Business news from Ukraine

UKRAINE AN IMPORTANT INVESTMENT AREA FOR EBRD, BANK ONE OF THE LARGEST INVESTORS IN UKRAINIAN ECONOMY

First Vice President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Jurgen Rigterink believes that Ukraine is an important area of investment for the EBRD and a powerful platform for the implementation of major projects. “I’ve been EBRD first vice president for just nine weeks, and the fact that I am currently on a visit to Ukraine speaks about the importance of your country in our project portfolio. For us, Ukraine is not only an investment area, but also an important platform for cooperation in a number of projects that we are implementing jointly with other international partners,” Rigterink said at a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman in Kyiv on Thursday.
Groysman, in turn, noted that cooperation between Ukraine and the EBRD has the potential for growth.
“The bank is one of the largest investors in the Ukrainian economy, and now we are talking about strengthening cooperation and increasing its effectiveness,” he said.
Rigterink also recalled that the EBRD is now processing a five-year work plan in Ukraine, which includes, among other things, increased funding and in-depth cooperation in specific areas – primarily the work of government banks and the development of the energy sector.
According to Groysman, the Ukrainian government is interested in further cooperation with the EBRD on modernization of the gas transit system, as well as in raising funds to increase natural gas production and develop green energy.
“We are now at the point where the economy will grow and investments will increase. I feel it and I see it. This is the scenario I’m programmed to. The situation as a whole is getting stabilized, and this is a very good signal. Even despite the fact that we are entering the electoral period, the government is ready to ensure a forward movement,” he said.

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EBRD PLANS TO FINANCE NEW PRIVATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECTS IN UKRAINE FOR EUR 250 MLN

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is preparing the new Ukraine Sustainable Energy Lending Facility (USELF-III) for the amount of EUR 250 million, the bank has reported on its website. “Therefore, to continue supporting the Ukrainian renewable energy sector, the EBRD, intends to commit an envelope of EUR 250 million from its own resources to finance new private renewable energy projects in Ukraine,” the bank said.
EBRD launched USELF in 2009 to support and finance the first non-large hydropower renewable energy projects in Ukraine. The original Ukraine Sustainable Energy Lending Facility (USELF) is set to expire on June 30, 2018. Since inception, the facility has invested more than EUR 100 million to finance over 150 MW across all renewable energy technologies.

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EBRD COULD PROVIDE $20 MLN LOAN TO ASTARTA

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) could provide a senior secured long-term loan of up to $20 million to finance working capital of Astarta agricultural holding. According to a report on the bank’s website, the decision could be made on June 18.
The project will support the company in development and implementation of cooperation with local universities and schools, contributing to improved access to training and employment opportunities for young people.
In addition, the project is expected to contribute to significant efficiency and productivity gains through introduction of modern IT solutions and farming techniques as well as to support development of stronger backward linkages to local suppliers.
The total cost of the project is $242 million.
As reported, the EBRD in October 2017 provided a $25 million loan for seven years to build and buy sugar and grain storage facilities.
Astarta is a vertically integrated agro-industrial holding operating in Poltava, Vinnytsia, Khmelnytsky, Ternopil, Zhytomyr, Chernihiv, Cherkasy and Kharkiv regions.

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STATE-OWNED UKRZALIZNYTSIA TO CREATE RAIL CAR COMPANY, TO ATTRACT LOAN FROM EBRD TO BUY 7,000 CARS

Public joint-stock company Ukrzaliznytsia plans to create a separate rail car company, which in 2018 and 2019 would buy 3,500 cars each year using a loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), acting Board Chairman of Ukrzaliznytsia Yevhen Kravtsov said at the UZ: Investor Day 2018 conference in Odesa on Wednesday.
“This project will be implemented via the creation of a specialized rail car company, which would receive gondola cars bought for borrowed funds to its balance sheet.
According to a posting on the EBRD’s website, the project was pending approval of the bank’s board on May 23. The bank told Interfax-Ukraine that the consideration of the issue was postponed, and the new date will be announced later.
It is planned that the EBRD would provide a $150 million loan. The total cost of the project is $240.7 million. Some of the sum would be financed by Ukrzaliznytsia and thanks to grants under technical cooperation programs.
The bank said that it is planned to acquire around 6,500 gondola cars with the total need of the company of around 24,000 gondola cars.
Kravtsov said that if a separate company is created, the cars could be used on the market as a private fleet and earn more than the rolling stock of Ukrzaliznytsia.
“For us, these will be unprecedented conditions of work, when we are able to set real tariffs for transportation, which will allow us to talk about the payback of rolling stock and profit for investors. This project gives a signal to other potential investors to invest in Ukrzaliznytsia’s projects and show, how one can earn on them,” Kravtsov said.
He also added that to implement these projects, Ukrzaliznytsia is already negotiating with international companies that operate in the U.S. and European markets.

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EBRD DIRECTOR IN UKRAINE SEVKI ACUNER TRANSFERS TO LONDON OFFICE

Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in Ukraine Sevki Acuner on June 1 will finish his work on the post and will transfer to the London office of the bank, Senior Adviser of the EBRD Anton Usov has told Interfax-Ukraine.
“Managing Director of the EBRD in Eastern Europe and Caucasus Francis Malige will be also responsible for EBRD operations in Ukraine,” Usov said, commenting on the new management structure.
As reported, the EBRD in April 2013 appointed Acuner director in Ukraine from June 1. Acuner, who previously held the position of EBRD Deputy Country Director for Turkey, replaced Andre Kuusvek, who has been appointed Director of Local Currency and Capital Markets Development at the EBRD’s headquarters in London and who had been Director for Ukraine since 2008.
The EBRD is the largest international financial investor in Ukraine. Since the beginning of the bank’s operations in the country in 1993, its total liabilities have reached EUR 12 billion.

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POROSHENKO MEETS WITH EBRD PRESIDENT CHAKRABARTI

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has met with President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Suma Chakrabarti, the presidential press service has reported.
“We have a great history of cooperation between Ukraine and the EU. Today, the Beskydsky tunnel was opened – the largest infrastructure project in Ukraine, implemented with the help of international partners, including the EBRD. I am sure that every year we can jointly implement a number of major projects in different spheres,” the president of Ukraine emphasized.
The two discussed the state and prospects of Ukraine-EBRD partnership development. The Ukrainian president called on the president of the EBRD to double the funding of the projects and expand the scope of their implementation in Ukraine.
The presidents paid special attention to the implementation of reforms in the banking, energy and energy efficiency spheres.
They noted that the meeting of the National Investment Council to be held on May 25 should be an important event for presenting the results of the reforms to foreign investors and attracting investments for Ukraine’s economic development.
The president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development expressed willingness to continue supporting Ukraine on the way of implementation of structural reforms in the economy.

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