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 Observer Latvija SIA

WEEK 15.2005

Thursday, the 14th of April, 2005

Latvian banks continue sprint
In the first quarter of 2005 Latvian banks received profit, which amounted to EUR 59.57 million. This is by EUR 24.28 million or 68.8% more than in three first months of 2004. Only in March of the current year the banks earned EUR 22.85 million. The head of Latvian Association of Commercial Banks, Teodors Tverijons, explained such growth with the steady increase in banks assets and crediting. The main source of the banks incomes is credit interest rates.
Dienas Biznes

Wednesday, the 13th of April 2005

“Dirty money” will bar in somebody’s throat
According to the amendments to the law “On crediting institutions” banks will be deprived of their licences if they are involved in money laundering. Latvian government decided that this is a good means to combat the legalization of finances, received in the illegal ways. However, the representatives of banking sector think that this offer is absurd, because the banks will need enormous financial and human resources to check their clients. They want to achieve the abrogation of the amendments.
Biznes & Baltija

Tuesday, the 12th of April 2005

Investments to be free from tax
Starting from January 1, 2006, the owners of Latvian companies will have an excellent stimulus to invest money in their development, because no income tax will be applied to re-invested profit. It is also planned to apply 15% income tax instead of the present 25% to individual businessmen.
Biznes & Baltija

Monday, the 11th of April 2005

Bush hits business
The visit of the US President, Georges Bush, to Latvia could cause significant losses for Latvian business. For example, the airport Riga plans to cancel all the charter flights on May 6 and May 7, and the airport will be closed. However, the Ministry of Transport has not provided any according document in this regard. There are also problems with reservation of rooms in hotels. A year ago many Latvian tourist companies reserved rooms for the foreign tourists, but on May 6 and 7 the reservation could be annulated, because a large team will accompany Bush. As a result, only one tourism operator, Latvijas Tours, could lose 260 reservations.
Kommersant Baltic Daily

Prices predictably grow
According to the Central Statistical Bureau data, in March 2005 consumers prices in Latvia grew by 0.6% in comparison with February. In comparison with the same month of 2004, they increased by 6.4%. Therefore, Latvia remains the leader in inflation within the EU. Prices of clothes, shoes and petrol grew more steadily, 1.1%, 6.7% and 3.1% accordingly. Food products became by 0.4% more expensive (fruit by 8.2%, milk and milk products by 2.3%, fish by 3.2%). In comparison with March 2004 goods prices increased by 6.6%, and services prices by 5.9%.
Kommersant Baltic Daily

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