opened at Kyiv river port. The decision on realizing the project and its prospects will be made after the abovementioned information is considered.

 

UKRAINE’S GRAIN EXPORT POTENTIAL IN 2015/2016 MARKETING YEAR ESTIMATED AT 36-40 MLN TONNES – UAC

KYIV. Aug 7 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukraine’s potential for grain exports in the 2015/2016 marketing year (July through June) is estimated at 36-40 million tonnes, Director General of the Ukrainian Agrarian Confederation Serhiy Stoianov has said.

“The grain supply projected for the 2015/2016 marketing year in Ukraine may be 70-74 million tonnes, which includes ending stocks from the previous marketing year. The amount is enough to meet domestic demand, projected at 24 million tonnes, ensure potential exports projected at 36-40 million tonnes and reliable ending stocks for the next year, expected at 9.5 million tonnes,” a post on the UAC’s website quotes Stoianov as saying.

The UAC forecasts that in the 2015-2016 marketing year Ukraine may harvest over 25 million tonnes of wheat, 8 million tonnes of barley, 28.5 million tonnes of maize and over 1.5 million tonnes of other crops. Thus, the gross yield of grain over the period under review is estimated at 63 million tonnes.

Stoianov said there are good prospects for oilseeds and grain crops, namely soybeans, sunflower seeds and rapeseeds.

Stoianov’s forecasts for oilseeds are based on information about areas sown with crops and expected yields.

In autumn 2014, Ukrainian farmers sowed 8.5 million hectares with winter crops, which is more than during the autumn that preceded the war in Donbas. In the spring, they added about 15 million hectares of spring grain, leguminous and oil-yielding crops.

Stoianov claims that the crop yield, which is over 34 centners [one metric centner equals 100 kg] per hectare in the current marketing year, compared to 34.3 centners per hectare in the previous marketing year, is acceptable.

The government should listen to farmers who are leading compared with other sectors of the economy and who ensure that receipts of foreign currency are transferred to the country, Stoianov said.

He claims that the state should stop trying to cancel benefits for Ukrainian farmers, including the accumulation of value added tax, which is “beggarly” compared to other Eastern European countries.

In his words, the state also owes about UAH 800 million in accounts payable for two years under programs for agricultural support.

KAZAKHSTAN READY TO OFFER CONSIDERABLE VOLUMES OF COAL TO UKRAINE – KAZAKH ENERGY MINISTRY

ASTANA. Aug 7 (Interfax) – Ukraine is currently assessing commercial offers from Kazakh coal producers in terms of prospective coal shipments, the press service of Kazakhstan’s energy ministry told Interfax.

“Should the Ukrainian coal consumers make a decision to go ahead, shipments of coal from Kazakhstan to Ukraine would be carried out under contracts signed by economic agents of two countries. Such contracts are to stipulate certain volumes of shipments, [conditions of] transportation, as well as liabilities of two parties with regard to their execution of the contract,” the press service said.

“Given the potential for increasing coal production as well as capacities of our coal producers, Kazakhstan is in a position to offer Ukraine considerable volumes of coal shipments,” the letter of the press service sent in reply to an Interfax query said.

Kazakhstan’s energy ministry said that today, coal concentrate is only shipped to Ukraine by the coal department of ArcelorMittal Temirtau, AO, delivering it to its own Ukrainian plant, at a level of 700-750,000 tonnes annually. The coal concentrate is a product of such processing of extracted coal as designed for coke production.

It was reported that an agreement about Kazakh coal shipments to Ukraine was reached during Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s visit to Ukraine in December 2014. The issue of unrestricted coal shipments from Russia to Ukraine was expected to be solved during the summer period.

Earlier, Nikolai Radostovets, Director of the Republican Association of Extraction and Mining and Metallurgical Enterprises of Kazakhstan, said in an interview with Interfax that “the Government will have to make efforts for the heating season in 2015-2016 to be successful for Kazakhstan, in terms of coal shipments to Ukraine.”

