Next year, Centrenergo, the conglomerate of 23 regional power producers,

will go on sale in March 2022. Odesa Port Plant, the chemical producer, is to go on sale in April 2022.

“There are hundreds of such non-core facilities in various government agencies, ministries,” Tymoshenko said

. He cited a ski area in Lviv region and a health complex in Vorzel, Kyiv region, which are owned by the State Fiscal Service. He vowed: “Such non-core facilities will be transferred to State Property Fund to be privatized.”

The privatization drive is “irreversible,

” Kyrylo Tymoshenko, Deputy Presidential Chief of Staff, wrote on Facebook after President Zelenskiy chaired an inter-agency Zoom call Monday on the campaign. Over the next six weeks, there are to be 100 auctions of large-scale and small-scale state properties. He said: “It will, firstly, give new life to unprofitable property and, secondly, attract billions of investments.” Arguing that investors are taking notice, he said the average number of auction bidders has risen, from 3.67 in April 2020, to 4.57

Separately, in July, Ukraine’s State Property Fund plans to auction state-owned United Mining and Chemical Company, Europe’s largest miner of ilmenite, the main source for titanium oxide.

 Ukraine produces 6% of global titanium ore and its proven reserves are among the world’s 10 largest. The first of this year’s ‘Big Privatizations,” the company is Europe’s only miner of rutile and zircon, reported International Mining. Information for the auction can be found at this link. Site visits are taking place. The starting price is $135 million.

President Zelenskiy yesterday signed a law allowing resumption of sales of large state companies,

a privatization process that was suspended one year ago due to the coronavirus pandemic. All sales are to go through electronic auctions. Zelenskiy said: ““Despite the coronavirus crisis, our goal of privatizing state-owned enterprises, which are often managed extremely inefficient and breeding grounds for corruption, remains unchanged.”

On Thursday, Odesa’s 12-story Victoria Hotel will be put up for auction

by the Deposit Guarantee Fund. Located a 10-minute walk from Arcadia beach, this Black Sea hotel has 229 rooms. The starting price is $7 million. The hotel is one of 862 assets that the Fund will be selling as it liquidates Misto Bank. This Odesa bank was declared insolvent in December 2020.

Ukraine’s goal of quadrupling revenues from the sale of state companies this year “is entirely realistic,” wrote

 Dmytro Sennychenko, the Head of the State Property Fund, in an Atlantic Council blog: “Ukraine moves closer to large-scale privatization breakthrough.” The $430 million goal will be met through the sale of “blue chip assets:” United Mining and Chemical Company, the President Hotel and six regional power distribution companies, or oblenergos. Sixteen companies – “mostly from abroad” – are interested in United Mining and Chemical, which mines titanium-zircon deposits and produces rutile, ilmenite and zircon concentrate.

The first of seven state-owned flour mills is to be privatized through auction on May 7

, the State Property Fund reports. Often called ‘bakeries’ these Soviet-era complexes mill wheat and corn into flour and animal feed. Located alongside railroad tracks, the seven ‘kombinats’ have elevators with a total storage capacity of 634,000 tons, about 1% of the nation’s total. Of the seven going up for sale, four are working and three are nonworking. The first auction will be of a working one, Dunayevets Bakery in Khmelnitsky Region. The starting price is $6.7 million.

During the first quarter, the State Property Fund conducted 377 privatization auctions, raising $36 million for the Treasury.

By July 1, the Fund plans to complete the sale of all 40 properties of Ukrspirt, the former state alcohol monopoly producer.

In a surprise switch, the Rada failed yesterday to repeal the law unblocking large-scale privatization

. Only 49 of the needed 226 deputies voted in favor of selling state companies estimated to be worth more than $10 million. Oddly, the Rada voted for the bill on March 30. Large state companies generally lose money, largely due to thievery by management.

