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Ukravtodor, in its debut placement on the Eurobond market, placed $700 million of 7-year bonds at 6.25%, well below the initial return target of 6.625%

, Interfax-Ukraine reported yesterday. Earlier this year, the Cabinet of Ministers approved sovereign bond guarantees up to $740 million for the state highway agency. The organizers of the issue — J.P. Morgan, Dragon Capital, and Ukreximbank – started calling investors on Tuesday.

As part of President Zelenskiy’s ‘Big Construction’ program, Ukravtodor plans to build by 2025, the end of his term, 1,400 km of cement concrete roads on routes leading to Black Sea ports in Odesa, Kherson and Mykolaiv.

 Designed to take heavy traffic of fully loaded grain trucks, this network of cement roads will triple in size in three years, Andriy Ivko, said Ukravtodor’s road development director (Interfax-Ukraine).

Last month’s end run around the Naftogaz Supervisory Board to install a new CEO “makes it very difficult for us to continue to support the company,” EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso

 told Bloomberg yesterday in Warsaw. Under the headline, “Shock CEO Ouster Pushes Ukrainian Gas Giant’s Backer to Brink,” Bloomberg writes: “The EBRD, along with the World Bank, is a key international backer of Naftogaz, helping to give one of Ukraine’s largest companies more financial heft as well as bond-market credibility.”

With doubts clouding future deliveries of Russian gas across Ukraine, Azerbaijan could become a source of imported gas for Ukraine

, says Andriy Prokofiev, head of customer service for Ukraine’s Transmission System Operator. Azeri gas could cross Turkey, then come north to Ukraine through Bulgaria and Romania on the Trans-Balkan pipeline. “The GTS Ukraine operator continues to cooperate with partners from Romania and Moldova on the development of natural gas transportation along the Trans-Balkan route in order to increase import capacity,” he said after a meeting of a Ukrainian-Azerbaijani working group on energy cooperation.

Ukraine is working with Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to become the fulcrum of a Europe-Central Asia transit route

, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said after meeting with Central Asian diplomats. Ukraine’s Black Sea ports would be the entry points to Europe and Turkmenbashi port would be the entry to Central Asia. At the same time, Yuriy Vitrenko, Naftogaz CEO, is lobbying the US and the EU to force Gazprom to allow Central Asian gas to flow through Ukraine to the EU.

Raiffeisen Bank Aval changed its name yesterday to Raiffeisen Bank,

 the largely Austrian-owned bank said yesterday. “The name of the bank should be simpler, like everything for our clients,” said Board Chairman Oleksandr Pysaruk. In connection with the renaming, the bank said there is no need to contact branches, reissue cards or reissue documents. Founded in 1992, the bank is primarily owned by Vienna’s Raiffeisen Bank International with 68.27% of shares, and the EBRD, with 30%. Ukraine’s largest foreign-owned bank, Raiffeisen has $4.4 billion in assets, 393 branches, 1,800 ATMs,

Privatization receipts will increase fourfold this, reaching $450 million,

said Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the Deputy Chief of Presidential staff, predicted yesterday at a government forum “Ukraine 30. Economy Without Oligarchs.” Starting prices for three big government corporation sales are: United Mining and Chemical Company, the titanium producer: $138 million; Kyiv’s Bolshevik plant: $50 million; and Kyiv’s President Hotel: $12 million.

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