Observer "Lietuva"

Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-2006

WEEK 2.2007

Saturday, 13th of December

Lithuania intends to justify need to extend life of Ignalina plant
The Lithuanian government is expected to prepare by May 1 a justification for extending the operation of the second reactor at the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP) and submit it to the EU. This is provided for in a parliament resolution that maps out actions needed to implement the country's new National Energy Strategy. The draft resolution passed its first reading on Friday by a vote of 62 to one, with eight abstentions.
The parliament proposes that the government carry out by April 1 a study to evaluate Lithuania's electricity needs and its possibilities for ensuring reliable energy supplies at acceptable prices in the years 2010 through 2015. This evaluation is needed because Lithuania has promised to shut down the Ignalina plant at the end of 2009, while a new nuclear reactor that the Baltic countries and Poland plan to build will not come on stream before 2015.
The parliament also asks the government to work out by April a plan of measures needed for Lithuania to join the Union for the Coordination of Transmission of Electricity (UCTE).
Lietuvos Zinios

BS/2 signs equipment supply contracts with Kazakh banks
Lithuanian banking technology firm Penkiu Kontinentu Bankines Technologijos, which operates under the brand name of BS/2, has signed contracts with the two biggest banks in Kazakhstan to supply them with self-service banking equipment. The company said it would supply 200 Wincor Nixdorf ATMs to Turan Alem and 300 information kiosks to Naluk.
Penkiu Kontinentu Bankines Technologijos, which is an official distributor of Wincor Nixdorf products in Eastern Europe and Asia, opened a representative office in Kazakhstan last September.
Lietuvos Zinios

flyLAL Group to vie with AiRUnion over Malev
Hungary's privatization agency APV has shortlisted Lithuania's flyLAL-Group, the owner of flagship carrier flyLAL-Lithuanian Airlines, and Russia's alliance AiRUnion as preferred bidders for the national air carrier Malev. Sources close to AiRUnion alliance linked with Russia's businessman Boris Abramovich have said that on January 15 APV would schedule a meeting for the final decision to be made.
The initial list of bidders also showed Ofer Hava, representing a group of Hungarian and Irish investors, as well as Hungary's Sky Alliance representing the employees of Malev.
flyLAL Group reportedly aims to spend up to LTL 414 million on the purchase of Malev.
Lietuvos Rytas

Friday, 12th of December

Yazaki Wiring Technologies set to pull out of Lithuania
Faced with an increasing workforce shortage, Yazaki Wiring Technologies Lietuva (YWTL), a company based in the port of Klaipeda, is gradually pulling out of Lithuania. YWTL is cutting production as its equipment is being relocated from Klaipeda to Yazaki plants in other countries.
Max Fuchsschwanz, who is stepping down as chief executive of YWTL on February 1, said that the plant currently manufactures wiring for Renault Scenic cars, but its contract with the French carmaker expires in 2008. Part of the plant's production equipment was relocated to Turkey last June and more equipment will be moved to Bulgaria, where a new Yazaki facility is opening next week.
YWTL currently employs a workforce of 1,800 people, down from 3,500 employees it had earlier. The company's annual sales are forecast to drop to around LTL 311 million this year, from sales of LTL 380 million last year.
Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika

Poland set to be announced largest foreign investor in Lithuania
The purchase of Mazeikiu Nafta, the sole Baltic oil complex, by the Polish oil concern PKN Orlen in December has boosted overall Poland's investments in Lithuania by LTL 6.058 billion, while the aggregate amount of Russia's investments has shrank by LTL 3.856 billion. Russia will move down to rank the seventh in the list of countries that are the largest sources of foreign direct investments (FDI) to Lithuania, while Poland will spring up to rank the first, Gitanas Nauseda, an adviser to SEB Vilniaus Bankas president, has said.
PKN Orlen acquired 53.7 percent in Mazeikiu Nafta from Yukos International UK for USD 1.492 billion last year. Moreover, the Polish oil concern purchased additional 30.66 percent of the Lithuanian oil complex from the government for USD 851.829 million.
Lietuvos Zinios

