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Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-

WEEK 38.2007

Saturday, 22nd of September

Mazeikiu Nafta is shutting down
Lithuania's only crude refinery, Mazeikiu Nafta (Mazeikiai Oil), is shutting down on Saturday for a maintenance turnaround that will last for about a month and a half.
"The shutdown process will take two days: some units will be turned off on Saturday and others on Sunday," Mazeikiu Nafta spokesman Rosvaldas Gorbaciovas said. Mazeikiu Nafta CEO Marek Mroczkowski has said that the turnaround will cost an estimated USD 80 million, including the cost of replacing some old equipment with new equipment. Mazeikiu Nafta expects to restart its vacuum distillation unit, which was destroyed in a major fire a year ago, in the last quarter of this year. That would allow the plant to return to full capacity.
Lietuvos Zinios

Lithuania's Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant will open all reactors a week later
The maintenance shutdown of the only operating reactor at Lithuania's Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP) will take a week longer than scheduled. The INPP expects to restart one of the two turbines at Unit Two on September 29, a week later than originally planned. The second turbine is to be put back into operation on October 8, four days later.” We were ready to turn on the so-called third turbine ahead of schedule, but detected a small hole in a pipe during hydraulic tests. The pipe is currently being repaired and we expect to fix it within three days," Gennady Negrivoda, the INPP technical director, said. The maintenance of the so-called fourth turbine cannot be completed until the third turbine comes online and starts producing steam, he added.
Lietuvos Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

Alita receives an award
Lithuanian company Alita has been participating in the international competition International Spirits Challenge for the 12th time already. The competition took place in London. Alita’s vodka Premium Gera, which is produced according to the Octal technology, was awarded with the bronze medal. The bronze medal is the second one for Alita, which it had won in this competition. Premium Gera vodka has won the gold medal in the exhibition Drinkexpo 2007 in Russia in June.

Friday, 21st of September

Coffee Holding intends to buy Presto Prekyba
Latvia's Coffee Holding has applied for regulatory approval to acquire up to 100 percent of shares in Lithuania's Presto Prekyba, the owner of the Presto chain of cafes and teashops. Officials at the Lithuanian Competition Council said on Thursday that the regulatory authority had received Coffee Holding's request for permission to buy Presto Prekyba. Presto Prekyba Director Bernardas Tautkus declined to comment until the deal has been finalized.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

Fiscal discipline law
The parliament will decide whether rules for fiscal discipline that should help the country initiate accession to the euro zone in 2010 should be fixed.
According to the government, the law on fiscal discipline is necessary to maintain lasting sustainability of finance in the governmental sector and stable economical development, and to oblige the authorities to observe them. On Thursday, the parliament green lighted the bill as submitted. In the words of Finance Minister Rimantas Sadzius, if the law is followed, the country's long-term financial development could be guaranteed.
Verslo Zinios, Kauno Diena

Prime Minister thinks about natural gas supplies
Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas said that natural gas could be supplied to Lithuania directly, without intermediaries, but said he did not know what to do with the existing intermediary companies. However, asked if the idea of supplies without intermediaries would be raised during price negotiations with Russia's Gazprom, the only natural gas supplier to Lithuania, Kirkilas did not answer the question. "We are taking steps to get the European Union involved in negotiations on gas prices," he said, speaking at the parliament. "If you have possibilities of eliminating such (intermediary) companies, I won't object to it. As far as I know, Gazprom is not opposed either," the Prime Minister said. He added that the government could only "take economic measures and worsen the conditions" for such companies.
Lietuvos Rytas

Thursday, 20th of September

Airbaltic is number one
Latvia's Airbaltic rose to the top position in terms of the number of flights operated in Lithuania's airspace last year, leaving Germany's Lufthansa in second place and FlyLAL-Lithuanian Airlines in third, the air navigation service provider Oro Navigacija (Air Navigation) has reported. Airbaltic operated 14,900 flights in the country's airspace in 2006, followed by Lufthansa with 13,800 flights and FlyLAL with 9,900 flights. Russia's Aeroflot was fourth with 8,700 flights and the Finnish airline Finnair was fifth with 8,500 flights.
Lietuvos Rytas

New terminal in Vilnius airport
A state commission on Wednesday gave the green light for Vilnius Airport to open and operate its new hundred-million-litas passenger terminal. Now after the officials have certified that the terminal is fit to be operated, airport services will be able to move in. The new terminal will help the airport to separate passengers traveling within the Schengen area from "non-Schengen" passengers and to cope with rising number of passengers.
Lietuvos Rytas

IT is a necessity
More than a half (55 percent) of Lithuanian businesspeople think that IT is a necessity for their businesses. The remaining part of the businesspeople claims that IT is just an additional tool for their businesses. Such poll was done by the agency Vilmorus. The poll also showed that construction and commercial spheres are more passive about informational technologies. Bigger companies, which have more employees, state that they could not imagine their work without IT. The pole was completed in July, 401 businesspeople participated in it.
Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