The first large scale privatizations of public enterprises are to take place this summer

, Prime Minister Shmygal announced on Telegram. After meeting with Dmytro Sennychenko, the Head of the State Property Fund, Shmygal wrote that top candidates for auction are: Kyiv’s President Hotel, Kyiv’s First Bolshevik Machine-Building Plant, and the United Mining and Chemical Company.

With European natural gas prices rising to the highest level in two years, Ukraine will cut and cap gas prices from Feb. 1

With European natural gas prices rising to the highest level in two years, Ukraine will cut and cap gas prices from Feb. 1 until the end of the heating season, usually early April. With prices expected to be cut by about 30%, President Zelenskiy said on his website: “Market prices are too high today, especially given the pandemic.”

The price freeze reverses a gas market liberalization process long advocated by the IMF.

The price freeze reverses a gas market liberalization process long advocated by the IMF. Coming as the IMF is conducting a remote review of Ukraine, this measure is expected to delay any agreement on a new tranche. Timothy Ash writes from London: “[I] cannot see the IMF buying this…I think Ukraine’s old corrupt elites are once again using the gas price card to scupper the IMF program.”

In another cloud over the IMF deal,

In another cloud over the IMF deal, Dmytro Sologub, a 5-year veteran member of the board of the National Bank of Ukraine, tells Bloomberg that summer’s shakeup of the central bank leadership may delay the next tranche from last June’s $5 billion IMF loan to Ukraine. In an interview headlined, “Ukrainian Central Banker Warns Revamp Risks ‘Substantial’ Damage,” Sologub says: “Cracks in the bank’s collegial decision-making system and, honestly, a lack of professionalism in some positions, may lead to substantial

The Finance Ministry kept interest rates unchanged at Tuesday’s weekly auction, selling $319 million worth of bonds,

The Finance Ministry kept interest rates unchanged at Tuesday’s weekly auction, selling $319 million worth of bonds, almost the same amount as the prior week. Of the total $48 million of 1-year dollar bonds carried a yield of 3.8%, the Ministry reported on Facebook. Of the 7.5 billion worth of hryvnia debt, 93% were for securities with maturities one year or less.

Dragon writes:

Dragon writes: “State-owned banks likely remained the major buyers of domestic bonds…With the 2021 budget deficit target set at 5.5% of GDP, the government’s borrowing needs will remain high this year, keeping it reliant on cooperation with the IMF.”

Sixteen foreign companies have registered interest in Ukraine’s first big privatization of this year

Sixteen foreign companies have registered interest in Ukraine’s first big privatization of this year – the sale of a state company that mines and enriches titanium ore in Zhytomyr and Dnipropetrovsk regions. Scheduled to take place by the end of March, the online auction of United Mining and Chemical Company is expected to draw bids of at least $150 million, State Property Fund officials told reporters yesterday. The company produces ilmenite, the main source of titanium dioxide, which is used

Foreigners who invest over $100,000 in companies they set up in Ukraine will be able to apply for an immigration permit

Foreigners who invest over $100,000 in companies they set up in Ukraine will be able to apply for an immigration permit, according to a resolution approved yesterday at the Cabinet of Ministers. Investments will have to be documented by bank transfers.

The ‘Karta Polaka’ or ‘Polish Card’ was granted to 7,094 Ukrainians last year

The ‘Karta Polaka’ or ‘Polish Card’ was granted to 7,094 Ukrainians last year, Poland’s Foreign Ministry told Ukrinform. Started in 2008 for people of Polish heritage who are not allowed to have two passports, the card facilitates residency and work in Poland. To date, about 130,000 Ukrainians have received the card.

The Dnipro shipping season ends tomorrow

The Dnipro shipping season ends tomorrow, just ahead of this weekend’s freezing temperatures. Although shipping companies got an extra month – December – 2020 cargo was down 5% yoy, to 11.25 million tons. Construction materials – largely sand and gravel – were up 7% to almost 6 million tons; grain was down 27%, to 3.5 million tons; and metals were up 7%, to almost 2 million tons. In 2019, 11.8 million tons were transported on the Dnipro, 19% more than

Increasing the company’s attractiveness, new management increased profits six-fold last year to $21 million

Increasing the company’s attractiveness, new management increased profits six-fold last year to $21 million and announced last month a doubling of reserves of titanium-bearing ore sands at the Vilnohirsk Plant, in Dnipropetrovsk. Decreasing attractiveness, men opposed to privatization have burned a company manager’s car, conducted ‘searches’ of company offices, and opened 10 hopper cars filled with ilmenite concentrate, destined for the US company Chemours, a DuPont spinoff.

