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Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-

WEEK 22.2007

Saturday, 2nd of June

MasterCard chooses Snoras
MasterCard, the leading global payment cards company, has chosen Snoras, the fifth by assets Lithuania's commercial bank, as its main representative in Lithuania.
Snoras and MasterCard Europe have already signed a respective cooperation contract, the representatives of both companies have said at a news conference. According to the representatives of Snoras, partnership is the second level after the right to distribute bankcards.
Respublika, Lietuvos Rytas

Sports’ arena in Kaunas
The council of Kaunas, the second largest Lithuania's city, has authorized a task group to negotiate with France's Bouygues Batiment International (BBI), the prospective builder of sports and entertainment complex on the Nemunas River island, for one more month.
A decision on whether to submit the draft concession contract to the city council would be taken considering the results of negotiations. It is said that the agreement between Kaunas and French company is suitable and worthy only for them. Moreover, if Kaunas Municipality agrees to cooperate, it may have to pay huge amounts for the arena for 25 years. The members of the task group would not project whether the concession contract could be signed eventually.
Lietuvos Rytas

Alytaus Tesktile’s fate is unknow
The fate of Alytaus Tekstile is still unknown, as the company has not renewed its production and is waiting for new decisions from their owners. Dale Rimkuviene, temporary CEO of Alytaus Tekstile, said that the company was waiting for the elections of the company’s board and only after that the company would begin its production. The meeting and the elections of the board will take place on June 6.
Respublika

Friday, 1st of June

Vilniaus Vingis posts numbers
Lithuanian asset management and TV deflection yoke production group Vilniaus Vingis posted LTL 41.482 million in net profit, mostly on real estate sale, for the first three months of 2007, up from the losses of LTL 546,800 a year earlier.
The sales of the group controlled by the investment house Hermis Capital made up LTL 6.453 million in the reporting period. The sales of the head company alone came in at LTL 6.6 million, a plunge of 3.1 times from the LTL 20.358 million figure in January-March 2006, the company said in its first-quarter report. The audited losses of Vilniaus Vingis soared by 4.1 times last year, to LTL 22.872 million, as the sales plunged by 40.5 percent, to LTL 48.378 million. Hermis Capital held 39.09 percent of Vilniaus Vingis' voting shares as of late March.
Lietuvos Zinios

GE Energy is interested in new nuclear facility
GE Energy, the energy unit of US conglomerate General Electric, is interested in the construction of new nuclear facility in Lithuania.
On Thursday Lithuania's Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas met with John Krenick, the company's president, to discuss the abilities of the US company in the area of nuclear technologies and its readiness to provide new generation boiling water reactor and other components, the government's press service reported. Kirkilas noted exceptional interest demonstrated by foreign companies in the new nuclear project, which Lithuania aimed to implement in cooperation with Latvia, Estonia and Poland.
Lietuvos Zinios

New aqua park in Vilnius
Lithuania's Rubicon Group has opened a Vilnius-based aqua park Vichy on Thursday.
Investments into the aqua park based on the territory of Vilnius entertainment park came in at LTL 72 million. The aqua park may accommodate up to 1,500 visitors simultaneously. The owners of the new facility expect some 400,000 people, of which one-third should be foreigners, to visit the aqua park in one year.
Vichy aqua park is one of the segments of the Vilnius entertainment park being developed. Other components of the park include the Siemens arena, the upcoming trade and entertainment centre Ozas and a park with open-air arena.
Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika

Thursday, 31st of May

Vilnius and Tallinn have different positions regarding nuclear power plant
Vilnius and Tallinn have different positions on who should decide what stakes each of the participating countries should hold in a new nuclear power plant that is planned to be built in Lithuania. Estonian Economics and Communications Minister Juhan Parts said in Vilnius on Wednesday that this should be left to the companies participating in the project to decide, rather than politicians. Meanwhile, Lithuanian Economy Minister Vytas Navickas believes that the planned nuclear power plant is an exceptional project and its ownership structure has to be set out in a law to be passed by the Seimas (Lithuanian parliament).
In their comments on the bill, Latvia and Estonia asked the Seimas in April not to include into the law a provision that Lithuania would hold at least 34 percent of shares in the project. The bill, in its current form, envisages that Lithuania would own a 34 percent stake in the joint venture and the other three partners in the project, Latvia, Estonia and Poland, would hold 22 percent of shares each.
Lietuvos Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

