Business news from Ukraine

UKRAINIANS SELL, BUY $1 BLN OF CURRENCY ONLINE IN 2019

The volumes of buying and selling currency online by individuals in Ukraine in 2019 were almost equal – $1 billion each, according to the website of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU). According to the report, the abolition of restrictions on buying currency online for individuals did not lead to pressure on the foreign exchange market – about 7% of the cash market operations simply switched to online banking platforms.
“The National Bank will continue currency liberalization in the future. In particular, after the implementation of the split law, the National Bank will allow selling currency online not only to banks, but also to non-banking financial institutions that will come under the supervision of the NBU from mid-2020,” the regulator said.
As reported, on February 7, 2019 the law on currency and currency transactions entered into force. It foresees the introduction of more than 20 exemptions in the foreign exchange market. In particular, online purchase of foreign currency by individuals is allowed, while transferring funds in foreign currency between individuals (except relatives) will still be prohibited.
At the same time, from November 5, 2019 the central bank canceled the daily limit on the purchase of foreign currency and banking metals, which amounted to UAH 150,000.

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UKRAINE’S STATE FOREST RESOURCES AGENCY LAUNCHES E-REGISTER OF TIMBER-CUTTING PERMITS AND ONLINE LOGGING MAP

Ukraine’s State Forest Resources Agency has launched a pilot project of an electronic registry of logging permits, Viktor Melnychenko, the Director General of the agency’s Forestry Innovation and Analysis Center, has said.
“This is a register of permits that give the right to carry out business activities related to the harvesting of wood. The register of logging tickets covers the entire territory of Ukraine. We collected all the data in one place and started making it available to the public about a month ago,” Melnychenko said at a press conference at the Interfax-Ukraine news agency.
Melnychenko said as of October 16 information on 27,000 issued permits for timber harvesting was published in the register.
In addition, the center presented an online map of timber felling, which also works in a pilot mode and extends to three regions, including Chernihiv, Poltava, and Rivne.
“Today we are working on a system of graphical display of logging on a map of Ukraine in three pilot regions. A month since we started uploading maps. Now we are solving a number of technical issues. By the end of the year, we plan to extend the project to all of Ukraine for enterprises of the State Forest Resources Agency,” Melnychenko said.
In addition, the center plans to launch a register of forest tickets for the industrial gathering of berries, mushrooms, honey, and medicinal herbs. The project is at the final stage of development.
Melnychenko said he expects the parliament to consider and adopt a number of legislative initiatives that will allow the distribution of the electronic wood accounting system, a register of logging and forest tickets and an online logging map for all permanent forest users who also harvest wood, regardless of subordination.
A logging ticket is permission to harvest wood and contains information about the location and volume of the workpiece. The document is issued by the regional forestry and hunting departments at the agency.
The total forest area of Ukraine is about 10.4 million hectares. The forest cover of the country is 15.9%.
Some 7.6 million ha of forests are subordinated to the State Forest Resources Agency (73% of the Forest Fund of Ukraine).

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FARVATER TRAVEL FROM YUZHGOROD INVESTS $300,000 IN ONLINE TRIP SEARCH SERVICE

Farvater Travel (Yuzhgorod) has launched the online package trip search and booking service, investing around $300,000 since the beginning of its creation, the co-founder of the company, Tetiana Pollak, told reporters during the presentation of the service in Kyiv. The service is based on the Online Travel Agency model and allows you to select the appropriate tour package from the list of parameters on the site among 29 million current offers of tour operators. “We the online service have not yet seen a payback. We need to grow another five times to become profit-making,” she said, adding that the company had already increased online sales five times in six months.
According to her, this year, with the help of this service, more than 1,000 tours with the cost from EUR 180 to EUR 4,100 (the average cost of one trip is EUR 1,170) were booked.
The company plans to increase the volume of the serviced part of the Ukrainian market of package tours from the current almost 1% to 7% in 2020.
The company sees the profit from the service according to the scheme, which is traditional for travel agencies – the fee from the price stated by the tour operator, Pollak said. “The company has been in the non-online market for a long time, it has a significant amount of sales, and because of this, we have the largest fee,” Farvater Travel CEO Andriy Shvets said. Travel Company Farvater has been operating since 2006. The first version of the online search site was launched in October 2017, and in December, the first customers appeared. The company is owned by Tetiana and Friedrich Pollak in equal shares. The charter capital Farvater Travel is UAH 20,000.

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