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UBJ AM News: Dec. 28, 2016
David Edwards
TAS Group acquired Universal Bank, an FTA agreement with Israel is expected to be a priority in 2017, and Ukraine got a final tranche of EU financial assistance.
image/svg+xml Kyiv Lutsk Rivne Zhytomyr Lviv Ternopil Khmelnytskyi Uzhgorod Chernivtsi Vinnytsia Chernigiv Sumy Kharkiv Poltava Cherkasy Kirovohrad Lugansk Dnipropetrovsk Donetsk Zaporizhzhia Mykolaiv Odesa Kherson Simferopol Sevastopol Ivano- Frankivsk

TAS Group closed on its purchase of Universal Bank from Eurobank Group, multiple sources reported. TAScombank, formerly Business Standard Bank, has operated in the Ukrainian market since 1989, ranking 25th among 100 operating banks in terms of assets as of Oct 1.

In conjunction with the United States, Ukraine has started reforming the automated system of the State Exports Supervision Service, Interfax Ukraine reported. The service is optimizing operations of the automated exports supervision system through an expansion of its functions, introducing the Stratlink e-licensing system designed by Estonia's SpinTek.

Ukrainian Trade Representative Natalia Mykolska thinks the FTA agreement with Israel will be one of the priorities for next year, multiple sources reported. As for the possibility of creating an FTA with Turkey, she said negotiations are still in the early stages.

Ukraine received the second and final tranche of EU financial assistance in the amount of $55 million as part of the financing agreement signed in 2014, Unian reported. The Finance Ministry has stressed that the assistance is another step towards deepening cooperation between Ukraine and the European Union.

Ukraine will search for investors to construct a solar energy park in the Chernobyl exclusion zone at Expo 2017, which will take place in Kazakhstan and be dedicated to alternative energy, Interfax Ukraine reported. The government is convinced that this will create an opportunity to gradually transform the exclusion zone into an attractive area for investment.

Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman expects that natural gas production in Ukraine will rise up to 500 million cubic meters in 2017, according to Ukrinform. Based on that expectation, he predicted that by 2020, Ukraine will no longer have to buy gas abroad.

A 27-year ordeal came to an end in Vienna this month, and 60 barges were transferred to ownership of Ukrainian Danube Navigation. The firm handles over 30 percent of Danube River transportation. Its fleet includes nearly 400 river vessels and 30 seagoing vessels.

A subsidiary of Ukrainian agricultural behemoth Kernel will secure the company's debut eurobonds. The bond amount is $650 million with interest of 10 percent per annum, and the bond will mature in five years. Kernel is the world's largest producer and exporter of sunflower oil.

Export of goods from Ukraine during the January-September period decreased by 8 percent from the same period in 2015, Ukrinform cited Economic Development and Trade Minister of Ukraine Stepan Kubiv as saying.

The fate of the Odesa portside chemical plant will be decided this week, Unian cited Prime Minister Volodomyr Groysman as saying.

For comments and news tips, please email UBJ AM editor David Edwards at david.edwards@theubj.com.

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