Business news from Ukraine

NBU, FINANCE MINISTRY INITIATES DRAFT LAW ON FINANCIAL RESTRUCTURING OF COMPANIES’ LOANS

KYIV. Oct 8 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) and Finance Ministry of Ukraine have drawn up a draft law on financial restructuring of the debt of companies under bank credits, and the document could apply to the debt of around UAH 200 billion.

“This concerns voluntarily restructuring of bad debts of corporate borrowers… It is proposed that the off-court settling of bad debts is legislated for the interim period of next three years,” Deputy Finance Minister Artem Shevalev said at a presentation of the draft law for journalists at the NBU in Kyiv on Wednesday.

He said that the goal of the initiative is to accelerate the restoration of the financial and corporate sectors using the financial and operating restructuring of bad credits, retain economically viable enterprises and jobs in the real economic sector, accelerate the settling of the uncollectable debts in the banking sector, which would allow banks to resume crediting of new borrowers in the real economic sector, create a reliable and effective mechanisms for informal settling of bad debts issue between creditors and companies.

Shevalev added that potentially economically viable companies-debtors, including municipal and public enterprises, could take part in this restructuring. The possibility of returning the companies to the successful economic operations if the debt problem is settled would be assessed before the restructuring process.

“The mechanism for defining vitality will be transparent; independent experts and leading audit companies will be involved,” he said.

He said that the restructuring procedure could start if there are at least three financial institutions, which are parties of the market agreement, or one financial institution that has at least 25% of the debt. If temporary administration is introduced in the bank-creditor, the Individuals’ Deposit Guarantee Fund would present the creditor in the restructuring procedure. If the company-debtor and the bank are affiliated, they cannot take part in the restructuring process simultaneously.

Shevalev said that the coordinator of the process will be a group of experts, consisting of representatives of the NBU, Finance Ministry, Economic Development and Trade Ministry and Justice Ministry.

Deputy NBU Head Vladyslav Rashkovan said that as of September 1, 2015, the credit portfolio of banks totaled around UAH 930 billion, including UAH 761.5 billion of credits issued to corporate clients or 82%. The share of overdue debt of corporate clients of the banks’ credit portfolio was 17%, he said.

UKRAINE’S SEAPORTS INCREASE CARGO TRANSSHIPMENT BY 3.7% IN JAN-SEPT

KYIV. Oct 7 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukrainian seaports in January-September 2015 increased cargo transshipment by 3.7% compared to the same period in 2014, to 107.024 million tonnes.

According to live data from the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority, state port operators managed by the Ministry of Infrastructure handled 37.351 million tonnes (35% of the total volume), other port operators (mostly privately owned) transshipped 69.672 million tonnes (65%).

Transshipment of exported cargo totaled 75.157 million tonnes, imported freight totaled 13.448 million tonnes, transit goods – 12.81 million tonnes, and cabotage cargo – 5.608 million tonnes.

In particular, Yuzhny port (Odesa region), the largest in terms of handling, in January-September 2015 increased cargo transshipment by 4.6%, to 35.48 million tonnes. Transshipment of exported cargo increased by 5.1%, to 27.595 million tonnes, imported cargo by 38.2%, to 3.774 million tonnes, transit freight decreased by 16.7%, to 4.09 million tonnes, and cabotage – by 31.4%, to 20,510 tonnes.

Liquid cargo amounted to 3.298 million tonnes (down by 11.7%), while dry and bulk goods totaled 31.689 million tonnes (7.3% up), and packaged items stood at 492,500 tonnes (a decrease of 25.5%).

Odesa maritime merchant port in January-September handled 19.006 million tonnes of cargo, which is 7.5% higher than a year earlier. Transshipment of exported cargo increased by 21.5%, to 13.755 million tonnes, imported goods decreased by 21%, to 1.941 million tonnes, transit freight fell by 15.2%, to 3.264 million tonnes, and cabotage fell by 17%, to 46,000 tonnes.

