Ukraine will have heating during the winter

Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President of the European Commission, in charge of Energy Union (European Parliament, CC BY-NC-ND)

Investments in Ukraine more probable after the debt deal is done

Bulgarian trucks are stuck

Indian TATA will invest in Budapest

Bulgarians cut off emergency medical service

Russian ban for Estonian railway

Ukraine

Finally, after months of negotiations between the European Commission, Russia and Ukraine, an agreement on the terms of gas supplies for the winter season has been reached. As Russia halted gas supplies in the spring 2014 and introduced prepayment system, that was an urgent problem and the EU needed to come up with an adequate solution. Now there are results.

The agreement on the terms of the new Winter Package is a crucial step towards ensuring that Ukraine has sufficient gas supplies in the coming winter and that there is no threat to the continued reliable gas transit from Russia to the EU. The initializing demonstrates that both parties live up to their roles as reliable partners in the gas business. I am confident that the agreement will be soon confirmed and smoothly implemented for the benefit of all parties concerned” said Maroš Štefčovič, vice-president for Energy Union on September 25th.

According to the agreement: a) Russia will lower prices of gas for Ukraine by decreasing the export duty, b) Ukraine will secure transit to EU via its territory, c) Brussels will secure financing for gas purchases (with at least USD500m available by the end of the year).

The agreement would be in law between October 2015 and March 2016. Ukraine will have to buy approx 2bn cubic meters.

The participants of Friday’s meeting were; Volodymyr Demchyshyn (Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine), Alexander Novak (the Russian Energy Minister) and Maroš Štefčovič, the vicepresident of the EC. The trilateral protocol is now to be signed by all the parties. It would require a separate procedue.
Ukrainian Naftogaz has just confirmed the initialing of the agreement.

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EC press release

Investments in Ukraine more probable after the debt deal is done

An interview with Francis Malige, a Managing Director for Eastern Europe and Caucasus for the EBRD published by Interfax Ukraine.

Malige presents its point of view as a man of an investment fund that helps foreign investors to finance their businesses in the country. He says the debt and its  restructuring were hanging over the country as a dark cloud, but „Now, when the deal is done (…) this cloud is gone, which means that investors have visibility”. Talking about business opportunities in Ukraine Mr Malige says that most interesting sectors would be agriculture – strong and export-oriented (in 2014 EBRD invested EUR250m in the agriculture), technology (IT, IT-outsourcing) and manufacturing (interesting because of a low-cost and highly qualified labor force).

What needs to be done in order to encourage foreign companies to invest in the country? Mr Malige names the specific conditions: the authorities should arrange a better investment climate and improve business environment: fight corruption, introduce more predictable rules, simplify the administration and run deregulation.

Full interview

On the boarders

 “When it comes to dealing with the refugee crisis, the governments of Germany, Austria and Croatia have been good, the heads of Vesegrád Group of countries have been bad and Hungary’s prime minister has been ugly” – we read in bi-weekly editorial of Budapest Business Journal. An that’s true. But there are also Bulgarian truck drivers. And they are stuck.

Actually they are still stuck along the Serbia-Croatia boarder with no food and drink and no access to the toilets. The situation not only would cause damage to the human capital but also to the business – with the delays in supplies. On Friday about 170 Bulgarian trucks were queuing 25 kilometers . And the truck drivers were told it’s „because of the refugees”.

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Hungary

Tata Consultancy Service (TCS) will create 300 new jobs in Hungarian capital, Budapest. The information was announced by Hungarian Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister, László Szabó, and the general manager of TCS Hungary Prabal Datta. TCS is a service center, now hiring about 1300 highly-qualified engineers, economists, IT developers and IT experts.

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Bulgaria

211,000 Bulgarians, or 3 per cent of the population, have no access to emergency medical service, the report of National Audit Office (NAO) reveals. That means, people have to wait for an ambulance for more than 30 minutes. The main cause seems to be the fact that they’re living in remote areas with a difficult access to it.

Only 58 per cent of the localities in the country have a 20 –minute-access to the emergency units. That’s why Bulgarian Health Ministry has launched a plan to improve the sector of emergency medical treatment in the summer of 2015. It costs EUR85m and among its goals are: grouping patients into 3 categories and making the urgent medical care available within 7 minutes for each of that group.

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Estonia

After a cargo wagon from Estonia went off rails on a siding at a station of Sverdlovsk railway September this year, all cargo wagons serviced and repaired at EVR Cargo Tapa depot would be banned on Russia railways. Russian supervisors claim this is due to a low quality repairs job by EVR Cargo and they order all the wagons to be technically checked after being serviced in Tapa. The EVR Cagro Tapa’s bosses don’t know what that message really means. „It remains unclear for us what the check of the repaired wagons will be about” said Mr Avila.

It’s also unclear what would be the impact of Tapa-ban on transit flows via Estonia and on EVR Cargo. VR Cargo owns about 3,000 railway wagons which are doing their rounds on the vastness of Russian railways. At the depot in Tapa, nearly 1,000 cargo wagons are repaired yearly. Two third of these are owned by Tapa.

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What’s up in indexes?

Friday was the worst in Vilnius. The OMXV index fell by more than 4 per cent. Maybe investors were unsatisfied with the decision of Fitch Ratings to maintain Lithuania’s A- rating with stable outlook? Were they hungry for more?

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BUX index (of the Budapest Stock Exchange) was up 1.07 per cent on Friday, September 25 with 20831,02 index points (compared with 20610.76 index points the day before). From year-end it’s up 25.23 per cent. On Monday September 28th it’s up again with 20836,19 index points.

BET (of Bucharest) was up 0.89 per cent on Friday with 7190.37 index points (compared with 7126,98 index points on Thursday). And it was up 1.52 per cent from year-end. Today morning it slightly fell by 0.21 per cent.

PX (of Prague) was also up on Friday by 1.17 per cent. The result was 962,35 index points while on Thursady it was 951,22 index points. From year-end it was up 1.65 per cent. Today it grows.

WIG20 (of Warsaw) ended up on Friday with 2091.73 index points (compared with 2092.71 index points the day before). So it increased by 0.42 per cent day to day. And from year-end it fell by 9.68 per cent. Today it started with a decline.

OMXT (of Tallinn) thrives. On Friday it increased to 870.90 index points (from 868.30 index points of Thursday). It was up 0.30 per cent. And it was up 15.34 per cent from year-end. And so it increases on Monday morning.

Friday was black on OMXV (of Vilnius). The index dropped by 4.24 per cent to 463.32 index points (compared with 483.35 index points on Thursday). That consumed the total result from year-end. On Thursday It was 6.95 per cent, and now it’s only 2.41 per cent.

SAX (of Bratislava) dropped by 0.79 per cent on Friday. The result was 269.33 index points compared with 271.48 index points on Thursday. It grew by 21.15 per cent from year-end.

And another drop of UX (of Ukraine). On Friday it decreased by 0.04 index points. At closing it was 883.77 index points while the day before it was 884.12 index points. And from year-end it dropped by 14.47 per cent.

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