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 Observer "Lietuva"

Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-

WEEK 25.2007

Saturday, 23rd of June

Klaipeda seaport
Private investments might be raised for an approximately LTL 5 billion worth deep-water port that might be built on an artificial island close to the gates of the Port of Klaipeda, should the latter be short of space for expansion.
"I can assure that private investments into the deep-water port would bring no fears. Absolutely no fears," Arvydas Vaitkus, secretary with the Transport Ministry, said at a meeting with journalists. At present the administration of the Port of Klaipeda is financing the installation of infrastructure, while the remaining investments are born by businesses.
The administration and private companies ploughed some LTL 1 billion into the upgrade of the port in 1993-2006. In 2007-2013 the investments are projected to reach some LTL 2 billion.
Lietuvos Rytas

Jelfa abuses the market
Antimonopoly investigators have set their sight on Jelfa after the Polish subsidiary of Sanitas, the largest Lithuania's medicines producer, has raised the prices of Cocarboxylasum, a drug used to cure vitamin B1 deficiency. The investigation into possible abuse of market dominance by Jelfa has been iniciated by the Ministry of Health. Earlier that medicine was sold at 7 zlotys, which was absolutely uneconomic. We even thought about the suspension of its manufacturing. This year, however, we have boosted the price to 28 zlotys thus leaving the market to decide whether it needs to be objected strongly to allegations that Jelfa dominated the segment of drugs used to cure vitamin B1 deficiency.
Lietuvos Rytas

Lietuvos Energija losses shares
The State’s company Lietuvos Energija lost the shares of its associated company DC Baltija. After the DC Baltija was liquidated, Lietuvos Energija lost 33.33 percent of its shares in DC Baltija. The Baltic States’ energetic companies will overtake the functions, which were implemented by DC Baltija.
Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika

Friday, 22nd of June

Central heating prices will go up
The prices of central heating will grow in Vilnius from July 1, while the respective prices in Kaunas, the second largest Lithuania's city, will probably increase from 2008.
The prices of central heating supplied to the customers of Vilniaus Energija (Vilnius Energy), the heating utility of the capital city, will grow by approximately LTL 0.02 or 15.5 percent, from July 1. Central heating tariff would grow by 15.5 percent, to 14.76 cents, from 12.78 cents per 1 kWh from July 1, the State Control Commission for Prices and Energy announced attributing the measure to growing prices of fuel. The tariff levied on households would go up to 14.567 cents per 1 kWh.
Respublika, Lietuvos Rytas

Hanner sells 40 percent stake in Ukraine’s Yudzhin
Lithuanian property development company Hanner, which is owned by entrepreneur Arvydas Avulis, has sold its 40 percent stake in Ukraine's Yudzhin and thus pulled out of the Olympic Plaza shopping and entertainment centre project in Kiev, worth an estimated 100 million US dollars. The construction of the Olympic Plaza was put on hold after the Ukrainian Football Association complained that the complex could hinder escape routes from the nearby Olympiysky football stadium. Reportedly, Gregory Surkis, the president of the association, has big ambitions to invest in Kiev. This is the second Ukrainian project that Hanner has withdrawn from this year. It sold a 50 percent stake in Nest-Hanner in April and intends to sell two more projects.
Lietuvos Zinios

Smoking prohibitions
Following the ban on smoking in public catering establishments in effect from early 2007, Lithuania might prohibit smoking in gambling centres, casinos and other leisure establishments. Moreover, smoking might also be banned in internet cafes under respective amendments to the Law on Tobacco Control as drafted by the Ministry of Economy. Lithuania prohibited smoking in public catering establishments from January 1.
Verslo Zinios

Thursday, 21st of June

Lithuanians spend a lot in foreign countries
Lithuanian residents spent LTL 556 million in foreign countries during the first quarter of the year. It is by 15 percent more than last year. The Economy Ministry has also presented such data in its economic review. It was announced that Lithuanians paid by 33.4 percent more for trip organizers last year. Lithuanians spent by 21 percent more money abroad last year comparing with 2005. According to the data of the Bank of Lithuania, the revenues of coming tourism reached LTL 571.77 million during January and March of 2007. According to the preliminary data, foreign tourists paid LTL 68.6 million for Lithuanian trip operators last year.
Kauno Diena

Losses for Lithuanian daily L.T.
Lithuania's L.T. daily controlled by Norway's media concern Schibsted turned NOK 22 million Norwegian in losses for full 2006.
Moreover, free daily 15 Minuciu (15 Minutes), which is also run by Schibsted, also ended the year 2006 below the line although the concern believes that the daily would break even in this year and turn profit in 2008. Schibsted attributed the losses of L.T. to difficult start of the daily in spring 2006, which prompted the concern to reorganize the periodical in fall. The concern did not specify the 2006 losses of 15 Minuciu. Zmones (People) magazine, which is claimed to be the most widely read magazine in the Baltic countries.
Verslo Zinios

Individual activity in Lithuania
The individual activity is rapidly getting popular in Lithuania lately. The number of people who register their activities is increasing. Last year, Lithuanians obtained 91.3 thousand of business licenses, which was by 12.7 percent more than in 2005. Mostly, people needed such licenses for different sales activities, for constructions, service business and etc. Business consultation and management activity was the most popular last year.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

