Observer Eesti Oü

WEEK 46th 2003

Monday, 10th of November, 2003

Merko Ehitus increases nine month net profit to EEK 134 million
Consolidated unaudited net sales of Merko Ehitus Group in 9 months were EEK 1 854,7 million (EUR 118,5 million), and net profit was EEK 134 million.
The respective figures year ago were net sales of EEK 1 140,6 million (EUR 72,9 million) and net profit was EEK 72,3 million (EUR 4,6 million).
Merko ended last year with profit of EEK 98.8 million (EUR 6.3 million). Group turnover was EEK 1.66 billion, up from 1.35 billion kroons in 2001.
The company paid out to shareholders EEK 19.9 million (EUR 1.27 million) for 2002 which is EEK 2.25 (EUR 0.14) per share in dividends. The remaining profit of 180.4 million (EUR 11.5 million) was left undistributed.
Merko Ehitus group deals in the field of construction and with activities concerned to that, in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The Group consists of AS Merko Ehitus in Estonia, SIA Merks in Latvia and UAB Merko Statyba in Lithuania.

PKC stock price rally to shimmer behind the fat profit of Harju Elekter
Thanks to fast price rally of Finnish PKC Oy stocks, profit of Harju Eleketer jumped up to EEK 45.3 million in the 3Q.
Valdur Jaht from Trigon Capital admits that without the financial results of PKC, Harju Elekter's profit number is week.
Urmas Riiel, head analyst of Hansapank says that the turnover and profit of Harju Elekter from main activity exceeded the bank's prognosis and the bank will review the stock's target price and recommendation. According to the analysis that was published in the end of September, Hansapank's fundamental price for the stock was EEK 60-70.

Tuesday, 11th of November, 2003

Eastern Europeans to enjoy wage increase
According to the research of leading international consultation company Mercer, Eastern Europeans can enjoy higher wage increase next year. In Estonia, wages will increase only 2 percent.
Hansapank expects wage sin Estonia to grow by 4.6 percent next year. According to Maris Lauri from Hansapank, Mercer calculates too much with influences of tax amendments.

Arco Vara to mediate a major investment
Estonian property developer Arco Vara announced that German corporation DEC has agreed to invest EEK 500 million over three years in the Baltic property market through Arco Vara. Viljar Arakas, chairman of Arco's management team, said that some of the investment would go in a new hotel that will be developed in Tallinn and in new housing projects in Riga. Arco Vara will be advising the German investors in property development, expansion of West European companies to Baltic States, tourism and in hotel business and in investments.

Most successful October in years
The sale of new cars in October was record high. Number of sold cars in October was 1456, which is 173 cars more than in October last year.
Mazda6 was the most sold model in October (62 cars), followed by Toyota Corolla (51) and Honda CR-V (48).
(Eesti Päevaleht)

Wednesday, 12th of November, 2003

Consumer loans to draw back before housing loans
It appears from TNS Emor research that the relative importance of consumer loans and instalments is decreasing, whereby long-term and more capacious loans are increasing.
According to Toomas Paju from Nordea Bank, people took long-term loans more this year, as incomes have increased. Paju predicted that banks would continue surprising with the offers of interesting loans.
(Eesti Päevaleht)

Thursday, 13th of November, 2003

Estonian Energy to purchase half of Lithuanian electricity market
Estonian energy will probably receive half of Lithuanian electricity market, while competing German company did not make a concrete financial offer.
Privatisation of Lithuanian electricity market would be the first step of Estonian Energy's ambitious plan to become the leading energy company at the Baltic market.
In order to acquire holding in Lithuanian electricity network, Estonian Energy plans to take a loan, which is the biggest unwarranted loan in Baltic countries. Loan syndicate consists of Hansabankas, Vilniaus Bankas, Sampo and Vereins-und Westbank.

New record to loom for Estonian fund managers
Volumes of all open investment funds that are managed in Estonia have increased by more than half since the beginning of the year. There are also more and more new fund investors.
Kristel Raesaar, advisor of public relations in HEX Tallinn admitted that successful pension reform is the main reason behind the increased volumes of open investment funds. She admits that people wish for higher productivity than the bank deposit offers At the same time, they do not have a possibility to follow the changes at the stock exchange on daily basis, so they prefer to invest into funds and not directly into stocks.

Hansapank Insurance to collect EEK 18.4 million in October
In October, Hansapank Insurance collected EEK 18.4 million of insurance premiums, which is EEK 2.2 million or 13.5 percent more than last year.
In October, the company paid EEK 4 million of benefits.
In ten months this year, Hansapank Insurance collected EEK 191 million of insurance premiums and paid EEK 46 million of benefits.

Friday, 14th of November, 2003

Finnish tax decreases do not harm the competitive ability of Estonia
Estonia's competitive ability will not be influenced by the tax decreases of Finland, believes Maris Lauri, macro analyst of Hansabank Markets.
Investment decisions of a company are not only a question of taxes, said Lauri.
Andrus Säälik from the ministry of finance agreed with Lauri and affirmed that the competitive ability of Estonia will not be harmed by the tax decreases of Finland.
It will only improve the situation of Finnish major entrepreneurs.

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