||WEEK 39th 2004
Friday, the 24th of September, 2004
In general last years balance of transit business is good
In 2003 the total sum of losses of Latvian transit business companies exceeded EUR 35.38 million. Their total profit was EUR 38.46 million, which is a good result. The companies experienced losses mostly due to the decrease in oil transit from Russia. Ventspils Nafta lost EUR 14.26 million, Latvian-Russian enterprise LatRosTrans EUR 12.96 million, and the largest shareholder of Ventspils Nafta, Latvijas Naftas Tranzits, lost EUR 10.55 million.
Budget is formed with a European accent
Latvian government approved the budget plan for 2005. According to it, the incomes of Latvia should increase by 26.6%, to EUR 3.96 billion, while the expenses are to grow by 24.2%, up to EUR 4.2 billion. As a result, the fiscal deficit is planned to be EUR 246.15 million or 2% of GDP. It will let Latvia fulfil the Maastricht criteria. The Minister of Finance, Oskars Spurdzins, said that such a plan would become real due to the swift development of the national economy and the growth of inflation. The expenses are basically EU-oriented: EUR 516.6 million are allocated for this purpose, which is much more than to defence, safety and NATO integration, EUR 235.8 million.
Bizness & Baltija
Thursday, the 23rd of September, 2004
Change of cash
Introduction of euro in Latvia was one of the basic topics during the conference Latvian National Economy within the EU: Opportunities, Challenges, Perspectives. Financial specialists mostly are sure that Latvia will not have problems with it if the country starts to prepare in time. The currency exchange rate as of December 30, 2004, will be used for attaching lat to euro. Starting from 2005 Latvia will participate in the 2nd currency mechanism, which could last approximately two-three years. During this time the rate of lat and euro could change within 1%. In 2008 euro will start replacing lat little by little. The final transition should take place in 2008 if Latvia fulfils the Maastricht criteria. However, the experts think that Latvia might have problems with the inflation level and budget deficit.
Wednesday, the 22nd of September, 2004
Fuel price to increase
The fuel price in Latvia might increase approximately by EUR 0.123 per litre, and the price of diesel oil by EUR 0.153 per litre. There are several reasons for this. Starting from January 1, 2005, stricter requirements to the fuels quality will come into effect. They will limit the possible quantity of sulfur in fuel, which is difficult to ensure at present, especially outside the EU. Besides it, the minimal rate of the excise tax will be corrected, which also might influence the fuel price.
Tuesday, the 21st of September 2004
The associated company of one of the largest Latvian colours producers Vivacolor, Finnish Tikkurila Paints Oy, decided to close Vivacolor factory. Until the end of 2004 the line, which produces alkyd colours, should be closed, while the line producing silicate colours should be transferred to Estonia. The vice-president of Tikkurila, Ilpo Jousimaa, said that at present it is not worth to invest money into Vivacolor as the new EU requirements would appear. Such a decision was also made due to the decrease in the demand for alkyd colours.
Amount of non-financial investments increases by 26%
According to the data of the Central Statistical Bureau, during the first half of 2004 the non-financial investments in Latvia amounted to EUR 868.61 million. It is by 26% more than in the same period of 2003. The amount of non-financial investments in the public sector grew by 32%; it constituted 34% of their total amount. The private sector constituted 66%.
Bizness & Baltija
Monday, the 20th of September, 2004
Germans attack into the Baltics
On September 16-19 the first German-Baltic Investors Forum took place in Riga. It gathered 110 participants, among them the leaders of the largest German enterprises and investment companies. They discussed the potential opportunities of collaboration and of investing finances into the development of the real estate as the German investors are looking for the new markets for the investments. The participants agreed about the implementation of projects, which total value is approximately EUR 500 million. Among the spheres of collaboration are the development of the commercial areas, industry, infrastructure, business environment, tourism and hotels business, energy and recycling of wastes, as well as the projects, in which private structures collaboration with state.
Baltic Weekly MonitorA