Brewers did not expect such good results
Lithuania's top six breweries achieved a 5.2 percent growth in domestic beer sales last year to 270.21 million litres, from 256.88 million litres sold the previous year. Svyturys-Utenos Alus posted a 5.9 percent growth in beer sales to 131.22 million litres. The company's share of the domestic beer market rose to 48.56 percent last year from 48.24 percent in 2005. Kalnapilio-Tauro Grupe raised annual beer sales by 10.2 percent to 67.46 million litres. Its market share increased to 24.97 percent from 23.83 percent. Ragutis recorded a 4.9 percent growth in beer sales to 29.31 million litres, but its market share shrank to 10.85 percent from 10.88 percent. Gubernija's market share fell to 8.93 percent from 10.71 percent, with beer sales down 12.2 percent to 24.14 million litres.
Lithuanian breweries exported a total of 12.31 million litres of beer last year, a decline of 18.9 percent on the previous year. Kalnapilio-Tauro Grupe remained the number-one beer exporter, with beer exports of 5.17 million litres. Gubernija came in second, posting exports of 4.57 million litres. Svyturys-Utenos Alus' exports plunged to 2.45 million litres last year.
Lietuvos Rytas, Lietuvos Zinios, Respublika

Thursday, 11th of December

Infobalt EPA announces international electronic waste recycling tender
Infobalt EPA, Lithuania's association of electronics producers and importers, has announced an international tender on the purchase of electronic waste recycling services. The association expects Lithuania's and foreign companies to take part in the tender. Applications may be submitted till January 26.
"The key criteria would include a reasonable price, the bidder's recycling indexes, transparency and particularity of accounting, recycling technologies applied," Edgaras Kriukonis, Infobalt EPA director, said.
The winner of the tender would recycle old equipment to be delivered to special electronic waste collection sites.
Infobalt EPA unites 33 companies, including well-known producers and traders GNT Lietuva, Sonex Technologies, BMS, TD Baltic, Snaige, etc. The association, which was the first in Lithuania to obtain a license on waste management last year, aims to process some 4,000 tons of waste this year and assign some LTL 200,000 for a public education program.
Lietuvos Zinios, Verslo Zinios

VP Market to change name into Maxima LT
VP Market, the operator of the largest Baltic retail chain, gears up to change its name into Maxima LT. The company is projecting fast growth in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and sees its sales reaching approximately LTL 7.8 billion in 2007. The name change becomes effective on January 10 following the registration of new version of company's by-laws with the Register of Legal Entities, Maxima LT representatives said at a Wednesday's news conference. The company's units in Latvia and Estonia are renamed Maxima Latvija and Maxima Eesti, respectively.
"The name change is a logical continuation of our marketing drive. We have unified the names of our stores in the Baltic countries and now we are moving to change the company's name. We changed the names of all our stores in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia into Maxima, and now we are using the key and unified brand name," Gintaras Marcinkevcius, Maxima LT chairman and CEO, said.
With the name change in effect, the company's structure would be more streamlined and transparent, he added.
The company aims to focus on business in the Baltic countries in 2007. The chain aims to grow by 87 outlets over the year as the operator intends to open 37 stores in Lithuania, 21 in Latvia, 17 in Estonia and 12 in Bulgaria.
Kauno Diena, Lietuvos Rytas, Lietuvos Zinios, Respublika, Verslo Zinios

Average twelve-month HICP inflation at 3.8 percent
Lithuania's average annual inflation rate, as measured by the EU Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), stood at 3.8 percent in December. The annual inflation, i.e. December 2006 versus December 2005, made up 4.5 percent. Over one month the consumer prices in Lithuania edged up by 0.2 percent. The HICP-measured rates corresponded to the average twelve-month, annual and monthly inflation rates measured by national consumer price index in December.
Respublika, Verslo Zinios

