Observer "Lietuva"

Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-

WEEK 36.2007

Saturday, 8th of September

DnB Nord Investiciju Valdymas establishes new fund
DnB Nord Investiciju Valdymas (DnB Nord Investment Management), a Lithuanian investment management company that runs 7 investment and pension funds, has established its first voluntary pension fund that will invest in international stock markets. DnB Nord Additional Pension 100 fund would be an optimum choice for young and middle-aged people. The fund will begin operating from October 1.
The new third-pillar pension fund will mainly invest in equities, but the fund's rules allow it to invest in debt securities in times of unfavourable conditions in stock markets.
Respublika

Contemplations on news nuclear power plant
Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas expects that Lithuania and its partners in the construction of a new nuclear power facility will be able to decide on how they will share the plant's capacity after an environmental impact study is completed.
The study is due to answer the question of what capacity the new plant will have.
"An environmental assessment has to be done. It will most probably give answers to the questions that have caused the most controversy recently. That is, what capacity the new reactor can have," Kirkilas said. "A reactor of at least 1,600 megawatts (MW) would satisfy the needs of all the countries. Latvia and Estonia want 400-500 MW each and Poland wants 1,000 or more. Lithuania would also need about 1,000 MW. So, 3,200 MW would be sufficient for all the parties. That would certainly make negotiations completely different," he said. Plans call for building at least two reactors, but decisions on their capacity are yet to be taken.
Lietuvos Zinios

Prices for food prices grow
Food products in August went up in price by 0.8 percent in Lithuania. The Statistics Department in Lithuania informs that prices for total industrial production sold in August 2007 against July grew by 0.6 percent. Among food products and beverages, the most considerable increase was observed for prices of dairy products (1.4 percent), meat and meat products as well as fish and fish products (1.2 percent). Prices for exported products grew by 4.1 percent for food products and beverages.
Lietuvos Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

Friday, 7th of September

Lithuanian brand name
In the opinion of Lithuania's non-governmental organization New Public Board Fund, the brand of Lithuania could be evaluated in about USD 50 billion. The fund based its evaluations of the Lithuania brand on methodology of international organization Global Market Insite (GMI), which evaluates the export of the country, opinion of residents and foreigners, administration, tourism, cultural values, immigration policy and investments. "The brand of Lithuania is not included into rating, but compared to Latvian and Estonian brands, Lithuania should get the 40th position in the world and to cost some USD 50 billion," the New Public Board Fund has reported. According to GMI, the most expensive brand is that of the US -- USD 17.893 billion. Japan, Germany, Great Britain, and France are also in the top five.
Kauno Diena

Unemployment rate in Lithuania
Unemployment in Lithuania made up 2.8 percent in August, unchanged from July, the Labor Exchange reported. Year-on-year, the jobless rate declined by 0.5 percentage points. The lowest unemployment rates in August were in the municipalities of Trakai, Elektrenai, Neringa, Kazlu Ruda and Kretinga, while the highest rates were in the municipalities of Ignalina, Lazdijai, Jurbarkas, Druskininkai, Rokiskis and Jonava. Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

Russia might supply electricity to Lithuania
Russia's electricity giant Unified Energy Systems (UES) has offered to supply Lithuania with electrical energy after the shutdown of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP) in 2009 to help fill the gap until a new nuclear facility is built in 2015. "There are no agreements yet. (UES' subsidiary) Inter RAO UES has informed us that they offer to sell us electrical energy. In fact, we have been buying electricity from them. They know that there will be a gap (in power production) from 2009 to 2015. We will continue to consider this issue," Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas said on Thursday. UES Vice-Chairman Andrei Rapoport said that his company would be able to meet Lithuania's electricity needs, but he did not promise a lower price. "I'm afraid the price will be the same," he said. Saulius Specius, an advisor to the Lithuanian prime minister, said that the country would need about 12 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity following the INPP closure, whereas UES was offering to sell it around 3 billion kWh. Rapoport confirmed that UES was interested in the thermal power plant in Elektrenai, between Vilnius and Kaunas, as an alternative source of electricity production.
Lietuvos Rytas

Thursday, 6th of September

More gas stations in Lithuania
Lithuanian oil refinery Mazeikiu Nafta (Mazeikiai Oil), which is controlled by Poland's PKN Orlen, plans to develop the network of gas stations in Lithuania and Latvia up to 120 until 2012. Piotr Kownacki, board chairman of Mazeikiu Nafta and PKN Orlen, says that the company intends to increase the number of gas stations in Lithuania. The subsidiary of Mazeikiu Nafta ,Ventus-Nafta controls 34 gas stations Ventus in Lithuania. While LUKoil has 114 gas stations and Statoil - 67. Mazeikiu Nafta plans to increase the number of gas stations this year, however the real number is still not clear.
Verslo Zinios, Respublika

Rokiskio Suris reports sales
Rokiskio Suris (Rokiskis Cheese) Group, the leading Lithuania's dairy group, reported LTL 449.6 million in consolidated sales for the first eight months of 2007, a surge of 37.2 percent versus the year-earlier figure.
In August alone, the sales of the group rocketed up by 62.5 percent, year-on-year, to LTL 77.418 million.
Respublika

