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Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-

WEEK 42.2007

Saturday, 20th of October

New passengers’ terminal is opened in Vilnius airport
Vilnius International Airport is opening on Friday its new LTL 100 millionpassenger terminal. The new terminal will help the airport to separate passengers traveling within the Schengen area from "non-Schengen" passengers and to cope with rising passenger numbers. The construction of the terminal started in May 2006 and was completed in September this year. The new 17,000-square-meter facility is expected to help increase the airport's annual passenger capacity to around 3 million. Vilniaus Airport expects to handle up to 1.7 million passengers this year.
Lietuvos Zinios

Rautakirja wishes to obtain Impress Teva
Finland's Rautakirja, the owner of Vilnius agency of Lietuvos Spauda (Lithuanian Press), the operator of the leading kiosk chain in the country, has applied to the Competition Council for a permission to acquire up to 100 percent of periodicals distributor Impress Teva. The Finnish company now owns 51 percent of Impress Teva with the remaining stake controlled by the distributor's CEO and board member Terese Morkuniene.
Lietuvos Rytas

Swedish insurers are coming
Lithuanian insurance companies should be aware that the Swedish insurance company Lansforsakringar is going to enter Lithuanian market from the next year. It does not plan to establish any separate company; only the subsidiaries of the company will be working in Lithuania and Latvia. Katerina Pavlidi, future head of the subsidiary in Lithuania, claims that the insurance company intends to start work during the first quarter of 2008. She added that the name of the subsidiary was not yet clear, because the Swedish name was too complicated and should be adapted for Lithuanian language.
Lietuvos Rytas

Friday, 19th of October

European Commission warns Lithuania
The European Commission (EC) is to start legal action against Lithuania and seven other Member States for not properly transposing EU legislation to tackle waste of electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and the hazardous substances contained in such products. The Commission considers that Lithuania and other two Baltic States have not correctly transposed certain provisions of the WEEE Directive and the remaining Member States have not properly done so for the directive restricting the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS Directive). The Commission has sent the first warning letter, the first stage in the infringement procedure, to Lithuania. It will decide on the need for further action in the light of Lithuania's response received, the Commission has said in a statement. Lietuvos Zinios, Respublika

Credit unions launch the issue of debit and credit cards
Credit unions that are the members of Lithuanian Central Credit Union (LCKU) have launched the issue of debit and credit cards. Moreover, the unions intend to develop an individual e-banking system, which would be analogous to the e-systems of domestic banks, in 2008. Lithuania's credit unions are said to be the first in the Baltic countries to offer payment cards. Meanwhile, credit unions have already launched preparations for the implementation of e-banking system, which is expected to come online in 2008.
Kauno Diena, Lietuvos Rytas

Grigiskes reports numbers
Grigiskes, the largest Lithuania's hardboard and toilet paper manufacturer, reported LTL 4.9 million in consolidated pretax profit for the first nine months of 2007.In September alone, the turnover of the group surged by 35 percent, to LTL 12.97 million, as the pretax earnings soared by 54 percent, to LTL 1.05 million.

Thursday, 18th of October

Lietuvos Dujos wishes to enter main list in Vilnius bourse
Lithuania's natural gas utility Lietuvos Dujos (Lithuanian Gas) will apply for listing on the Main List of Vilnius Stock Exchange (VSE). The board of the company, which is controlled by Russia's Gazprom and Germany's E.ON, approved a respective decision on October 17, the company said in a statement. Lietuvos Dujos, which is currently quoted on the I-List of VSE, traded for LTL 3.75 on Wednesday, bringing the company's market capitalization to LTL 1.76 billion.
Verslo Zinios, Respublika, Lietuvos Rytas

Verdispar purchases a complex of buildings
Norwegian property investment company Verdispar has purchased a complex of buildings with almost 2 hectares of land in the center of Vilnius from Kalnapilio-Tauro Grupe (Kalnapilis-Tauras Group), one of Lithuania's largest beer producers.
Verdispar said it had financed the acquisition from its own resources, but did not disclose the value of the deal. Verdispar Group CEO Halvor Z. Olsen said that the acquisition was very important for the company since it would strengthen its position in the Lithuanian property development market. Verdispar has been operating in Lithuania for more than a year and a half. The company said it had invested more than LTL 500 million in property investment and development projects over this period. Kalnapilio-Tauro Grupe, which is owned by Denmark's Royal Unibrew, has decided to move the production of Tauras beer from Vilnius to the Kalnapilis brewery in Panevezys, in the northern part of the country.
Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas

