The Business Week for the week of February 10-16, 2020

The Business Week for the week of February 10-16, 2020


Global giant DP World acquires majority stake in TIS container teminal. DP World, one of the leading global port operators, acquired a 51% majority stake in TIS Container Terminal Ukraine, which is owned by TIS Group, the Ukrainian company announced on February 13.
“A partnership with DP World will give TIS Container Terminal the opportunity to attract new container lines, develop additional services inside the terminal, expand the bundle of general and bulk cargoes… DP World will introduce it’s latest IT solutions and the group’s global expertise.” TIS Group said in a press release. DP World has 78 marine terminals in 50 countries with a 2019 turnover which exceeded 71 million TEU. TIS Container Terminal is created for large vessels that can only operate in the Black Sea and which cannot be accepted by any other port in Ukraine. It is the longest and deepest container berth in the country. TIS Group owns an additional four terminals.

Kyiv Boryspil International Airport first in 2019 ACI Europe ranking.
Ukraine’s largest airport, Kyiv Boryspil International Airport (KBP), has gained a new title in its accomplishments as it received first place in the 2019 ACI Europe ranking among major airports with 10-25 million passengers annually, the airport wrote on its Facebook page. KBP reached 22.2% in passenger traffic growth in 2019 and was followed by Milan’s Malpensa Airport (16.6%), Moscow’s Vnukovo (11.7%), Berlin’s Tegel (10.1%), and Porto’s Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (9.8%). KBP reached 15.26 million people in passenger traffic in 2019.

Ukraine’s government launches the “Great Construction” program.
Ukraine’s Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk launched a program that aims to modernize the country’s infrastructure, the Cabinet of Ministers’ press reported. In every region in Ukraine, heads of Regional State Administrations will be responsible for the timeliness and implementation of infrastructure reforms. The government will provide local administrations with the necessary resources to successfully execute the program. The “Great Construction” will focus on large-scale construction and a major overhaul of schools, kindergartens, hospital admissions units, stadiums and roads. Each region will have to work with the Ministry of Communities and Territories Development of Ukraine on a list of objects the region plans to build and repair throughout the year. In addition, regions will have to work with the State Road Agency of Ukraine to determine which roads must be built or repaired. The program is to start on March 1.

Ukrainian seaports cargo up by 20% in January.
Ukraine’s seaports handled 13.5 million tons of cargo in January 2020, a 20% increase compared to the same period of last year, according to a press release of the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority on February 11. Grain made up the biggest percentage of the cargo (4.7 million tons) that was handled in January. Ore transshipment made up 3.1 tons, which is a 32 % increase compared to the same month of last year. January was also a very positive month for the transshipment of coal (771,000 tons). Container cargo showed a 15.8 % growth, reaching 89,700 TEU. The biggest chunk of cargo handling was export-oriented as 10.2 million tons went outside of the country, or 17 % more compared to last year. Cargo transshipment in domestic traffic increased by 45 %, reaching 93,000 tons.


U.S. company Abstract buys Ukrainian startup Flawless App. U.S. firm Abstract, a San Francisco-based product design workflow platform, acquired Ukrainian startup Flawless App, according to the startup’s co-founder Lisa Dziuba. The Ukrainian startup already served such big names as Disney, The Washington Post, Spotify and Uber. Similar to Abstract, Flawless App also develops applications for designers. Ukraine continues to grow in its attractiveness to foreign investors as they look for various cutting-edge IT startups. Earlier this year Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, purchased Ukranian computer vision startup AI Factory for $166 million. In 2018, Snap Inc. purchased another startup, Teleport Future Technologies, for $8 million. While in 2015 Ukrainian Lookersy, a mobile imaging and AR company was sold to Snapchat for $150 million. 

Ukrainian startup Delfast to sell e-bikes to Mexican police.
Ukrainian startup Delfast has signed a contract with the police department of Mexicali, a Mexican city in the state of Baja California, to provide local police officers with its TopCop e-bikes, according to the startup. The first delivery of e-bikes will be tested by the police officers, and, if everything goes well, they will purchase more from Delfast. The e-bikes can be used to patrol areas of the city that are difficult to reach by car or regular bikes. According to Delfast, its TopCop e-bikes can reach up to 240 kilometers on a single charge and without the use of pedals. The e-bike can also reach up to 80 kilometers/hour and is equipped with a GPS tracker, remote launch and motor blocking.


Ukrainian company launches vegetable milk plant in Odesa. Ukrainian beverage company Vitmark-Ukraine has launched its production of vegetable milk under the brand “Vega Milk” at a new plant in Ukraine’s Odesa region, according to the company’s press release. It cost €5 million to build a full-cycle vegetable milk production plant. The new plant is built with Swedish equipment and has its own storage warehouse, processing equipment, and aseptic packaging bottling lines as it processes buckwheat, wheat and oats. The company exports its products to more than 25 countries including Canada, Israel and the U.S. The company sees a multi-billion-dollar industry in the non-dairy milk category, especially in North America and Europe. During the past years, a number of countries are finding new niche markets within the agriculture sector in Ukraine as they look for ways to win over markets abroad with their exports.

Ukrainian honey company Ascania-Pack enters Saudi Arabia.
Ascania-Pack, a subsidiary of the Ukrainian Ascania holding, is now exporting honey to Saudi Arabia, according to the company’s press release on February 10. The first batch of honey was shipped back in December. Saudi Arabia became the 18th country as a destination for the company’s honey exports. Other countries that import Ascania-Pack’s products are: the U.S., Canada, Singapore, Iraq, Spain, Italy, Germany, Poland, Sweden, France, and Great Britain. Ascania-Pack processes more than 20,000 tons of honey annually. Ukraine is a top 10 exporter of honey in the world. In 2018 alone, Ukraine exported around 50,000 tons of honey. The industry, however, has much potential to grow even further and could bring millions of additional dollars to the economy.


Ukraine’s banks made UAH 60 billion (about $2.5 billion) in 2019, or almost three times more the amount in 2018, according to Kateryna Rozhkova, first deputy governor of the National Bank of Ukraine. “A new historic record,” Rozhkova wrote on her Facebook page. Rozhkova says that Ukraine’s return on equity ratio of 34.2% is the best among the country’s neighbors. While the European average was 7%, Hungary had 18%, Romania 17%, and Czech Republic – 16%. Rozhkova says that more than 10 banks in Ukraine have a return on equity ratio that is more than 30 %. Today’s banking sector is the healthiest the country has ever seen since its independence due to the radical reforms within the sector since 2014. Ukraine got rid of more than half of its banks during this period as it weeded out toxic players and continues to conduct stress tests of existing banks.


January was a successful month for Ukraine’s electricity exports, as the country exported $11.2 million more than during the same period last year, according to the State Customs Service. Altogether, Ukraine exported $42 million, or 36.4% more year-over-year. The top export destinations were: Hungary ($22.7 million), Poland ($8.5 million), Romania ($7.7 million). During the same month, Ukraine imported electricity for $26 million, including from Hungary ($12.7 million), Slovakia ($7.9 million), and Belarus ($2.8 million). Since 2014, Ukraine made a dramatic switch in energy trade as it reoriented to doing business with the West instead of Russia. The switch allows Ukraine to be more independent, diversified and secure.