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Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-2006

WEEK 52.2006

Saturday, 30th of December

Euro opponents outnumber supporters in Lithuania
Euro opponents in Lithuania outnumber the supporters, the poll conducted by the market researcher Vilmorus in November has revealed. Approximately 39.3 percent of the polled objected to the adoption of the single currency, while 37.8 percent supported the introduction of euro. Among the supporters, 40.9 percent believe that Lithuania should adopt the single currency as soon as it meets the Maastricht criteria. Some 11.2 percent and 21.9 percent think that the target date should be the year 2009 and 2010, respectively. About 17.2 percent of supporters believe that euro should be introduced even later.
Kauno Diena

Hermis Capital aims to take over Kauno Diena daily
Hermis Capital, Lithuania's investment house, aims to acquire 100 percent of Kauno Diena daily from Norway's Mecom Press. The respective agreement on the purchase and sale of shares was signed earlier this week.
"Hermis Capital aims to pursue active cooperation with the successful management team of Kauno Diena in its drive to increase the daily's audience. We believe that this sector offers solid economic benefits on the back of growing revenues on advertising and expansion opportunities," Darius Janulevicius, Hermis Capital CEO, said in a statement.
The transaction is subject to approval by Competition Council and is expected to be finalized early in 2007.
Kauno Diena, one of the most influential Lithuania's regional dailies, is distributed and subscribed across Lithuania. It is subscribed by almost 70 percent of population in Kaunas and Kaunas region.
Kauno Diena

Lithuanian central government debt at 17.4 percent
Lithuanian central government debt widened by LTL 1.787 billion in November, to reach LTL 14.176 billion and accounted for 17.4 percent of this year's projected GDP, the Finance Ministry reported.

Friday, 29th of December

Natural gas prices for households to remain intact in H1 2007
The prices of natural gas paid by Lithuania's households will remain unchanged in the first half of 2007, Lietuvos Dujos, the Lithuanian gas imports and distribution company controlled by Germany's E.ON Ruhrgas and Russia's Gazprom, has ruled. The prices of gas would not change for consumers using natural gas for cooking, water heaters and accommodation heating and consuming up to 20,000 cubic meters of gas per year, the executives of the company announced at a Thursday's news event.
In November the State Control Commission for Prices and Energy and Lietuvos Dujos said that the prices of natural gas for consumers would grow by approximately 19 percent from January 1 on the back of higher prices of natural gas imported from Russia.
The prices of gas acquired by Lietuvos Dujos from Russia's gas giant Gazprom was expected to rise by 26 percent, to LTL 543.9 per 1,000 cubic meters from January 1, as compared with July 2006, the Control Commission said in November.
Lietuvos Rytas, Lietuvos Zinios, Respublika, Kauno Diena

Government once again postpones decision on ceiling contribution to Sodra
Despite the pledges of Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas that the decision on the ceiling contribution into the state-run social insurance fund (Sodra) would be taken by the end of 2006, the governmental Strategic Planning Committee ruled to postpone the issue to 2007 at its Thursday's meeting.
"The introduction of ceiling on the contribution to Sodra would be considered late in January alongside general proposals on the improvement of investment environment," PM adviser Nemira Pumprickaite said.
Investor's Forum, the association of major investors into Lithuania's economy, has been urging the government to set forth a ceiling for contributions to Sodra since November 2002. As expected, some curbs on contributions would be imposed on wages more than five times the average salary (approx. LTL 7,500).
Currently the contribution to Sodra stands at 31 percent of full salary irrespective of its size.
Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Zinios

Bank of Lithuania aims to replenish stocks of litas' notes
The Bank of Lithuania will order 50 million 10-litas denomination banknotes of 2007 series, 45 million 50-litas denomination banknotes of 2003 series and 50 million 100-litas denomination banknotes of 2007 series so as to replenish its stocks of litas' notes.
Additional security features would slightly modify the design of 100-litas banknotes, which would be issued as a new series.
Lietuvos Rytas

Thursday, 28th of December

Lithuania ranks 83rd in global e-government ranking
Lithuania ranks 83rd among 198 countries in terms of electronic services rendered by public authorities. However, Lithuania lags far behind its Baltic neighbours in the e-government ranking compiled by Brown University since Latvia ranks 56th and Estonia - 25th. Yet, Lithuania improved its positions in the ranking over the year as it was 87th in the ranking of 2005. Latvia surged ahead from 83rd position, while Estonia slipped down from 14th place.
Lietuvos Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

FDI flow to Lithuania at 3.4 percent of projected GDP
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Lithuania totalled LTL 2.03 billion in the first nine months of 2006, comprising 3.4 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) projected for the full year. The FDI amount declined by 9 percent compared with the first nine months of 2005.
Taking the direct foreign investments of Lithuania's economic operators into account, the net inflow of direct investments made up LTL 1.25 billion in January-to-September. In the third quarter alone, the FDI flow made up LTL 705.9 million.
By September 30, the total amount of FDI accumulated in Lithuania came close to LTL 25 billion, while the FDI per capita made up LTL 7,365.
Lietuvos Zinios

PKN Orlen eager to review powers of Mazeikiu Nafta managing bodies
Polish oil concern PKN Orlen aims to review the voting principles of CEO and the board of Mazeikiu Nafta, the recently acquired Lithuanian oil complex, and annul special supervisory rights of associated deputy CEO representing Lithuania's government. The measures had been envisaged in the amendments to the by-laws of Mazeikiu Nafta specified in the shareholders' agreement concluded by PKN Orlen and Lithuania's government on June 9, the Polish oil concern said in a summary of circular concerning the official tender offer to buy out the shares of Mazeikiu Nafta.
The oil concern also said in the summary that PKN Orlen and Lithuania's government had agreed on certain principles of Mazeikiu Nafta's profit distribution.
PKN Orlen would acquire Mazeikiu Nafta's shares at LTL 10.25 within the framework of official tender offer to be run on January 2-15.
Kauno Diena

Wednesday, 27th of December

Lithuania's pizza market leader Cilija to open 8 new restaurants
Cilija, the operator of catering chain in Lithuania and Latvia, aims to open eight new restaurants in Lithuania and abroad by the end of January 2007. Four Cili Pica restaurants will operate in foreign markets, three Cili Pica restaurants and one Cili Kaimas will be opened in Lithuanian towns. New restaurants will employ 219 new people in Lithuania and 148 in foreign countries.

Losses of Vilniaus Baldai
Vilniaus Baldai, the furniture producer, posted LTL 1.944 million in losses in the first eleven months of 2006, down from the net profit of LTL 3.761 million reported for January-to-November period a year earlier.

Rokiskio Suris to cancel boughtout shares
Rokiskio Suris, the leading Lithuania's dairy company, aims to cancel bought out shares - a total of 9.99 percent of its authorized capital - and launch a new six-month share buyout scheme. The largest Lithuania's cheese maker will establish a LTL 20 million reserve for the purpose. The price of company's shares is expected to range from LTL 10 to LTL 116 in the buyout scheme. With the boughtout shares cancelled, the authorized capital of Rokiskio Suris would total LTL 42.717 million, and the company could once again buy out up to 10 percent of its shares. The cheese maker seeks to buy out shares in an attempt to support their price on the market.

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