News (#10 October 2019)

Biznews

Energy

State HEP plant sold for more than UAH 100 million

The State Property Fund has raised UAH 107.7 million from the sale of the Pervomaisk hydroelectric power plant property complex.

Three participants took part in the auction, which was won by EMZA LLC. Itoffered a price that was UAH 36 million higher than the next highest bid.

The buyer of the Pervomaisk hydroelectric power plant is obliged to retain the main activity of the property complex, to comply with the requirements of the legislation in the field of electric utility industry, to equip the HPP with fish-pass and fish-protection structures, and to apply the opinions and recommendations of an environmental audit in its future operations.

Pervomaisk HPP is located in the city of Pervomaisk, Mykolaiv Region, 244 km from the mouth of the Southern Buh.

 

Investment

Google to invest EUR 3 billion into European data centers

Google will invest EUR 3 billion into European data centers over the next two years.

The investment plan provides an additional EUR 600 million worth of investment into a new data center in Hamina, Finland. The corporation had earlier invested EUR 800 million in an already existing Finnish data center built on the site of an old paper mill.

According to Sundar Pichai, the company’s CEO, the corporation has invested almost EUR 15 billion into the continent’s Internet infrastructure since 2007.

At the meeting with Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne he claimed that further investments would create 13,000 full-time jobs annually in the EU.

 

International Monitoring

Fitch improves Naftogaz rating

The international rating agency Fitch has increased the long-term credit rating in foreign and national currencies for Naftogaz of Ukraine from B- to B.

At the same time, Fitch gave a reminder of Naftogaz’s weak liquidity, uncertainty with domestic gas prices, planned division of the gas transportation business, and political risks.

Naftogaz holds a monopoly on natural gas transit and its storage in underground storage facilities, as well as on the transportation of oil via pipelines through the country’s territory.

 

40% of all foreign direct investment in world fictitious

USD 15 trillion, or 40% of all foreign direct investment in the world, is fictitious, and the majority of this capital is localized in the so-called “tax heavens”, according to a study conducted by the International Monetary Fund and the University of Copenhagen.  It noted more than half of fictitious foreign direct investment is held in Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

“If you add Hong Kong, the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda Islands, Singapore, Cayman Islands, Switzerland, Ireland and Mauritius to the list, these 10 countries will account for more than 85% of fictitious investments,” the study detailed.

As an example, the authors of the study give the example of the Luxembourg phenomenon, whose population is 600,000. According to statistics, this country accounts for USD 6.6 million worth of direct foreign investment per resident (totaling USD 4 trillion per year). This is comparable to investment in the USA, and even exceeds that made in China.

At the same time, such volumes of investment do not affect the level of well-being of the country’s residents.

 

Sanctions

EU extended personal sanctions against Russia for six more months

The EU Council has extended for another six months the restrictive measures against individuals and companies for actions that undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, until 15 March 2020.

The measures include freezing of assets and restricting travel. These currently apply to 170 individuals and 44 legal entities.

A further EU measures implemented in response to the crisis in Ukraine include:

Economic sanctions aimed at specific sectors of the Russian economy, which are valid until 31 January 2020.

Restrictive measures for the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol, limited to the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol, which are valid until 23 June 2020.

Sanctions were firstly introduced in 2014 in the form of exclusion and asset freezing.

During the last extension of the decision on sanctions, the EU listed another 8 Russians involved in the incident that took place on 25 November, 2018, in the area of the Kerch Strait, following which Ukrainian ships and sailors were seized by Russia.

 

Life Science

Biopharma has launched a plasma fractionation plant

Biopharma, a top-ten pharmaceutical producer in Ukraine specializing in plasma-based, recombinant and other drugs, has officially opened its innovative fractionator in Bila Tserkva, the only biopharmaceutical plant of its kind in Eastern Europe and the near region. This unique plasma fractionation technology enables the plasma component of human blood to be processed to extract life-saving drugs, requires advanced research and development, GMP-certified equipment and facilities, and investments exceeding USD 75 million.

Biopharma’s new facility is the first and only plasma fractionation plant in Ukraine that will have the capacity to process up to one million liters of plasma a year.

Horizon Capital’s EEGF II Fund and Dutch development finance bank FMO invested in Biopharma in 2012 to address the serious issue of 120 tons of plasma released each year and not processed into life-saving drugs, because a plant like this has not existed in Ukraine.

 

Economic Forecasts

Business forecasts exchange rate at UAH 28 per dollar in 2020

When planning its budget for 2020, business sets the average dollar exchange rate at UAH 28 per 1 dollar. This is stated in EBA Global Economic Survey, the press service of the European Business Association reports.

“When planning next year’s budget, owners are setting an average currency rate at UAH 28 per dollar. According to forecasts made by investors, the hryvnia will continue to strengthen, as last year the rate was UAH 30 per dollar,” said Anna Derevyanko, Executive Director of the Association, when presenting the results of the study.

Following the study, in which 104 top executives of EBA member companies were interviewed in August 2019, 77% of respondents expect business to develop in 2020, with 45% of CEOs forecasting revenue growth of up to 10-20%.

If compared to the forecast for 2019, the number of companies intending to take on new staff has fallen. According to the survey, 47% of companies plan to keep the number of employees at the level of the previous year, and 46% of CEOs have revealed their plans to expand the staff (the number of such companies last year was 58%).

According to the survey results, only 33% of companies intend to start new investment projects in Ukraine in 2020.

At the same time, more than 90% of company executives intend to raise the salaries of their employees by 5-10%.

 

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