Business news from Ukraine

BUSINESSMAN KHMELNYTSKY INTENDS TO INVEST IN ‘GREEN’ ENERGY PROJECTS

KYIV. Nov 22 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Businessman, famous developer and founder of K.Fund Vasyl Khmelnytsky intends to start implementing projects in the “green” energy sphere in the near term, believing this segment is promising in Ukraine.

“We are mulling projects in the ‘green’ energy now. Today it is profit-making and right – the country is to have 10% of ‘green’ power capacity before 2020, and today it has only 1%,” he said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.

Khmelnytsky said that the projects concern power generation at the feed-in tariff. He also is studying the solar and biogas power plant projects.

“This is a separate new direction. We are looking for them [directions]. We want to get rid of less effective and find more effective. We think that this one is more effective, while building shopping centers is less effective,” he said.

He said that in the conditions of low buying power the commercial and housing real estate market in 2017 could face serious difficulties.

Among other promising directions to invest money in Ukraine is processing of agricultural products, he said. Khmelnytsky took the project of an industrial park in Bila Tsekva and the project of an innovation park on the territory of Kyiv Motorcycle Plant as examples.

The businessman said that he is ready to take loans to realize projects in the “green” energy sphere, while he decreases his credit portfolio in all his businesses.

“We have loans in the U.S. dollars at 12% per annum and in hryvnias at 25% per annum. We almost do not take [new loans],” the businessman said.

Commenting on other sources of financing, he said that Novopecherski Lypki and Boulevard of Fountains in Kyiv are profit-making projects.

He said that the situation at the Kyiv airport is bad due to a sharp decline in public income, but it starts improving.

“I think that we have passed the bottom. The situation is slowly improving now, but it is far from that we had five years ago,” Khmelnytsky said.

He said that the airport would try to invite new low-cost airlines. The airport is ready to participate in the programs to attract foreign tourists.

Commenting on other businesses from his portfolio, the businessman said that they are hostages of the difficult economic situation in the country and low income of the public.

“I think that we will start growing. There will be more money and it would be profit-making again. Now when many businesses are working with losses now and I do not have losses, I think that this is good. This is my approach,” he said, asked about the outdoor advertisement operator PTM-Ukraine and the movie producer and distributor Star Media.

He said that one more asset from his portfolio – Biopharma – also suffered from crisis, as 30% of the market was lost: Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk and a large part of Donbas.

“Local pharmaceutical companies had competitive advantage – the devaluation has passed and we managed to use it: here with local staff and materials we were more flexible than importers,” he said.

In general, Khmelnytsky, being First Vice President of the Ukrainian League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (ULIE), said that the main task for Ukraine is the acceleration of economic growth as quickly as possible thanks to creation of new production facilities. This would quickly help to restore public income growth.

“I am interested in economic growth. People should earn more and then they would spend more. My businesses would sell something to them. I do not have any thought that one can survive in this stagnation as we have today. We should unite to accelerate economic growth,” he said.

Khmelnytsky is a majority shareholder in UDP, which is engaged in implementing large-scale infrastructure projects. Kyiv International Airport, Ocean Plaza shopping mall, Novopecherski Lypki residential complex, Boulevard of Fountains, RiverStone and Parkove Misto are among them.

K.Fund was founded in 2015 to support projects related to education and the economy.

GUF TO INVEST EUR 18 MLN IN SMALL AND MEDIUM BUSINESS IN UKRAINE

KYIV. Nov 22 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The German-Ukrainian Fund (GUF) is ready to invest EUR 18 million in the development of small and medium enterprises in Ukraine (SMB), according to the website of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), with reference to the director of the financial controlling department, executive director of the fund Oleh Strynzha.

“The National Bank supports the government’s strategy for the development of small and medium-sized businesses until 2020. The fund capitalization allows it to become an effective national instrument for financing SMB in Ukraine by attracting external credit lines at low interest rates and financing partner banks for lending to targeted areas of SMB development,” he said.

