Ukraine’s vast potential to feed a hungry world has long been held back by outdated farming techniques – including the use of poor quality seeds – which keep agricultural yields far below those of EU countries.
But now DuPont is doing something about the problem – at least as far as seeds as concerned. The US chemicals group this month launched a $40m seed plant in Poltava region to support the increasing domestic demand for quality maize, sunflower and oilseed rape hybrid seeds. Continue reading »
By Romano Prodi, former president of the European Commission
It is rare that world leaders have a chance to pragmatically achieve an idealistic goal, to unite bold dreams and careful statesmanship at the same time. Yet such an opportunity is now upon us, as the time for the European Union and Ukraine to come closer together, to create a bridge between east and west, is at hand. Continue reading »
By Jacek Saryusz-Wolski MEP
Ukraine must get off the fence when it comes to its relations with Russia and the European Union.
Hopes that an EU-Ukraine association agreement, including a deep and comprehensive trade agreement, might be signed at the November Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius are fading. Continue reading »
Many Ukrainians may be in for a rude shock when they return from this year’s summer holidays – thanks to a new central bank rule revealed this week.
As of September 1, all cash transactions will be capped at the equivalent of $19,000. Transactions above this amount will need to be settled through banks transfers, payment cards and other electronic means. Continue reading »
A note from Capital Economics on Friday suggests the economies of central and eastern Europe may finally be emerging into the light.
Or at least its title does (Emerging Europe: Slump in regional growth may be bottoming out). Its message, though, is that while recent GDP figures may have given grounds for that kind of hope, growth is extremely weak and any recovery is likely to be sluggish and uneven. Continue reading »
By Jamie Scudder of Maplecroft
The European Parliament’s decision on April 18 to extend its monitoring mission to Ukraine is a crucial step for the country in the context of its European aspirations. The mission, which has acted as an informal platform to promote dialogue between the European Union and Ukraine, was one factor behind the government’s decision a week earlier to pardon a number of former opposition politicians. They include former ministers for the interior and the environment, Yuri Lutsenko and HeorhyFilichuk, and four others convicted of corruption. The pardons create renewed hope for stronger trade relations between Ukraine and the EU and have already defused tensions between Kiev and the 27-member bloc. Continue reading »
By Graham Stack of bne
TVi, a Ukrainian television channel seen as a last bastion for opposition voices and critical investigative reporting, has fallen victim to a murky hostile takeover that it is feared may lead to its muzzling. Continue reading »
Whatever happened to the “great rotation“? Wasn’t 2013 supposed to be the year when investors finally took their cash out of bonds and put it to work in equities?
Judging by the record week emerging market bonds have had, EM equities bulls might have some waiting to do yet. Continue reading »
Ukraine’s cash-strapped government failed to reach agreement on Wednesday with a visiting IMF mission on a $15bn bailout, according to local officials. Having realised that a deal was unlikely, Kiev moved on Tuesday to patch up short-term financing needs. Ukraine raised $1.25bn through a fresh 10-year eurobond at 7.5 per cent on Tuesday, helped by international investors’ hunt for yield.
And so, Kiev has bought itself more time, though at borrowing rates much more expensive than the IMF has offered. It’s a strategy Ukraine has stuck to in recent years, but one that may not be possible if market confidence shrinks and the country’s economy continues to deteriorate. Continue reading »
News headlines about a Cyprus-crisis contagion have so far focused largely on Slovenia, Malta, Italy and Spain.
But Ukraine could also take a hit. While Ukrainian businesses are said to have possibly just $1-3bn in Cyprus – much less than the $30bn that has been estimated for Russia – if this money gets confiscated by the bailout levy or tied up by financial transaction limitations, it could be enough to tip the country’s troubled economy deeper into crisis. Continue reading »
Long the main transit route for Russian natural gas exports to Europe – and a big consumer of Gazprom fuel itself – Ukraine is now starting to use its vast gas transit pipeline network in reverse mode. It is importing less expensive gas from Europe to the West, and at prices lower than its “brotherly” Slavic neighbour charges. Continue reading »
It’s not a pretty picture on the ground in Kiev.
The Ukrainian capital is still crawling out from under a record weekend snowfall that has muddied streets, paralysed traffic and upset basic services including rubbish collection.
It will do nothing to prevent the economy falling into recession in the first quarter of 2013, after GDP growth of 0.2 per cent in 2012. But it does increase the urgency for Kiev to find external economic support, if not from Russia, then from the International Monetary Fund, which had a delegation arrive in town on Wednesday. Continue reading »
Like Russian ones, many Ukrainian companies do business through offshore special purpose vehicles or holding companies registered in Cyprus. By some estimates, billions of dollars with Ukrainian roots flow through Cyprus into offshore tax havens each year. And large portions of this – some $17bn since independence in 1991 – have made their way back into Ukraine through the Cyprus conduit, which is, in fact, the largest contributor of foreign direct investment in the Ukrainian economy.
But this does not mean that most Ukrainian companies exploiting the Cyprus tax loophole actually stash their cash there. And if they don’t, exposure will be limited, analysts say. Continue reading »
In slapping fresh import duties on car imports, Kiev may achieve its short-term goal of partially reducing Ukraine’s trade deficit while simultaneously providing a boost to slumping domestic car output.
But the protectionist move — announced on Thursday by a cash-strapped government in talks with the IMF on a $15bn bailout — could carry costlier long-term consequences. It may infuriate fellow WTO member countries already shocked by Ukraine’s plans announced in September to renegotiate 371 tariffs just five years after becoming a member of the international trade organization. Continue reading »
By Riccardo Puliti of the EBRD
The use of nuclear power generates at least as much debate as electricity.
This is especially true in the case of Ukraine, where in 1986 the Chernobyl accident happened. The events demonstrated that in nuclear power generation safety always must be the utmost priority – from the first moment of operation to long after the active life of any nuclear reactor. Continue reading »