ECONOMY MINISTRY MULLING CREATION OF STATE TITANIUM HOLDING

KYIV. Aug 7 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukraine may return to the idea of creating a state-run titanium holding, according to senior adviser to the Economic Development and Trade Minister and leader of the ministry’s State-Owned Enterprises Reform taskforce Adomas Audickas.

“The Economy Ministry is mulling the possibility of setting up a titanium holding company. We haven’t got all the answers to our questions, but we’ll have them soon,” he wrote during an online-conference.

The state-run United Mining and Chemical Company, which owns Irshansk and Vilnohirsk mining and metallurgical mills that produce ilmenite, a raw material for titanium, is now working on its strategy and is preparing for incorporation he said.

“The enterprise will undergo an international audit,” he said.

Speaking about plans concerning Brovary-based metal power plant, he said that the ministry would prefer this enterprise to remain in state ownership.

“The ministry is looking for a new head for this enterprise, which would offer a plan for the company’s development,” Audickas said.

United Mining and Chemical Company started operating in August 2014 when the Ukrainian government decided to transfer the property of Vilnohirsk state mining and metallurgical mill and Irshansk state mining and processing mill to its management.

In January-March 2015, United Mining and Chemical Company made a net profit of UAH 44.866 million.

Until recently, plans to create a titanium holding in Ukraine with the use of state assets were promoted by Group DF, which unites Ukrainian businessman Dmytro Firtash’s assets.

UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT APPROVES BILL ON SIMPLIFYING ACCOUNTING RECORDS

KYIV. Aug 7 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has approved the bill on simplifying accounting records developed by the Finance Ministry of Ukraine, according to a post by Deputy Finance Minister Olena Makeyeva on her Facebook page.

“What will this give to companies? A shorter list of requirements for the filling out of primary documentation, less of an accountant’s time is spent on records, [and Ukraine will gain a] higher position in the Doing Business rating,” she said.

The bill states that detailed tax invoices will become a primary document as they confirm business transactions.

The bill suggests imposing European criteria on how companies are classified. In particular, micro-companies are companies with accumulated assets value of up to EUR 350,000, net sales income sales of up to EUR 700,000, and average personnel of 10 people.

Small companies’ assets value should be set at up to EUR 4 million, net income – up to EUR 8 million, number of employees – 50. The figures for medium businesses are as follows, up EUR 20 million of accumulated assists, net income of up to EUR 40 million and up to 250 employees. If these figures are higher, then a company is a large company.

 

POROSHENKO SIGNS NUMBER OF LAWS ON PREVENTING CORRUPTION – DEPUTY HEAD OF PRESIDENTIAL ADMINISTRATION

KYIV. Aug 6 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed a number of laws on combating corruption and smuggling, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine Andriy Taranov said at a briefing on Wednesday.

According to the president’s website, two of the signed laws extend the functions of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau.

The law on amending Article 216 of Criminal Procedural Code on specifying Anti-Corruption Bureau’s jurisdiction allows the Anti-Corruption Bureau to check officials’ declarations and gives the bureau’s detectives the authority to conduct a pre-trial investigation of crimes connected to the declaration of false information.

“Thus, if an official ‘forgets’ to include something in the declaration, the Anti-Corruption Bureau’s detectives will investigate him,” Taranov said.

Another law on amending Article 36 of the law on preventing corruption allows the National Anti-Corruption Bureau to thoroughly check declared information.

“Uncompleted construction, a building belonging to declaring person’s entourage, a building on declarant’s land – all these will be examined,” Taranov said.

The law on amending the law on principles of preventing and battling corruption regarding declarants serving in the military is aimed at protecting the rights of mobilized persons and members of their families.

“If a person was drafted for service in 2014 and by April 1 he didn’t manage to prepare a declaration because of serving in the military, he can file such a declaration within 30 working days after coming back to work,” Taranov said.