Construction prices soar
Construction prices soared by 13.5 percent in Lithuania in April versus the year-earlier figure, and rose by 3.5 percent from March, the country's Statistics Department reported. Residential construction prices increased by 4.3 percent over one month and soared by 15.6 percent from April 2006.The prices of non-residential construction grew by 3.3 percent versus March and by 13.1 percent from April 2006. The prices of engineering structures increased by 3.2 percent and 12.3 percent, respectively.
Verslo Zinios

Vilnius Authorities takes a loan
SEB Vilniaus Bankas, the largest Lithuania's commercial bank, has lead managed a ten-year syndicated LTL 95.3 million loan for the local authority of Vilnius.
The loan will be issued by SEB Vilniaus Bankas, Hansabankas, DnB Nord, Nordea and Sampo. The funds will be channeled to finance the 2007 investment program of the local authority, SEB Vilniaus Bankas has said in a statement. The loan will be used to finance the development of urban infrastructure, including the building of southern bypass, restoration of the Old Town, enhancement of cultural activities and their role in society, implementation of information society programs, etc. The local authority aims to channel approximately LTL 430 million into the investment program of 2007. About one-fourth of the funds required will be allocated from the European Union (EU) structural funds.
Verslo Zinios

Wednesday, 30th of May

Deka Immobilien Investmetn buys BIG mall
Deka Immobilien Investment, the leading German real estate management company, is set to buy the Vilnius BIG mall from Panevezys-based Baltijos Investiciju Grupe (Baltic Investment Group) for LTL 124 million. The agreement had already been signed, Alvydas Misiunas, Baltijos Investiciju Grupe CEO, told BNS adding that the parties were currently finalizing last arrangements for the deal. "As usual, the coordination of final details might take one or two months," Misiunas said. The transaction would be the first Lithuanian investment by Deka Immobilien Investment, he added. The management of BIG, the 20,000 square meters mall opened in October 2006, would be taken over by Deka-S-PropertyFund. No. 2, the subsidiary of Deka Immobilien Investment. Investments into the construction of the mall made up some LTL 65 million.
Lietuvos Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

Lithuanian Gas will raise prices
Lietuvos Dujos (Lithuanian Gas), the Lithuanian gas imports and distribution company controlled by Russian and German gas concerns, will raise the price of natural gas sold to heating suppliers by almost 15 percent from Jul. 1, which may translate into a yet another increase in the retail prices of heating being centrally supplied to households and other consumers. Heating suppliers have already received new contracts, which stipulate that the price of natural gas will rise to more than LTL 530 from approximately LTL 470 per 1,000 cubic meters, the Lithuanian District Heating Association (LSTA) has reported. Lietuvos Dujos earlier said it would leave the retail prices of gas unchanged for households. Yet, natural gas was only used by 200,000 households, which used slightly more than 5 percent (some 150 million cubic meters) of total gas volumes consumed in the country per year, the association noted.
Lietuvos Zinios, Verslo Zinios

Lithuanian’s gross domestic product grows
Lithuania's gross domestic product grew by 8.3 percent in the first quarter of this year compared with a year ago, led by a strong performance in the construction industry, according to revised figures from the Statistics Department. This is up from a flash estimate of 7.1 percent in late April. GDP at current prices totalled LTL 19858.2 million in the first quarter, the department said on Tuesday. It said the upward revision reflected stronger than expected growth in the construction sector. The value added in the construction sector grew by 31.1 percent in the first quarter year-on-year. Construction has shown the strongest growth among all sectors for the sixth quarter in a row.
Respublika, Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

