•With legal proceedings stemming from the nationalization of PrivatBank pending in a London arbitration court, National Bank of Ukraine head Valeria Gontareva said the government is ready to defend its actions in court, Interfax Ukaine reported. She argues that the inclusion of PrivatBank eurobonds as part of a bail-in during the nationalization was fully consistent with Ukrainian law and was agreed to with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
•In related news, PrivatBank restored all the accounts it has with American agricultural titan Cargill, according to Interfax Ukraine. A Forbes 500 company, Cargill is investing $100 million to build a grain terminal at Ukraine's Black Sea port of Yuzhne.
•The government latest forecast for 2017 GDP growth is a full percentage point higher than the economic growth the country saw in 2016, Ukrinform reported. In the wake of 1.8 percent growth in 2016, the National Bank of Ukraine predicts that the economy will grow 2.8 percent this year.
<•Police raided the Kyiv office of Poltava Petroleum, which is owned by British oil and gas firm JPX, on Jan. 24 for the second time this month, Interfax Ukraine reported. Previous raids occurred Jan. 11 and last June. "As the scope of the investigation continues to broaden without any apparent reason, justification, outcome or conclusion, it is increasingly taking on the form of harassment rather than a legitimate investigation into PPC's business operations," JKX said.
•Major multinational clothing retailer H&M will enter the Ukrainian market, Novoe Vremya reported. The Swedish firm is said to be looking at retail space in a variety of locations, including Sky Mall, Ocean Plaza and Lavina Mall.
•Ukraine boosted production of pork and beef in 2016 by 3.9 percent and 22.5 percent, respectively, according to the State Statistics Service of Ukraine. Ukrainian poultry production also yielded gains in 2016, with output rising 5 percent. The rise came despite destructive outbreaks of African swine fever and a virulent avian flu in various parts of the country.
•The Chevrolet Bolt, named the automobile of the year in the United States, is coming to the Ukrainian market late this year or early next year, Novoe Vremya reported. A decision about delivery of the electric car will be made sometime in the second quarter.
•Ukrainian exports declined almost 6 percent in the first 11 months of 2016, to $33 billion year over year, according to the Economic Development and Trade Ministry as reported by Unian. The only one of the staple sectors named by the ministry that experienced export growth was agriculture. The downward trend was slowed in Kyiv and the major industrial regions of Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv and Odesa, but the only regions on the positive side of the ledger were Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Luhansk.
•Ukraine is hoping a Japanese delegation's expression of interest in a container terminal at the Port of Odesa will lead to greater things, UkrAgroConsult reported. A representative of Japan's Transportation Ministry will present a report in the near future with Japanese business interests that may want to explore opportunities in Ukraine and the Black Sea.
•PayPal is not coming to Ukraine, at least not right way, National Bank chief Valeria Gontareva told Novoe Vremya. She said the current investment rating of the country is too low to qualify for PayPal's standards, but she said that an improvement would leave the door open for PayPal to join the Ukrainian electronic payments market later.
•Ukraine's wholesale and retail sugar prices increased an average of 5.5 percent in January, which was mainly due to a surge in the price of sugar on the global market, Ukrinform reported, citing the national sugar producers association. Sugar prices have gone up 4 percent on the London Stock Exchange and 6 percent on the New York Stock Exchange.
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