Whittling away at Ukraine’s state property mountain, 1,899 privatization auctions were held in 2020, yielding $107 million for the budget

Whittling away at Ukraine’s state property mountain, 1,899 privatization auctions were held in 2020, yielding $107 million for the budget, Dmitro Sennychenko, executive chairman of the State Property Fund, reported yesterday. With this month’s end of the suspension of ‘big’ privatizations, the Fund expect to present to investors for sale this year the Odesa Port Plant and six regional power companies. Through the end of 2023, investors have the right to contracts drawn up under English law.

The dollar remains king in Ukraine, with the hryvnia 61% undervalued against the US currency

The dollar remains king in Ukraine, with the hryvnia 61% undervalued against the US currency, The Economist reports in its annual Big Mac index. In Ukraine, a Big Mac costs UAH 62, or $2.21. In the US the same hamburger goes for $5.66. Using this index, Ukraine has the world’s fifth most undervalued currency. The cheaper currencies are: South African rand – 61.9%; Turkish lira – 64.5%; Russian ruble – 68%; and Lebanese pound – 68.7%.

Bills on ‘virtual assets,’ on cloud storage and on creating Diya.City, a virtual free economic zone for IT companies

Bills on ‘virtual assets,’ on cloud storage and on creating Diya.City, a virtual free economic zone for IT companies, are legislative priorities this year for the Ministry of Digital Transformation. Minister Mikhail Fedorov wrote on Telegram that another bill will allow people to change their place of registration with “a few clicks.” Referring to this hangover from Soviet days, he called for “unlinking registration from many situations in life (where it is really not needed).”

Turkish Airlines displaced Ukraine International Airlines as the top carrier in Ukraine last year

Turkish Airlines displaced Ukraine International Airlines as the top carrier in Ukraine last year, UkSATSE, the air traffic control agency, writes on Facebook. Turkish carried out 14,623 Ukraine flights. UIA carried out 14,406. The other leaders were: Belavia (Belarus) -10,644 flights; Wizz Air – 9,151; Windrose (Ukraine) – 8,511; SkyUp (Ukraine) – 8,434; LOT Polish- 6,260; and Ryanair – 5,965.

Just in time for this afternoon’s snow, Kyiv ranks 7th in a ranking of 416 world cities for traffic congestion

Just in time for this afternoon’s snow, Kyiv ranks 7th in a ranking of 416 world cities for traffic congestion, reports TomTom, the Netherlands-based provide to satellite navigation devices. Sandwiching Kyiv between Bangalore and New Delhi, TomTom gives Ukraine’s capital a traffic congestion level last year of 51%.

Odesa region plans to build 400 km of bicycle paths in coming years

Odesa region plans to build 400 km of bicycle paths in coming years, Ukravtodor writes on Telegram. Two priority sections are along the Black Sea: from Chernomorsk to Sanzhiika and from Shabo to Kurortne. The state highway agency writes: “In the Odessa region, bike paths can be an additional incentive for tourism development.”

Drivers spent an unnecessary 207 hours in rush hour traffic last year

Drivers spent an unnecessary 207 hours in rush hour traffic last year, TomTom reports, detailing Kyiv’s traffic patterns. Congestion adds an extra 25 minutes to morning commutes and an extra 29 minutes to evening commutes. Last year, December was the most congested month and Friday, Dec. 18 was the worst day of the year to be behind the wheel. Of no surprise to drivers, the satellites report the worst times to drive in Kyiv are at 8 am and 6