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Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-

WEEK 37.2007

Saturday, 15th of September

People are unaware of the EU support in Lithuania
Nearly one-half (49.4 percent) of Lithuania's population is unaware of the European Union's support and its results. Whereas 50.6 know about the support and its results, a poll done by TNS Gallup this August on order from the Finance Ministry has showed. According to the poll, more than one-quarter (25.5 percent) of the people have experienced EU support. While 14.4 percent have never felt it. Another 38.7 percent said they "rather experienced" the support and 14.3 percent -- that they "rather not experienced" it.
Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika

Increase in alcoholic beverages production
Lithuania recorded an increase in alcoholic beverages production in the first half of this year, with the exception of beer production, which slightly declined, the Economy Ministry reported on Friday.
Year-on-year, vodka production rose by 12 percent and the production of other spirit drinks went up by 28 percent, according to the ministry's latest economic overview report. Sparkling wine production increased by 21 percent and fermented drinks production was up 41 percent. Beer production fell by 0.7 percent in the reporting period.
Lietuvos Rytas

More fish caught in Lithuania
Lithuanian companies caught 14,717 tons of fish of different species in the Baltic Sea during the first half of this year, a rise of 14 percent from 12,912 tons a year earlier.
High-seas fishing vessels landed 14,485 tons of fish in January-June, up 14.1 percent from 12,692 tons in the same period last year, the Economy Ministry said in its first-half economic overview report published on Friday. Twenty companies had their vessels operating in the high-seas area of the Baltic Sea in the first half of this year. Lietuvos Rytas

Friday, 14th of September

Future of Eurobonds in Lithuania
As Lithuania prepares to return to international capital markets with a new 650-million-euro Eurobond issue in the near future, officials acknowledge that the current situation in the markets is not the most favorable for such an offering. "The market is still hesitant and investors are waiting for fresh news. So, we should wait for some time," Audrius Zelionis, director of the State Treasury Department at the Lithuanian Finance Ministry, said. He claimed that some expected the situation to change in a matter of days, while others said it would take several months.
Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

Commercial banks issue more loans
Eleven Lithuanian commercial banks and foreign bank branches had extended LTL 19.819 billion worth of loans to retail customers by late July, an increase of LTL 5.106 billion or 34.7 percent compared with the start of the year. Hansabankas was the number-one provider of housing loans. Housing loans, which comprised more than two-thirds of all retail loans, rose by LTL 3.447 billion or 34.7 percent to LTL 13.367 billion, according to data from the Lithuanian Banks' Association.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

Klaipeda harbor grows rapidly
The cargos’ loading was rapidly growing during January and August in Klaipeda Harbour. It was the busiest harbor comparing it with other harbors in the Baltic States during the mentioned period. Approximately 18.146 million tons of cargos were loaded in Klaipeda Harbor during the last eight months. It is by 16.4 percent more than last year. Nonetheless, Tallinn Harbor in Estonia remains the leader of cargo loading in the Baltic States.
Lietuvos Rytas

Thursday, 13th of September

flyLAL accuses airBaltic
Lithuania's largest airline flyLAL-Lithuanian Airlines has accused the rival Latvian air carrier airBaltic of dishonestly using flyLAL's name on Google, the world's most popular search engine. flyLAL said it would ask the Latvian company to compensate it for lost revenue, estimated at up to LTL 5 million. For some time now, the first search result on Google for "flyLAL" has been a link to airBaltic's website. "Such actions by the Latvian air carrier airBaltic, which is part of the SAS Group, are a great violation of the principles of fair business practices and flyLAL's exclusive rights to the use of the name of the company and the brand name," flyLAL-Lithuanian Airlines CEO Tadas Puksta said in a statement on Wednesday. "We calculated that these dishonest actions by our competitors could have cost us up to LTL 5 million in lost revenue," he said. The Lithuanian airline said that it "expects that Airbaltic will immediately stop the unfair practices and will adhere to the basic principles of fair business practices in the future."
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

Hourly labor price rises
Hourly labor costs in Lithuania's production and services companies, excluding sole proprietorships, rose by 20.1 percent in the second quarter of this year compared with a year earlier, the Statistics Department reported on Wednesday.
According to the data of the Statistic Department, the fastest growth in labor costs per hour was in construction (31.8 percent) and manufacturing (23 percent).
Verslo Zinios

Latvia builds a factory in Lithuania
Latvian dry building mixtures manufacturer Sakret is starting construction on a new dry mixtures plant in Kedainiai, in central Lithuania, in which it plans to invest around EUR 8 million. Sakret said it would hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility on Thursday. It has been announced earlier that the new plant will employ a workforce of 35-40 and will produce around 250,000 tons of dry building mixtures annually. The company expects the investment to pay for itself in five years. Sakret earlier planned to start the construction of the new plant in June and complete it in the spring of 2008.
Verslo Zinios

Wednesday, 12th of September

Lithuanian transport sector is doing well
Lithuania's transport sector absorbed LTL 521 million in financial support from the national budget and the EU funds during the first eight months of 2007, which accounts for 61.7 percent of the total amount budgeted for the year, the Transport Ministry reported. Road building and maintenance companies spent LTL 331.4 million during the eight months, almost 93 percent of the support funding available for this year. Rail operators spent LTL 41.6 million, or 53 percent of the funds allocated for this year.