Wednesday, 19th of September

Pre tax profit of Lithuanian companies increases
Aggregate pre-tax profits of Lithuanian companies surged by 42.1 percent in the first half of this year from a year earlier to LTL 6.4 billion the Statistics Department reported on Tuesday. The average profitability of all companies increased by 1.2 percentage points to 7.8 percent. Their combined sales and service revenues for the first half rose by 21.2 percent year-on-year to LTL 82.1 billion, based on an analysis of corporate financial results carried out by the department.
Lietuvos Zinios, Respublika

Economic forecasts
"The global decline in stock prices has hit the Lithuanian market as well, forcing it to put the domestic factors aside for now," said Gitanas Nauseda, an advisor to the president of SEB Vilniaus Bankas, while commenting on the bank's latest Lithuanian Macroeconomic Review report. SEB Vilniaus Bankas sees no threat of a global economic recession, as companies are on a sound financial footing, investments are moderate and there is no surplus production capacity. Also, the outlook for profits remains good, the bank said in the report. The financial situation of households is also stable and savings levels in the entire Western world, with the exception of the United States and Britain, are rather high, it noted.
Lietuvos Zinios, Verslo Zinios

Dvarcioniu Keramika reports numbers
Dvarcioniu Keramika (Dvarcionys Ceramics), the biggest manufacturer of ceramic and stoneware tiles in the Baltics, reported revenues of LTL 46.1 million. The manufacturer’s sales were the biggest in July and August. Sales for August rose by 19 percent year-on-year to LTL 7.4 million, hitting a new monthly high for the second successive month, the company said on Monday.

Tuesday, 18th of September

Statoil buys shares of Mestilla
Norway's biggest oil industry group Statoil has bought a 42.5 percent stake in Lithuania's Mestilla from SEB Vilniaus Bankas' venture capital management subsidiary for an undisclosed amount of money. The deal is yet to be approved by the Lithuanian Competition Council. Mestilla Chairman Darius Zubas said that the Mestilla plant, located on the Klaipeda Free Economic Zone, should start production in late September and have an annual capacity of over 100,000 tons of bio diesel.
Verslo Zinios

Inflation rate grows
The Lithuanian Statistics Department said that it forecasts a 1.2 percent monthly inflation for September. That would bring the average 12-month inflation rate for September, as measured by the EU Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), to 6.97 percent, it said. "We predict that footwear and clothing will record the sharpest rise in prices due to seasonal factors. There has been a sharp increase in prices for food products and soft drinks, particularly milk, meat and flour products. In fact, all food products have risen in price, with the exception of vegetables," said Nomeda Bratcikoviene, head of the Department's Econometric Research Unit. The consumer price index rose by 0.3 percent in August from July, in line with the Statistics Department's forecast.
Lietuvos Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

Movie theaters in Lithuania
Lithuanian movie theatres ticket sales’ revenue for the first eight months of this year soar by 55 percent to LTL 22.97 million from LTL 14.82 million a year earlier, the Cinema Industry Association reported on Monday.
Cinema admissions increased by 49.3 percent year-on-year to 2.15 million. The Simpsons Movie was the top box-office performer in January-August, drawing 201,300 viewers and earning LTL 2.1 million in revenue, the association said.
Lietuvos Rytas

Monday, 17th of September

Revisions at work
The State Labour Inspectorate has arranged more than a thousand of revisions in different companies and has recorded 503 of people who were working illegally in the institutions during the first half-year. 58 of people among them were persons under the age of 18 and 8 foreign citizens. The biggest number of illegal employees was recorded in the construction works (29.6 percent), 7.3 percent in car repair companies, 6.3 percent in transportation and storage spheres, while 9.4 percent were recorded in hotels and restaurants sector.
Verslo Zinios

One more wind power plant
One more wind power plant began its work in Lithuania in September. The company from Alytus Energopliusas invested LTL 11 million into int. Justinas Vilpisauskas, director of Energopliusas, said that Lithuania was the first country of the new EU members which had the modern wind power plant build on its territory. The new power plant was built in Pagegiai. Hansa Lizingas and Lithuanian Environment Care Investments Fund have financed the construction of the power plant.
Verslo Zinios

PKN Orlen plans to buy more shares
The Polish concern PKN Orlen plans to retake the stocks of Mazeikiu Nafta from its small shareholders in October and November. Then PKN Orlen will control 90.02 percent of shares of the Lithuanian company. After the shares will be the possession of PKN Orlen, the shares will be immediately cancelled in the Vilnius Stock Exchange Market.
Verslo Zinios

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