SBA Furniture Group posts numbers
SBA Furniture Group, the largest in Lithuania, posted LTL 273.242 million in sales for the first eight months of this year, up 28 percent from the year-earlier.
In August alone, the sales of the group surged by 40 percent, year-on-year, to LTL 38.354 million. The period from fall till the year-end is the most active for furniture makers, since they have focused on cooperation with key customers. The growth is the result of efforts to offer a competitive product, said Ricardas Kiaurakis, SBA Furniture Group CEO.
Lietuvos Rytas

Wednesday, 5th of September

New system will connect the group of banks
Scandinavian and Baltic finance group DnB Nord aims to invest LTL 38 million into a new IT infrastructure system that would band the group's banks in six countries in five years. The new system will render possible to offer unified banking services to the customers in Denmark, Finland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. "This deal will contribute to Lithuania's aspirations to introduce new advanced technologies and promote the development of knowledge economy in the country," Werner Schilli, DnB Nord bank president, said at a news conference on Tuesday. Baltic Data Center (BDC), a subsidiary of Lithuania's telecommunications operator Teo LT, will install the system in partnership with Hewlett-Packard and Oracle. The installation works are expected to be executed in five years.
Respublika, Lietuvos Zinios, Verslo Zinios

Parex bank shows numbers
The loan portfolio of Lithuanian bank Parex, which is controlled by the Latvian financial group Parex, soared by 88.3 percent during the first eight months of 2007, to reach LTL 1.021 billion as of September 1.The bank's share on domestic loan market edged up by 0.55 percentage points, to 1.95 percent in the reporting period, Parex said in a statement. Retail loan portfolio of the bank surged by nearly 95 percent in January-August, to exceed LTL 500 million as of early September.
Respublika

Gediminas Kirkilas warns again about gas prices
Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas on Tuesday reiterated his earlier statement that Lithuania would see a rise in Russian natural gas prices in 2008, but said he hoped that the country would able to negotiate more favorable terms from Russia. However, Lithuanian diplomats said that no talks with Russia on gas prices had been scheduled yet. Kirkilas said that a recent statement by a spokesman for Russia's gas giant Gazprom that no major revisions of gas prices for Lithuania were being planned in 2008 was unofficial.
Lietuvos Rytas

Tuesday, 4th of September

Akropolis counts visitors
The shopping and entertainment centre Akropolis in Vilnius welcomed more than 10 million of visitors during January-August of this year. There were 7.8 million of visitors in Akropolis in Klaipeda during the same period. The shopping and entertainment centre Akropolis opened its door in April in Kaunas, it had 5 million visitors since then. There are approximately 42 thousand visitors in Akropolis in Vilnius per day, while Kaunas Akropolis receives 34 thousand of visitors and Klaipeda Akropolis about 32 thousand of users per day. More than 25 million of people visited Akropolis centres in Vilnius and Klaipeda last year.
Kauno Diena, Lietuvos Rytas

Vilnius airport services record number
Vilnius International Airport, the largest airport in Lithuania, handled to all-times monthly record of 180.2 thousand of passengers in the first eight months of 2007. Previous record was achieved in July; nonetheless current record overcame it by almost 5 thousand.
The passenger traffic rose by 10.5 percent comparing it with August of 2006. Moreover the number of flights is also strongly increasing.
Respublika

New head
Arunas Zabulenas became the new CEO of the construction company Constructus. Previously the position was taken by Virgaudas Juocevicius, he will continue working in the company as the chairman of the board. Juocevicius plans on focusing more on the strategic development of the company. Zabulenas has been working in the company for four years; he used to be the head of technical group in Constructus before. Zabulenas used to work as the head of the company Vilniaus Geologija and as the head of commerce while establishing the Lithuanian Health project, which was financed by the World Bank.
Verslo Zinios

Monday, 3rd of September

Hanner posts numbers
Hanner, the leading Lithuania's real estate developer, posted LTL 11.178 million in consolidated net profit for the first half of 2007, a surge of 2.5 times from the year-earlier figure of LTL 4.546 million. Consolidated turnover, however, declined by 30.5 percent, year-on-year, to LTL 47.53 million, the company said in its interim report. The developer attributed a decline in sales to a decision to only sell fully decorated apartments, which extended the sale period per apartment. Yet, the company believes it would not affect full-year results.
Verslo Zinios

Revenues of the central government
According to the Finance Ministry, the revenues of the central government stood at LTL 2678.7 million, while the expenditures were at LTL 2316.2 million in July. Lithuania's central government sector ran a deficit of LTL 349.7 million in the first seven months of this year, which accounted for 0.4 percent of this year's projected GDP. In July alone, the surplus totalled LTL 108.3 million, or 0.1 percent of anticipated GDP. The central government sector's seven-month revenues came in at LTL 15621.7 million. Expenditures amounted to LTL 14818.6 million, and transactions in non-financial assets to LTL 1152.8 million. Month-on-month, domestic debt increased by LTL 60.1 million to LTL 4627.6 million, or 32.2 percent of the total debt figure.
Respublika

Mazeikiu Nafta opens subsidiary
According to the Vilnius Stock Exchange Market, the board of Mazeikiu Nafta agreed to establish the subsidiary company, the Health Care Centre of Mazeikiu Nafta. It is foreseen that the new subsidiary will be meant only for health care. The authorized capital of the subsidiary is going to be LTL 10,000. Mazeikiu Nafta is going to be the only shareholder of the subsidiary.
Verslo Zinios

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