Lithuanian central government collects LTL 1193.1 million budget revenues
The Lithuanian central government collected LTL 1193.1 million in budget revenues in August, exceeding its revenue target for the month by LTL 33.3 million, the Finance Ministry reported. Total revenues, including LTL 545.6 million in EU assistance funds. The central government's revenues for the first eight months of this year totaled LTL 10404.1 million. Overall revenues including EU money reached LTL 12730.4 million. The 2007 central government budget projects annual revenues of LTL 19213.9 million, including LTL 3086 million in EU funds.
Respublika, Kauno Diena, Lietuvos Rytas

Forecasts by Lithuanian Finance Ministry
The Lithuanian Finance Ministry on Tuesday raised its 2007 forecasts for both gross domestic product growth and for inflation. However, GDP growth is forecast to slow to 5.3 percent in 2008. Inflation is forecasted to accelerate to 5.6 percent in 2008. The Lithuanian economy is expected to expand by 8.6 percent this year. In view of increasing prices for heating and natural gas, the Finance Ministry raised its average annual inflation forecast for 2007 to 5.2 percent, up from an earlier prediction of 4.7 percent.
Kauno Diena, Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

Tuesday, 11th of September

Delano Pica plans to enter Estonia
Delano Pica, a chain of pizza restaurants that is owned by Lithuania's Vilniaus Prekyba (VP), is set to rebrand as Can Can Pizza and plans to enter the Estonian market, as well as to expand its Latvian chain. Evaldas Venskutonis, marketing manager at Delano, the owner of the Delano and Delano Pica chains, said that they aimed to bring Delano Pica's operations in the Baltic countries under a single brand name. Delano Pica now runs 4 pizza restaurants in Latvia, but has no operations in Estonia. Delano currently owns 5 self-service restaurants and 9 pizza restaurants in Lithuania.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo ZinioRimi Lietuva posts sales
Rimi Lietuva, the operator of one of the largest grocery chains in Lithuania, said its sales for the first eight months of this year jumped by 31 percent year-on-year to EUR 159.3 million. Sales for August rose by 29 percent year-on-year to EUR 20.4 million, the company said in a statement. Rimi Baltic's sales for January-August in all three Baltic countries rose by 21 percent to EUR 745.7 million. Rimi Latvia posted a 30 percent growth in sales to EUR 349.4 million, while Rimi Eesti Food raised sales by 4 percent to EUR 237.1 million. Rimi Baltic currently owns 209 stores in the three countries, of which 91 are in Latvia, 64 in Estonia and 54 in Lithuania.
Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

Consumer prices in Lithuania rise
Consumer prices in Lithuania rose by 0.3 percent in August compared with July, in line with forecasts, the Statistics Department reported. The average annual inflation rate was 4.5 percent, and the 12-month inflation rate was 5.5 percent. It is the biggest prices jump from June of 1998. Prices for some food products such as milk, white bread, eggs and some other products increased by more than 20 percent during this year. While the net revenues of residents who get minimum wage increased only by 16 percent during the same period.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios, Kauno Diena

Monday, 10th of September

Ratings on Ukio Bankas
International rating agency Standard & Poor's has assigned its BB long-term and B short-term counterparty credit ratings to Lithuania's Ukio Bankas. The outlook is stable. The ratings on Ukio reflected the bank's above-average credit risk, modest market position compared with larger peers', and the competitive and above average risk environment in Lithuania, the agency said in a statement. The bank, quoted on the Main List of Vilnius Stock Exchange (VSE), operates 12 branches and 37 customer service outlets in Lithuania.

Klaipeda port reports numbers
The Lithuanian port of Klaipeda handled 18.5 million tons of cargo during the first eight months of this year, a rise of 16.4 percent on the same time last year, the port authority reported. In August alone, cargo traffic through the port of Klaipeda grew by 27.7 percent year-on-year to 2.45 million tons. The highest growth in January-August was in bulk fertilizers (48.1 percent), container units (44.2 percent) and liquid fertilizers (42.3 percent). The handling of oil products increased by 5.9 percent year-on-year to 5.21 million tons.
Lietuvos Zinios

AAA Wrislit reports sales
AAA Wrislit, the leading Lithuania's tourism agency, reported LTL 22 million
in sales for the first half of 2007, a surge of 38 percent from the year-earlier figure of LTL 16 million. The company established a new events and conferences division in the reporting period so as to expand its business and is reportedly looking for new business niches. Tourism agency Wrislit, a member of legal and real estate services group AAA, was established back in 1994. The company is a member of national and international tourism and air transport associations. It offers holiday packages, tours, business trips, etc.
Verslo Zinios

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