Tuesday, 29th of May

Monthly gross earning rise
Average monthly gross earnings (excluding sole proprietorships) rose by 20.9 percent in Lithuania in the first quarter of this year from a year earlier to reach LTL 1,737.8 the Statistics Department reported.
The average net salary soared by 28.2 percent, year-on-year, to LTL 1,329.9 in the reporting period. Real wages in the entire economy (excluding sole proprietorships) grew by 22.9 percent from a year earlier. The growth rates were 20.2 percent in the public sector and 24.8 percent in the private sector. The average monthly gross earnings in the private sector increased by 23.1 percent, to LTL 1,717.9; while in the public sector the rise was 18 percent, to LTL 1,771. The net wages soared by 30.2 percent, to LTL 1,292.7 in the private sector and by 25.4 percent, to LTL 1,329.9 in the public sector.
Lietuvos Zinios, Respublika, Lietuvos Rytas

Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant imports electricity
Lithuania has started to import electricity as its Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP) has been operating at half-capacity since Saturday. Unit Two, the plant's only operating reactor, is running at a capacity of 750 megawatts (MW), compared with its full capacity of 1,300 MW, after one of its two turbines was switched off to eliminate a fault, the INPP said. INPP Director Viktor Shevaldin said that the turbine was stopped on Friday after a valve defect had been detected and that the faulty valve had been replaced by Monday. The radiation situation on the INPP site has not changed.
"This event has no impact on the safety of the power plant, but the turbine cannot operate for long with such a defect, Shevaldin said. He added that, as planned, the turbine would be shut down for a major overhaul from July 24 until the end of September.
Lietuvos Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

Alytaus Tekstile’s buyers are know
Three of four buyers of the state's majority stake in the textile manufacturer Alytaus Tekstile (Alytus Textile) have confirmed that they purchased some shares in the troubled company. Algida Zukeviciene, Bronius Bieliauskas and Gintautas Dunaitis announced on Monday that they had acquired 19.41 percent of shares in the textile company each.
The state's 69.56 percent stake in Alytaus Tekstile changed hands on the Vilnius Stock Exchange (VSE) on May 18 for a total of LTL 358,300, which was the starting price.
Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas, Lietuvos Zinios, Respublika, Kauno Diena

Monday, 28th of May

Kauno Energija first quarter numbers
Kauno Energija (Kaunas Energy), one of the largest district-heating suppliers in Lithuania, saw its first-quarter consolidated net profit halve to LTL 13.918 million from LTL 29.254 million it posted a year earlier. Operating revenue for the first quarter fell by to 72.602 million. Kauno Energija's non-consolidated first-quarter net profit declined to LTL 13.743 million from LTL 29.254 million, with revenue down to LTL 72.167 million from LTL 99.486 million
The group also includes Pastatu Prieziuros Paslaugos (Building Maintenance Services).Kauno Energija posted a 45.7 percent growth in annual net profits to LTL 9.36 million last year, based on its audited financial statements.
The group is projecting LTL 2.736 million in consolidated profits this year, on revenue of LTL 193.191 million.
Lietuvos Zinios

Commercials on highways
The advertising companies are not hiding hat they earn good money from the commercial stands, which are on the highways. Approximately, LTL 10 thousand per month are received from such stand. However, some advertising companies agree that such for example, Vilnius-Kaunas highway is heavily overloaded with commercials stands. Such commercials are distracting the attention of drivers. Presently, the implementation of such advertisements is controlled by the Ministry of Economy, nevertheless, the advertising companies have very little limitations and can build the commercials anywhere they like.
Kauno Diena

VST reports its profit
Lithuania's private equity power distribution company VST reported LTL 17.3 million in net profit for the first three months of 2007, a surge of 43 percent from the year-earlier figure of LTL 12.1 million The company attributed the increase to the one-off income on deferred profit tax in the amount of LTL 8.3 million.
Verslo Zinios

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