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WEEK 32nd 2004

Friday, the 6th of August, 2004

Latvia not to become tax paradise
The working group headed by Latvian Minister of Finance, Oskars Spurdzins, decided that reducing the corporate income tax from 15% to 12.5% in 2005 is not advisable. Earlier Latvian vice-PM, Ainars Slesers, offered to lower this rate according to Ireland’s pattern for attracting investments and development of Latvian enterprises.

Sentor Farm buys drugstores chain Meness Aptieka
A drugstores chain Sentor Farm bought Latvian Meness Aptieka and became the largest one in the Baltic States. Now it includes 136 drugstores. Sentor Farm belongs to the British company DS Unigrand Trade LLC. The director of Sentor Farm, Aleksandrs Livsics, said that now its main competitors are Gimenes Aptieka and Euro, while Saules Aptieka collaborates with this company. At present 20% of Latvian medicines market belong to Sentor Farm.
Kommersant Baltic Daily

Thursday, the 5th of August, 2004

Credits to become cheaper, especially in foreign currency
In June 2004 in comparison with May 2004 credit interest rates decreased, especially in foreign currency. In June the average interest rate for companies in lats was 6.9% and in foreign currency 4.7% per year. In May these indexes were 7.2% and 5.8%, according to the Latvian Bank. However, credit interest rates in Latvia still are higher than in other Baltic countries.
Dienas Bizness

Wednesday, the 4th of August, 2004

Americans to build a giant factory
The largest producer of doors and windows in the world, the American company Jeld-Wen, is going to invest USD 40 million in building a fiberboard plant in Aizkraukle, Latvia. The construction works may begin this year. It is planned that 95% of the plant’s production would be exported. The company Jeld-Wen Latvija, which has been producing doors in Latvia for 10 years, will manage the new factory.

Tuesday, the 3rd of August, 2004

Crediting market grows
In the first half of 2004 the amount of loans issued by Latvian banks increased by 20% and reached EUR 5.45 billion . Mortgage credits for private persons grew most of all, by 35%. The leaders of the crediting market changed. Now 21.9% of the market belong to Hansabanka, which increased its crediting portfolio more than any other bank. Latvijas Unibanka has 21.6% of the market, Parex Banka 16.1%, Latvian branch of Nordea 6.5% and Hipoteku Banka 6.3%.
Dienas Bizness

Ministers re-divided the budget
Due to the successful corporate income tax collection additional EUR 82.42 million appeared in Latvian budget. According to the Minister of Finance, Oskars Spurdzins, it happened due to the development of the country’s economy and improvement in tax collection. The income of the state budget will be increased up to EUR 3.056 billion, the expenses to EUR 3.224 billion, while the budget deficit will remain the same. EUR 30.3 million will be allocated to the Ministry of Agriculture for farmers support.

Monday, the 2nd of August, 2004

The Baltic States pass exam to Russians
According to the provisional examination, more than 150 Baltic companies will be able to export their animal products to Russia after September 1, 2004. The examination was organised by the Russian specialists for Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian enterprises in order to check the stages of goods production. The checked companies will be able to receive the unified European veterinary certificate for export. Out of 150 there are 36 Estonian, around 80 Lithuanian and more than 40 Latvian enterprises.

Project applications from August 12
Latvian Investments and Development Agency announced that it would begin accepting the project applications for the companies to receive finances from EU funds on August 12. In total there are six schemes for grants worked out by the Latvian Ministry of Economy. These schemes include support for commercial companies in modernization of infrastructure, development of new products and technologies, consulting, as well as participation in international exhibitions and trade missions. The finances will be paid only after the full implementation of the project.
Dienas Bizness

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