Products, Companies & Markets


Armenian regulator okays sale of Rostelecom Armenia to VivaCell-MTS telecom operator
/Dec 12/ARKA/

YEREVAN – Armenia’s Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) has okayed today the sale of the fixed-line operator GNC-Alfa (trading as Rostelecom Armenia) to VivaCell-MTS operator.
Rostelecom Armenia, registered in Armenia as GNC-Alfa CJSC, is owned by Cyprus-registered Filor Ventures LTD, owned by Russian Rostelecom.
Under the PSRC decision, Rostelecom is allowed to sell all 5,000 shares of  Filor Ventures LTD to the Armenian telecommunications company VivaCell-MTS. Over the next three days, GNC-Alfa is to submit a plan to PSRC for the sale of the shares.
GNC-Alfa CEO Hayk Faramazyan told ARKA news agency that negotiations with VivaCell-MTS continue to specify the cost of the deal, its re-branding and the date when the deal  is to be closed. Faramazyan said the deal will not affect in any way the company’s clients. ‘On the contrary, after the merger our subscribers will receive better services,” he said. 
The Russian company acquired 75% minus 1 share of the Armenian operator for $22.5 million in February 2012. GNC-Alfa was the only foreign asset of Rostelecom. 
In 2015 the local telecommunication company Ucom acquired the French operator Orange (France Telecom), which entered the Armenian market in November 2009. 
Russian Rostelecom’s Armenian subsidiary GNC-ALFA began promotion and sale of broadband Internet, IP-TV and a new generation of IP-telephony in Armenia under the brand of Rostelecom from 2012 December. The company’s fiber-optic network covers 80% of the territory of Armenia, extending to more about 3000 km. The network is connected to the main regional backbones and major traffic exchange sites, as well as international channels via Georgia and Iran. 
VivaCell-MTS has been operating in Armenia since 2005. Eighty percents of the company are owned by Russian MTS and 20% by Lebanon-based Fattouch Group.

Wool processing plant to be commissioned in Armenia’s Amasia in early 2019
/Dec 14/Panorama/

Acting Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan hosted today Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Czech Republic to the Republic of Armenia Peter Mikiska and Executive Director of People in Need NGO Šimon Pánek.

Highlighting the need for continued development of Armenian-Czech relations, Pashinyan said the Armenian government keen to deepen and broaden economic cooperation between Armenia and the Czech Republic. In this context, the acting PM introduced the projects and actions implemented by his government in a bid to improve the business environment and provide security guarantees for investment projects in our country.

Peter Mikiska complimented Pashinyan for the successful holding of early general elections and wished him every success in his activities. In turn, Šimon Pánek presented the activities and projects carried out by People in Need NGO.

He singled out the extreme tourism development project, underway in Syunik region, and the establishment of a wool processing factory in Amasia. Pánek advised that 500 thousand euros will be invested in each of these projects. The Amasia wool processing plant will be commissioned in early 2019. A 250km-long hiking trail will be renovated as part of the project to be implemented in Syunik Marz. Šimon Pánek noted that his organization is also involved in the development of agricultural business in Armenia.

Welcoming the mentioned projects, Pashinyan assured of his government’s willingness to support them as much as possible.

Armenia Exports More than 40% of its Leather and Textiles to EU
/Dec 14/Leather International/

According to Business Armenia, Armenia’s annual export growth in their textile and leather sectors was somewhere between 35% and 45% during the last three years, with more than 40% of all produce being exported to EU countries.

In order to stimulate further investment, the Armenian government has put in place a number of assistance programmes. Their aim is to make Armenia an attractive platform for European and Asian investors.

Due to the country’s membership to the EAEU, investors can establish textile manufacturing bases in Armenia while enjoying no custom duties on exports to other EAEU member countries.

Poland’s Pol-Mot Holding in talks over tractor plant in Armenia
/Dec 19/Intellinews/

Poland’s Pol-Mot Holding has held talks with Armenian government officials on setting up a plant to produce Ursus tractors in Armenia.

A delegation from the agricultural equipment manufacturer, led by its deputy director Marek Pol, discussed the plans with Armenia’s Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan on December 14, according to a statement posted on Avinyan’s Facebook page.

The company is interested in setting up production at the existing Slatsk factory in Vanadzor.

“I am glad that serious steps are being taken to establish cooperation. I added that the government attaches great importance to the work with foreign investors and will support the activities of Pol-Mot Armenia,” Avinyan said.

“During the meeting, we also touched upon the possibilities of cooperation in other spheres. In particular, taking into account the fact that Paul-Near Hodlins also produces Ursus Bus electric and diesel buses, we discussed the possibility of producing buses in Armenia.”

Export declines by 5%, import grows by 12% as compared with same span of 2017: Finance Ministry sums up the year
/Dec 20/Aysor/

The economic activity index for November 2018 made 3.6% against 2017 November, Armenia’s Finance Ministry reports summing up the initial data provided by the Statistical Service of Armenia.

The major share of the growth comes to service sector – 17,2%, trade turnover sector – 5,3%, industry sector – 1,1% and construction sector – 0,2%. In the sphere of agriculture negative index has been registered -8,3%.
As compared with the same span of the past year the volume of trade turnover made 6,9% of which -5% is the export and 12,5% import.
With the results of first 11 months of 2018 the economic activity made 5,7% against the same span of 2017. 
As compared with the same span of the past year, the trade turnover has grown by 19,1% – 9,8% export growth and 24,2% import growth have been registered.

Armenian government grants customs privileges to several companies
/Dec 20/Panorama/

The Armenian government granted a privilege to Spayka LLC to free it from customs duties for imports of technological equipment, their components and raw materials on the sidelines of an investment project.

The project eyes investments totalling to 28 billion drams, opening of 300 new jobs with an average monthly salary of 200,000 drams, according to the government decision approved at a meeting on Thursday.

The government also confirmed customs privileges to Nanman and Prof Al LLCs for imports of technological equipment, their components and raw materials.

Nanman company plans to make 110,100,000 drams investment and create 3 new jobs with an average salary of 78,000 drams.

As part of the investment project, Prof Al is set to invest 1 billion drams to open 50 new jobs with an average salary of 280,000 drams.

UITE: Armenia authorities began listening to arms industry development proposals UITE: Armenia authorities began listening to arms industry development proposals
/Dec 20/

The Armenian authorities began to listen to proposals for the development of arms industry, Karen Vardanyan, Executive Director of the Union of Information Technology Enterprises (UITE) of Armenia told reporters on Thursday.

According to him, this is evidenced by the initiative to separate State Committee of Military Industry from the Defense Ministry.

Enterprises created within the Union mobilization fulfill Defense Ministry’s orders, like the implementation of the Linux operating system.

“Agreements have also been reached with both the National Security Service, and the city hall,” he said.

According to him, 2018 was a turning point for UITE, as there was a progress in all programs, while the number of Armat engineering labs may exceed 250 by the end of 2018, with the number of students reaching 5300.

For the first time, the REAL school project was founded in Gyumri and Vanadzor in 2018 and next year the initiative may be expanded for two other Armenian cities.