Observer Latvija SIA
WEEK 6th. 2004

Friday, the 6th of January, 2004

Severe competition is not decreasing the profit
The profit of the commercial banks of Latvia exceeded LVL 70 million last year, which is a new record. All of the indexes have increased, however, the issuance of loans to private entities has increased the most - by 77 percent. According to the experts, the sector of the Latvian commercial banks is strong and the quality of the credit portfolio is high. Due to the economical development of Latvia and the increasing requirements for a higher quality of life, the year 2004 promises to be successful for the Latvian commercial banks as well. The total assets of the banks increased by 29 percent, while the volume of the issued loans grew by 41 percent exceeding LVL 3 billion by the end of 2003. It is 54 percent of the GDP. In the developed countries the amount of issued credits sometimes even exceeds GDP therefore the crediting still has a high potential, notes the president of Latvian Banks Association Teodors Tverijons. The index of the capital adequacy of the banks is higher than the one required by the European directives – 10% instead of 8%.

Thursday, the 5th of January, 2004

Budget has a fiscal surplus this year
In January the state’s fixed budget had a fiscal surplus. The total income of the fixed budget was LVL 98.68 million, whereas the expenditures reached LVL 83.52 million. The fiscal surplus accounted for LVL 18.3 million. The social budget had LVL 8.5 million in surplus. LVL 51.23 was paid in social budget in January.

Wednesday, the 4th of January, 2004

Number of those receiving LVL 200 in salary increases
In 2003, the number of those receiving more than LVL 200 per month increased in Latvia. According to the Central Statistical Bureau, in October, almost one third of the employed received more than LVL 200 in salaries, an increase of 5.2 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. The percentage of those receiving not more than LVL 100 has decreased from 39.8 percent to 33.4 percent. 13 percent of the employed received the minimal salary or LVL 70, whereas the salaries of 0.4 percent of the employed were below LVL 70. Most of them are employed in the transport by road, insurance, retail, agriculture and different manufacturing industries.

Tuesday, the 3rd of January, 2004

Agencies to start jointly developing Latvia
The Latvian Development Agency has signed a cooperation agreement with the development agencies of Riga, Zemgale, Latgale and Vidzeme regions in order to improve the social and economical situation in the regions. The tasks of the agreement include informing about EU structural funds, helping businessmen to prepare projects for funding acquisition, and attracting foreign investors to Latvia. Next week, the Development Agency of Baltic Sea Cost will join the agreement as well.
(Biznes & Baltija)

Monday, the 2nd January, 2004

Ecological tax postponed till 2014
Due to the fact that applying the EU ecological tax would increase the annul inflation in Latvia by one percent in 2004, the introduction of the ecological tax in Latvia is postponed till 2014. Until this date the ecological tax rates will be increased gradually.
Biznes & Baltija
(Dienas Bizness)

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