Wednesday, 10th of December

Lithuania’s annual inflation at 3.8 percent
Consumer prices in Lithuania edged up by 0.2 percent in December from November, putting the average annual inflation rate for 2006 at 3.8 percent. The 12-month inflation rate last month was 4.5 percent. Month-on-month, prices of consumer goods rose by 0.2 percent, while prices of services were up 0.1 percent.
December's consumer price index was pushed up by a rise of 0.9 percent in prices of foodstuffs and soft drinks, of 0.6 percent in prices for hotel, cafe and restaurant services, and of 0.2 percent in transport costs. That was partly offset by a decline of 0.9 percent in clothing and footwear prices, of 0.4 percent in housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuel prices, and of 0.8 percent in communication costs. Respublika, Lietuvos Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

Hansabankas Klaipeda unit hailed as best customer service unit across EU
A unit of Klaipeda division of Hansabankas, the leading Lithuania's commercial bank, has been hailed as the best customer service unit across the European Union by the international financial services company Western Union. As many as 232 Western Union representatives from 19 countries have vied for the title in the European Union this year.
Lietuvos Rytas

Lithuania's budget revenues above target
The Lithuanian central government collected LTL 13.382 billion in budget revenues during the first eleven months of 2006, exceeding its revenue target of LTL 13.063 billion by almost LTL 319 million. Total revenues including EU funds amounted to LTL 15.397 billion, or 90.1 percent of total amount scheduled for the full year. Lietuvos Rytas

Tuesday, 9th of December

Akmenes Cementas may stop exports to Latvia or Finland
Lithuania's only cement manufacturer Akmenes Cementas may stop exporting its products to Latvia or Finland this year in order to meet rising domestic demand. The company intends to cut exports this year in view of the growing domestic cement market and due to the plant's modernization program, which may affect production. Akmenes Cementas CEO Arturas Zaremba said that the company did not expect to achieve a major growth in production in 2007. Last year, the cement manufacturer sold around 80 percent of its products in Lithuania, with the rest exported to Latvia and Finland.
Lietuvos Zinios

SwePart Verktyg to open plant in Lithuania
SwePart Verktyg, a Swedish industrial equipment maker, aims to open a plant in Lithuania. The company is currently searching for a manager of its plant to be based in Kursenai, North Lithuania and to employ a workforce of 50, and has already posted a job vacancy ad in local press. The annual turnover of SwePart Verktyg group reaches 35 million euros. The list of group's customers includes Volvo, MAN, Scania, Audi, BMW producers, etc. SwePart Verktyg currently runs plants in Sweden and Germany.
Lietuvos Zinios

Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai signs tunnel reconstruction contract
The Lithuanian state railway operator Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai signed on Monday a contract worth LTL 80.645 million with Kauno Tiltai and Volkerrail Lietuva for the reconstruction of a railway tunnel in Kaunas. Kauno Tiltai, which is controlled by the investment group Invalda, won the contract in a joint bid with Volkerrail Lietuva, which is owned by the Dutch railway infrastructure contracting and maintenance services group Volkerrail.
Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai Infrastructure Director Jonas Puluikis said that reconstruction work was planned to begin in September and be completed in mid-2009.
Lietuvos Zinios

Monday, 8th of December

Municipality to purchase kiosks
Vilnius municipality intends to allocate LTL 2.214 million to purchase kiosks and awnings for souvenirs and folk art production. Company Elgamos Sviesa won the kiosk tender. Vilnius municipality signed the agreement with Elgamos Sviesa on December 20.
Verslo Zinios

Cargo traffic at Klaipeda port up 8 percent
Cargo traffic through the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda increased by 8 percent to an all-time high of 23.547 million tons last year, up from 21.794 million tons in 2005. The highest growth was recorded in the handling of bulk fertilizers (29.3 percent), followed by ro-ro units (29.1 percent) and oil products (17.1 percent).
Bulk fertilizer volumes increased by 29.3 percent to 3.91 million tons last year. Lietuvos Zinios, Respublika
Constructors forecast growing prices
Over one-third of construction companies forecast that their service prices would increase in the nearest future. At the same time, the construction workers expect the decrease of construction works in the upcoming months. They also forecast the decline of labour force. The construction companies claim that the shortage of skilled labour force (48 percent) is one of main factors that restrict their activities. The shortage of orders (13 percent) is another negative factor. Meanwhile 29 percent of the construction companies said that nothing halts their operations.
Verslo Zinios

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