The banker noted the updated comprehensive program of financial sector development until 2020, which is now being revised by the NBU, will include targets to resume lending, in particular measures to simplify obtaining financing by Ukrainian businesses, as well as addressing the issues of enterprises’ bad debts.

The NBU said the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade on November 17 represented the strategy for the development of small and medium enterprises in Ukraine until 2020, developed with the support of the European Union.

IMPORTS OF PASSENGER CARS TO UKRAINE 32% UP IN JAN-SEPT

KYIV. Nov 22 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Imports of passenger cars to Ukraine (new and used ones) grew by 32% in January-September 2016 year-over-year, to 56,943 cars, Ukrautoprom association has reported.

The association said that in money terms imports totaled $988.5 million.

The largest supplier of passenger cars to Ukraine is the European Union (EU): 30,614 cars worth $505.2 million were imported, including two thirds of new cars worth $431.6 million.

Cars from Japan are second: 8,401 cars worth $198.4 million. Over 96% of imported Japanese cars were new ($196.4 million).

Cars from the United States are third: 4,489 cars worth $134.9 million, including 64% of new cars worth $123.2 million.

In January-September 2016, passenger cars were actively imported from Russia (3,117 worth $25.4 million), South Korea (2,457 worth $45.5 million), Turkey (2,453 worth $27.8 million) and Mexico (2,154 worth $24 million). Some 90-99% of them were new cars.

A total of 1,667 cars worth $4.8 million were imported in China (over 93% of new cars).

The association’s press service reported that the major part of used cars imported to Ukraine over the period was cars imported from the EU. The EU share of total imports of used cars was 78% (9,592 worth $73.6 million).

“In general, some $93.5 million was removed from the country to buy used cars abroad,” Ukrautoprom said.

NEW FORD DEALER CENTER OPENED IN VINNYTSIA

KYIV. Nov 22 (Interfax-Ukraine) – A new Ford dealer center was opened in Vinnytsia by Avtovinn company, the official dealer of Ford in Ukraine, the press service of Winner Imports Ukraine has reported.

The dealer center in Vinnytsia has become the third Ford center in the country after dealers in Kyiv and Dnipro. It provides a full cycle of services to sell and service Ford cars.

It took 18 months to build the center with a gross area of 1,592 square meters. The showroom is 676 square meters, the servicing zone is 785 square meters with 10 lifting platforms (totally 14 platforms).

A total of 40 people are working in the center.

Winner Imports Ukraine has been operating since 1992. It is the official importer of Ford, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover and Porsche cars in Ukraine. The dealer chain includes 56 centers for five brands, including 27 Ford dealers.

CLEAN ENERGY GROUP LAUNCHES 7 MW SOLAR PLANT IN VINNYTSIA REGION

KYIV. Nov 21 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Clean Energy Group has launched the Balky solar power station of 7 MW in Vinnytsia region, the press service of the regional state administration has said.

According to the administration, in general Clean Energy is engaged in building seven solar power plants in the region.

The general contractor for building the Balky station is Podilsky Energoconsulting.

Clean Energy Group comprises a number of companies with Cypriot beneficiaries. The group is managed by Andriy Symonovych.

UKRAINE INTERESTED IN BUILDING LNG TERMINAL IN CROATIA – GROYSMAN

KYIV. Nov 21 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukraine is interested in the construction of an LNG terminal in Croatia, Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman has said after a meeting with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic in Kyiv.

According to him, cooperation with Croatia in the energy sector is important for Ukraine.

“The fact that Croatia plans the construction of a new LNG terminal is fully in line with our priority, and we are ready to join the project with the partners, and we are interested to diversify gas supplies to Ukraine. We want this project to be successfully implemented,” Groysman said.

As reported, Croatia plans to build an LNG terminal on the Krka Island in the Adriatic Sea.