•Ukrainian businesses expect production of goods and services to rise in 2017, mainly in western and central regions and the Zaporizhia region, business leaders surveyed in the fourth quarter of 2016 said, as reported by UkrainianJournal.com. Of the 14 regions expected to see output grow, Rivne and Zakarpatia figure to be the biggest winners. The survey respondents said they expect output to fall in the Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv, Odessa and Chernihiv regions.
•Ukraine topped all European countries in year-on-year growth of sales of new autos in 2016, with its 39 percent clip outpacing other strong performers Hungary and Croatia. Auto dealers sold 64,478 new vehicles during the year. That made Ukraine the No. 23 of Europe's 32 markets as it traded places with Slovenia from 2015 to 2016.
•The Cabinet simplified the process for transferring facilities to the State Property Fund for privatization, Novoe Vremya reported.
•Ukrainians' consumer confidence rose nearly 10 points from November to December and was at its highest level since summer 2014, GfK Ukraine said in a report picked up by Interfax Urkaine. The pollster said the results could indicate a greater trust in government.
•Naftogaz imported $1.6 billion worth of natural gas in 2016, said the company's chief commercial director, Yuriy Vitrenko. He added that the company spent three times less on gas from Europe than it would have spent if it had gotten its supply from Gazprom instead.
•Three branches of Hyperloop One's high-speed transportation system track could pass through Kyiv, Liga.net reported.. Selections will be made from among 35 regional teams within the next month.
•Ukraine is among the cheapest place in the world to buy some highly sought-after gadgets, Novoe Vremya reported, citing a study by the analysts of Linio. Ukraine ranks as the ninth-cheapest place in the world to buy an iPhone ($527.50) and the second-cheapest country in which to buy a PlayStation 4 ($254.18).
•The board of the recently privatized PrivatBank chose a leading Turkish banker who orchestrated the reform of the Turkish banking system, Engin Akcakoca, to head the board, Finance Minister Oleksandr Danyliuk wrote on Facebook, as reported by Unian. Also, international accounting firm Ernst & Young will audit PrivatBank, according to a Delo.ua report.
•Trade turnover between Ukraine and Turkey has steadily maintained an annual decline of 20 to 25 percent, Ukrinform cited a Ukrainian ambassador, Andrii Sybiha, as saying. Sybiha said the primary objective is to reverse that trend and lay a foundation for mutual growth in bilateral trade.
•Major agricultural products company Astarta improved in all business segments in 2016, according to Interfax Ukraine. In particular, sugar production increased 42 percent, and biogas yields went up by 43 percent as the company launched its initial phase of green electricity cogeneration.
•According to the Ukrainian telecom regulator, 4G wireless service will be available upon roll-out only to people in the city centers of Ukraine's largest cities, Novoe Vremya reported.
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