Wednesday, 20th of June

Eurostat’ statistics
According to the data from the EU's statistics agency Eurostat, the minimum salary in Lithuania is among the lowest in the European Union.
This January, the minimum salary in Lithuania stood at EUR 172 and was nine times below the minimum level in Luxembourg, which leads the list with an official minimum of EUR 1,570. The only three countries below Lithuania were Bulgaria (EUR 92), Romania (EUR 114) and Latvia (EUR 171). In Estonia, the minimum salary stood at 230 euros.
Kauno Diena, Respublika, Lietuvos Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

Gold resources in Lithuania
According to the Gold Department, Lithuania, in terms of its official gold resources, is on the 75th place out of 112 countries. It is said that according to the data of this month Lithuania owns 5.8 tons of gold. While, Latvia has 7.7 tons and is 65th country of the list. Estonia is placed on 109th place as it has only 0.2 tons of gold. The USA, which obtains 8133.5 tons, Germany and International Currency Fund are among the ones, which are on the top of the list and dispose the largest resources of gold.
Lietuvos Zinios

FlyLAL figures
FlyLAL-Lithuanian Airlines, the Lithuanian-equity carrier, sees ending full year in the red despite April profits. The carrier posted LTL 560,000 in profit for April, up from the year-earlier losses of LTL 1.13 million. FlyLAL – Lithuanian Airlines’ profit without revenues from other activities and financial investments stood at 480,000 million this April, said Airline in a statement.
Verslo Zinios

Tuesday, 19th of June

Lietuvos Pastas in poor condition
Lithuania's state postal operator Lietuvos Pastas (Lithuanian Post) fails to distribute its resources efficiently and therefore continues to provide relatively cheap but low-quality services, a poll find. The market analysis and research group RAIT polled Lithuanian residents in May. Just 9 percent of the respondents described Lietuvos Pastas' services as being of high quality. Some 19 percent of Lietuvos Pastas' customers said they were satisfied with the speed of service and 13 percent said that queues at postal offices did not cause any major inconvenience to them. More than half of the respondents said that the company should renovate its offices, offer a broader range of services and improve its customer service.
Kauno Diena, Respublika

Sports arena in Kaunas
Government's support to the prospective sports and entertainment complex on the Nemunas River island will not exceed LTL 60 million Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas has said at the meeting with executive officials of the local authoruity of Kaunas, the second largest Lithuania's city. The government was following closely the talks between the local authority and France's Bouygues Batiment International on the construction of new complex, he noted adding that the Cabinet would not interfere into the process. The local authority of Kaunas should determine itself the liabilities it was capable of assuming, government leader said. France's Bouygues Batiment International has won a respective tender on the construction of new complex.
Kauno Diena, Lietuvos Rytas

Akmenes Cementas reports sales
Akmenes Cementas (Akmene Cement), the sole Lithuania's cement manufacturer, reported LTL 73.571 million in sales for the first five months of 2007, a surge of 50.6 percent from the year-earlier figure of LTL 48.852 million.
In May alone, the sales grew by 31 percent, to LTL 24.3 million, from LTL 18.6 million in May 2006. Arturas Zaremba, Akmenes Cementas CEO, attributed the rise in revenues to growing sales on domestic market and a 15-17 percent hike in cement prices from April.
Volume sales totalled 364,000 tons of cement in January-May, a rise of one-forth year-on-year. "In Lithuania alone, the sales made up 291,000 tons, which is 36 percent more compared with the same period a year ago," Zaremba said in a statement.
Verslo Zinios

Monday, 18th of June

Decision of the Central Bank of Europe
The Central Bank of Europe increased base-rate for interests one more time on Wednesday. Such decision is important for approximately 80 percent of Lithuanian residents; as such number of people may have loans for houses. It is also essential for those who have chosen rollover credits. Interests grew by 1.2 percent in euros in a year. It means that a credit for LTL 200 thousand increased by LTL 130-230. The ones who have bigger loans will have to pay more.
Lietuvos Zinios

Robusta getting more expensive
The shares of Robusta coffee are rapidly getting more expensive in London Stock market LIFFE due to the fear of smaller export from Vietnam. If the increase of the price will be long-term it may reflect on coffee price. Vytautas Kratulis, director of Sviezia Kava, thinks that such tendency may affect the massive coffee production, which reigns in Lithuanian shopping centres. Robusta is a part of any kind of coffee. Kratulis claimed that usually producers add Robusta to make coffee stronger as it has more caffeine.
Lietuvos Zinios

Tele2 reports numbers
Lithuania's mobile operator Tele2 reported LTL 400.5 million in revenues for full 2006, a rise of 13 percent from the year-earlier. According to Petras Masiulis, CEO of Tele2, the company announced its figures to avoid the speculations that its activity is loss making. The company's earnings before interest, taxes, deterioration and amortization (EBITDA) increased to LTL 127.8 million, Tele2 said in its first report on Baltic performance figures that has been made available to the public. Tele2 has not yet presented its financial report to Registers’ Centre; Omnitel has not either. Bite Lietuva revenues stood at LTL 593.4 million in 2006, EBITDA was LTL 141 million. Omnitel gained more than LTL 900 million of revenues last year, while its EBITDA increased and stood at 40.3 percent.
Verslo Zinios

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