UKRAINE’S AGRICULTURE MINISTRY PLANS TO SIGN AGREEMENT WORTH EUR 400 MLN WITH EIB FOR AGRICULTURE PROJECTS IN OCT

KYIV. Oct 7 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Agricultural Policy and Food Ministry of Ukraine plans to raise EUR 400 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to develop projects in the agricultural sector.

“I hope that on October 23 we will sign the [agreement on] financing of EUR 400 million with the EIB in Germany during the forum, which would come via banks. We need cheap and long-term money,” Minister Oleksiy Pavlenko said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.

He said that the ministry is currently participating in discussion of the draft budget for 2016.

“Now, jointly with the Finance Ministry, we’re seriously working on support of agriculture. There is no position of the parliament on VAT. Our position in the issue is the following: if you want to remove something, we should offer something more adequate,” he said.

Pavlenko said that there are subsidies per hectare in European countries, and if the VAT regime is revoked, other options to support should be considered, for example, support for small and medium sized businesses via compensation of credit rates, support for livestock breeding, vegetable storage facilities and greenhouses.

AVTOKRAZ INCREASES OUTPUT BY 10% IN NINE MONTHS

KYIV. Oct 7 (Interfax-Ukraine) – PJSC AvtoKrAZ (Kremenchuk, Poltava region), the only Ukrainian producer of heavy vehicles, in January-September 2015 produced 984 trucks, which is 10.1% more than in the same period in 2014.

According to a press release issued by the company, 71% of total vehicle production was ordered by Ukrainian customers, the rest was manufactured for exports.

In addition to automotive production, in January-September this year the plant produced and shipped 15 trailers and five semi-trailers, which is 7.5 times more than in the same period in 2014.

In September, AvtoKrAZ made marketable products worth about UAH 166 million, which is 4% more than in August 2015.

The company also reported that its staff is currently working on taking measures to prepare the plant for winter and is dealing with the issue of quality and optimization of production to reduce costs, as well as producing new models of KrAZ vehicles.

AvtoKrAZ makes 33 basic vehicle models, and more than 260 modifications and trim levels for civilian and military vehicles.

GERMANY BELIEVES REFORMS IN UKRAINE NOT FAST, DEEP ENOUGH – HEAD OF GERMAN-UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENTARY GROUP

KYIV. Oct 7 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Reforms in Ukraine are not fast enough, Member of German Bundestag of the Christian Democratic Unity (CDU) and head of the German-Ukrainian Parliamentary Group Karl-Georg Wellmann has said.

“Both in your parliament, and in our German Bundestag, and among the German public, there are concerns that the reforms here are not fast enough and not deep enough,” he said during a meeting of the German-Ukrainian Parliamentary Group and the parliamentary group of the Verkhovna Rada on inter-parliamentary relations with Germany in Kyiv on Tuesday.

Wellmann stressed the need to resolve the conflict in the east of Ukraine, noting that the hostilities had already claimed the lives of a large number of Ukrainian soldiers, of more than 6,000 civilians, while a lot of Ukrainians were forced to leave their homes.

“No matter how important this topic [the resolution of the conflict in Donbas], it seems to me that Ukraine’s future is still decided in Kyiv,” the MP said.

KYIVSTAR TO INTRODUCE TV SERVICE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH VIASAT BY LATE 2015

KYIV. Oct 6 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Kyivstar plans to launch television services for fixed Internet users by the end of 2015, Kyivstar Marketing Director Sviatoslav Horban has told Interfax-Ukraine.

“All our Home Internet subscribers in more than 100 cities of Ukraine will be able to take advantage of this service. We will implement this project in partnership with Viasat,” he said.

According to Horban, customers will be offered more than 100 popular national and international TV channels, a library of movies and documentaries, and other television services.

“Today about 820,000 households of Ukraine are connected to the Home Internet service,” Horban said.

Kyivstar is a Ukrainian telecommunications operator, provides communications and data services through a range of mobile and fixed technologies, including 3G. The operator has more than 26 million mobile communications subscribers and around 820,000 fixed Internet customers.