Business news from Ukraine

INVESTORS FROM TURKEY, CHINA, KOREA INTERESTED IN CONCESSION PROJECT FOR HIGH-SPEED TRAFFIC IN UKRAINE

JSC Ukrzaliznytsia expects to launch a concession project for high-speed traffic in Ukraine with the help of investors from China, Korea and Turkey, Ukrzaliznytsia board chairman Volodymyr Zhmak has said.

“I believe that the only tool for building high-speed train networks is concession, and in order to realize this, Ukraine needs a powerful investor,” he said at the Ukraine30. Infrastructure forum in Kyiv.

According to Zhmak, there are currently interested investors from China, South Korea and Turkey.

“Today, these potential investors are just looking at Ukraine in terms of organizing high-speed traffic,” he said.

Earlier that day, at the forum, Minister of Infrastructure Vladyslav Krykliy announced the ministry’s plans in 2021 to start work on a project for the implementation in Ukraine of a European format railway network (1,435mm) with a train speed of over 250 km/h.

“These are four sections with a total length of almost 2,000 km of railway track. The first section is Kyiv-Lviv and the border, 896 km, and we are already starting to build and prepare one of these stages this year,” the minister said.

FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT IN UKRAINE AS OF 09/30/2020 (BALANCE, $ MLN)

Foreign direct investment in Ukraine as of 09/30/2020 (balance, $ MLN).

NBU

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ARCELORMITTAL KRYVYI RIH REDUCES INVESTMENT IN LABOR PROTECTION

PJSC ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih (Dnipropetrovsk region) in 2020 reduced investments in labor protection by 24.4% compared to the previous year, to UAH 380.7 million from UAH 503.4 million.
According to a press release from the enterprise, the company continues to invest in improving working conditions, providing workers with special clothing and footwear, personal protective equipment, as well as implementing measures to reduce injuries and increase the level of industrial safety.
At the same time, it is specified that last year the company registered 34 lost time injuries among its own personnel and contractors. Of these – three fatal accidents (two with the plant employees and one with an employee of the contractor). The overall accident rate in the plant for 2020 (including subsidiaries in Ukraine) was 0.61. The injuries were predominantly associated with the falls of the victims. In the second place is the exposure of workers to high temperatures, as well as injuries as a result of the action of moving, flying and rotating parts, equipment parts and objects.
Most of the injuries occurred for organizational reasons – violation of labor and production discipline. Some 38% of injured workers are not new to production, their work experience in the profession is more than 10 years. The cause of injury is in performing habitual actions with reduced attention during work. Some 24% of injuries occur among young workers with up to 1 year of work experience in production.
From September 22 to September 25, 2020, TMS certification organization conducted an audit of the plant’s labor protection management system for compliance with the requirements of international standard ISO 45001: 018, as a result of which the company received a certificate of conformity.

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DTEK PLANS TO OPEN INVESTMENT HUB IN UK

The energy company DTEK is creating an investment hub for the new Ukrainian energy sector in London, which is scheduled to start operating at the end of the first half of 2021, the press service of DTEK said on Friday, January 8.
“We are creating a hub to attract investments in new energy projects in Ukraine. First of all, this concerns renewable energy sources, energy storage systems and energy projects using hydrogen. Together with the increase in gas production and the development of networks, these areas are identified as priorities in our new strategy,” CEO of DTEK Maksym Tymchenko said, whose words are quoted in the release.
According to him, the specially created company DTEK International Ltd. will carry out operational activities to attract investment to Ukraine in the UK.
The message also indicates that the new DTEK office will be located in the City of London and will be aimed at working both with investors wishing to invest in Ukraine and with Ukrainian entrepreneurs developing energy projects.
As reported, according to the new strategy of DTEK 2030, the company undertook, in particular, commitments to achieve compliance with European legislation on harmful emissions by 2025 and become carbon neutral by 2040, will continue the practice of introducing a wireless Wi-Fi network at its coal mining assets, intends to expand power grid assets in Ukraine and the EU countries and its activity in green energy, including new renewable energy projects outside Ukraine, as well as trading on the markets of EU countries.

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UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT ADOPTS AT FIRST READING BILLS ON INVESTMENT RAISING

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted bill No. 3761 with amendments to the Tax Code with benefits for projects with significant investments, as well as bill No. 3262, with amendments to the Customs Code from the package of bills on investment raising.

According to a correspondent of Interfax-Ukraine, bill No. 3261 was supported by 273 MPs and bill No. 3262 was supported by 262 MPs, with the required 226 votes.

The bills provide tax incentives for investors who implement projects with significant investments, as well as exempt from import duties on equipment for such projects.

In addition, the bill amending the Tax Code proposes to exempt equipment from VAT for 2021-2035, which is imported for the implementation of a project with significant investments, and also provides for income tax benefits.

Deputy Head of the President’s Office Yulia Kovaliv said that the bills are intended to strengthen Ukraine’s position in investment raising and creating new jobs in the package with the previously adopted bill No. 3760 on investment.

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JAPAN RATING AND INVESTMENT INFORMATION UPGRADES UKRAINE’S FOREIGN CURRENCY RATING

Japan Rating and Investment Information, Inc. (R&I) has upgraded Ukraine’s foreign currency issuer rating from B to B+, rating outlook is stable.

“When fiscal consolidation efforts to date and enhanced resilience to external shocks are also taken into account, economic and fiscal conditions are expected to recover in 2021 and beyond,” R&I said in a Thursday press release.

R&I said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) financial support for Ukraine, together with loans from the World Bank and the European Union (EU), will help stabilize the government’s funding, which R&I views favorably.

R&I believes that the improved political and social stability under the leadership of President Volodymyr Zelensky will allow the government to focus on rebuilding the economy.

R&I said that among other positive moments is that foreign reserves are on the rise, standing at $28.8 billion as of end-July 2020, which covers 4.9 months of imports. Gross external debt is declining as a percentage of GDP. As of end-March 2020, the ratio was 75.8%. With external debt maturing within one year falling to 29.3% of GDP, the short-term external debt to foreign reserves ratio declined to around 1.6x from more than 2x seen until the previous year.

There is little concern over the government’s foreign currency liquidity, R&I said.

The banking sector has improved profitability. Supported by growth in deposits, the sector also maintains stability on the liquidity front.

“R&I will follow their [government and National Bank of Ukraine’s] efforts to ensure financial stability, as the impact of the coronavirus is anticipated to emerge going forward,” the agency said.

In R&I’s view, containing infections, reinforcing the healthcare system and rebuilding the economy are top priorities for the government’s fiscal policy.

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