Observer "Lietuva"

WEEK 25.2005

Saturday, 25th of June

Labour Party nominee for economy minister earns little
Millionaire Kestutis Dauksys, nominated by his Labour Party as a new economy minister of Lithuania, has indicated that his income in 2003 stood at less than LTL 50,000. Dauksys also declared that he has assets equaling LTL 219,000. Under the entry for securities, works of art and jewellery, the politician also indicated an amount of almost LTL 440,000. His declaration of financial assets includes a sum of LTL 860,000 in addition to LTL 400,000 which he lent to other people. When asked how he succeeded in accumulating the assets valued at a combined LTL 1.7 million, the lawmaker said that he had earlier sold some stock and had also received dividends.
Respublika, Lietuvos Rytas

Minister does not promise to reduce fuel prices
Petras Cesna, a temporal minister of economy, said that the government will do nothing in order to reduce high fuel prices, because it does not have any possibilities to do that. He says that Lithuania alone can do nothing in this situation: if an agreement was made with the European Union, excise could be diminished and priced would go down.
Kauno Diena, Lietuvos Zinios

Lietuvos Energija is preparing to close nuclear power station in Ignalina
Lietuvos Energija, which is preparing for the repair works as well as the future closedown of the second reactor of the nuclear power station in Ignalina, is starting to implement an action plan which would assure a reliable electric energy supply in the country. The nuclear power station in Ignalina is going to close its second reactor for a month-long repair works in September. It is going to close the reactor for the whole time at the end of 2009.
Kauno Diena, Respublika

Thursday, 23rd of June

The growth of fuel prices – like a ticking bomb
Petras Cesna, a temporary minister of economy, today will have to explain to Seimas the reasons why the prices of fuel increase. He will also have to say what is going to be done in order to soften this growth of prices as well as the consequences of this growth. The specialists, however, say that people should not fear that the prices of fuel will increase even more.

Latvian Cilija and ate Pizza Jazz pizzerias
Cilija, the largest chain of restaurants in Lithuania that owns the pizza network Cili Pica in Latvia, takes over pizzerias of its rival Pizza Jazz. The Lithuanian representatives of Cilija do not yet confirm that the deal was carried out. Still, they do not deny a possibility that Pizza Jazz pizzerias could be purchased by the company in Lithuania.
Verslo Zinios

Bigger salaries for teachers, doctors and social workers
The government approved of bigger salaries to teachers, doctors and social workers. For this, it will have to give away LTL14,08 from the budget. The salaries of teachers will increase by 5 percent, the salaries of doctors will go up from 3,6 to 29 percent and the salaries of social workers will have a 20 percent increase.
Kauno Diena, Lietuvos Rytas

Wednesday, 22nd of June

Siauliu Bankas will give loans
Siauliu Bankas, a fast-growing Lithuanian commercial bank, and Nordic Investment Bank has signed an agreement, under which NIB will extend a EUR 2 million credit line to Siauliai-based bank to finance small and medium-scale enterprises. Siauliu Bankas has said to channel the funds for the financing of projects implemented by manufacturing and services companies that are mostly targeting exports and the exchange of technologies, goods and services between Nordic and Baltic countries. Lietuvos Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

Low-cost carrier Raynair – in Karmelava
After two years of negotiations, Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair came to Lithuania. In order to attract the company, the municipality of Kaunas committed to pay EUR 105,000 annually for the new route. Flights from Kaunas to London will depart on a daily basis starting from September 22. Passengers will be carried to London Standsted Airport. The tickets will cost some EUR 30-40, airport fees inclusive. Tickets to Ryanair flights will only be available via the Internet. Ryanair expected to carry some 100,000 passengers on its new route per year. In future Ryanair may also offer flights from Kaunas to Frankfurt, Dublin and Glasgow.
Kauno Diena, Lietuvos Zinios, Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

DHL makes Vilnius regional distribution hub on the way to Russia
The global express delivery and logistics company has moved to Vilnius the distribution of parcels transported from Central and Eastern Europe to Russia by land. Ramunas Vaskevicius, the head of the sales and marketing division at DHL Lietuva, said that Vilnius has an advantage over other cities because Lithuanians are appreciated in the West for their understanding of the specifics of the Russian and other CIS markets and of the Russian mentality and business culture. It is also planned that part of deliveries from the United Kingdom, Denmark and Germany to Russia and other CIS countries will be via Vilnius to Moscow. DHL is considering building a new parcel distribution terminal with a warehouse complex in Lithuania by the end of 2006. It currently has one parcel terminal in Vilnius.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

Tuesday, 21st of June

Negotiations with Rayanair are over
Kaunas Airport has finished talks with Irish budget carrier Ryanair. "We have reached an in-principle agreement with Ryanair," Kestutis Cucenas, Kaunas Airport CEO, said. The Irish company would announce the launch of its flights from Lithuania at a news conference due on Tuesday, Cucenas added. The routes to be operated by Ryanair had not been agreed as yet, although the agreement was expected in the nearest future, Kaunas Airport CEO said adding that different routes would be introduced gradually.
Previously media reported that the Irish budget carrier would offer flights from the airport based in Karmelava, the Kaunas region, from fall 2005. In spring the Ministry of Transport sent invitations to launch business in Lithuania to eight European budget carriers.
Loss-making Kaunas Airport, which operates a 3.25 kilometre long runway and is suitable for any type of airliners, is mostly engaged in cargo transportation. Respublika, Lietuvos Zinios, Kauno Diena, Verslo Zinios

Insurance market
Lithuania's insurance market expanded by 10.6 percent in the first five months of 2005, year-on-year, with total direct premiums written reaching LTL 462.267 million, the country's Insurance Supervisory Commission has reported citing preliminary estimations. Insurance payouts totalled LTL 153.349 million in the first five months of 2005, a surge of 24.5 percent from the year-earlier figure.
Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika, Lietuvos Zinios

Companies earn more
Aggregate pre-tax profits of Lithuanian companies grew by 24 percent in the first quarter of 2005, compared with the same period a year ago, to LTL 1.4 billion. Their combined revenues rose by 17 percent year-on-year to LTL 24.9 billion. Revenues in the services sector grew at a faster rate than those of the manufacturing sector and accounted for almost 57 percent of the total revenues. The manufacturing sector accounted for nearly one-third of the total profits, energy companies for one-fourth, trade and business service companies for 14 percent each, and the transport sector and the communications and telecommunications sector for seven percent each. The construction sector and the hotel and restaurant sector recorded losses. The percentage of profitable companies fell to 58 percent in the first quarter of this year, from 61 percent in the last quarter of last year.
Lietuvos Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika, Verslo Zinios

Monday, 20th of June

Four Lithuanian companies seek to create new generation TV
Four companies - Lietuvos Telekomas, the Lithuanian Radio and Television Centre, Balticum TV and Baltijos TV - are competing in a tender for the development of digital TV networks in the country. Bids in the tender, which was announced by the Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA), were opened on Thursday.
One or two companies will be selected to build digital terrestrial TV transmission networks and provide other data transmission services. The bidders will be evaluated based on their technical and financial capabilities to fulfil the obligations assumed, their experience and the business plans submitted. It is expected that the digital TV coverage will reach 95 percent of the Lithuanian territory in about four years and that the transition from analogical to digital television will be completed by 2012.
Verslo Zinios

The Panevezio Keliai group, one of the leading road building and construction companies in Lithuania, expects income in 2005 to reach LTL 620 million, 30.5 percent higher than the income of the group in 2004. The group estimates that net profits will reach LTL 17.3 million this year.

Vilniaus Baldai, a local furniture maker controlled by the Invalda group, is bidding to buy most of a new stock issue with a par value of LTL 30 million to be floated by Giriu Bizonas. This firm is now building a new chipboard plant valued at LTL 168 million. The new issue of Giriu Bizonas, a timber enterprise, has also attracted the eye of Baltijos Baldu Grupe, which controls four furniture companies.

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