Inflation issues
The Lithuanian government plans to take steps to curb the growing inflation, however, has so far refused to reveal the measures. Speaking to journalists Wednesday after a governmental meeting on coordination of actions to manage the inflation and mitigate the consequences upon the population, Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas said that the current annual inflation level of 7 percent was expected. He noted the situation should not be dramatized. "The Lithuanian situation is under control. Lithuania has the lowest inflation among the Baltic states," said Kirkilas, adding that "it is not the time to loosen up." Board chairman of the central Bank of Lithuania, Reinoldijus Sarkinas, who was also present at the meeting, said the situation was not "dramatic," at the same time noting that the 7-percent inflation was "high." He assured that the loan condition and the banking system in Lithuania was "truly very good" in spite of the growing inflation.
Verslo Zinios

Wednesday, 17th of October

Cap for Dujotekana
Lithuania's natural gas import company Dujotekana will see its profit margin on natural gas sales to large industrial consumers go down to 6.5 percent starting next year, from 17 percent this year. The National Commission for Prices and Energy on Tuesday set a price cap of LTL 46.82 per 1,000 cubic meters supplied by Dujotekana, effective from 2008 through 2012. The price is VAT exclusive.
Respublika, Lietuvos Rytas, Lietuvos Zinios, Verslo Zinios

Earnings of SODRA
Next year, the earnings of SODRA (the State Social Insurance Fund) are going to be more than LTL 10 billion. The excess of LTL 710 thousand is forecasted. It is also said that there will be 1.457 million of residents who will be able to pay the payments for SODRA, it means that there will be 77.2 percent of people able to work in the country.
Lietuvos Rytas

Next year’s Budget in the parliament
Lithuanian Finance Minister Rimantas Sadzius presented the 2008 budget to the parliament on Tuesday, describing the key plan of state income and spending as "balanced and based on weighed decisions." The proposed budget is a third bigger than the budget of 2007. "It is designed to make the state more competitive with improved economic well-being," said Sadzius. In his words, the budget shows that Lithuania is no longer a country of "low prices and cheap labor." The minister warned parliamentarians that the budgetary means planned for servicing the 2008 state debt would no longer be a source of funding of proposals made by members of parliament. Sadzius also pledged that teachers' salaries would see another increase next year, with the rise made up from the funds saved from "student's basket."
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Zinios, Kauno Diena, Respublika

Tuesday, 16th of October

Milk production in Lithuania
The average natural milk purchase price in Lithuania jumped by 24 percent in September compared with a year earlier to LTL 834.9 per ton, the Agriculture Ministry reported on Monday. Natural milk purchases in September fell by 1.6 percent year-on-year to 140,000 tons, it said. The total volume of natural milk purchased from Lithuanian farmers in the first nine months of this year rose by 6.7 percent from a year earlier to 1.04 million tons. The average milk purchase price for the period rose by 10 percent to LTL 748.9 per ton. According to data from the Agricultural Information and Rural Business Center, in September Lithuania imported 9,500 tons of raw milk from Latvia at an average price of LTL 1,127 per ton.
Kauno Diena, Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

SEB Vilniaus bank changes name
SEB Vilniaus Bankas, Lithuania's largest bank, is set to change its name to SEB.
SEB Vilniaus Bankas' shareholders are expected to approve the change at an extraordinary general meeting on November 15, the bank said on Monday.
"We have been using the name of SEB for more than two years and a half. This will mark the completion of the bank's rebranding process," the bank's spokesman, Arvydas Zilinskas, said.
Kauno Diena, Respublika

Klaipeda Smelte new refrigerator terminal starts its work
Klaipedos Smelte's new refrigerator terminal handled its first ship on the weekend. "We already have contracts with several consignors, ensuring that the terminal operates at least at 80 percent of its throughput capacity," it quoted Klaipedos Smelte CEO Rimantas Juska as saying. The terminal will mostly handle shipments of frozen meat, fish, seafood and other products from Europe and the United States. From the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda, the goods will be shipped on to Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and other countries. The terminal has five cold storage chambers for storage of up to 25,000 tons of frozen products each. The design annual throughput capacity of the terminal is up to 350,000 tons.
Lietuvos Rytas, Kauno Diena

Monday, 15th of October

The response to the EU commissioner’s criticism
In response to the criticism from the European union's commissioner Dalia Grybauskaite, the government has declared that it is also worried about the growing inflation rate, yet dismissed the reproach for unused EU support. According to the Ministry of Finances, today, the rate of application of EU funds under the Single Programming Document stands at LTL 1.592 billion -- 52 percent of all the financial resources allocated by the EU. The pace of application of EU structural fund assistance has been continuously increasing recently: in 2007, the average application rate is LTL 69.3 million and in 2005 it only stood at LTL 21 million per month. According to the Finance Ministry, the amount of EU support applied in early September was above the obligatory threshold for the end of this year's summer under the N+2 rule.

Gambling in Lithuania
The gambling organizer Top Sport has opened its new gambling point in Kaunas. Currently, there are 56 gambling points Top Sport in Lithuania and according to such indicator Top Sport is the biggest gambling organizer in Lithuania. Overall there are three companies Orakulas, Omnibetas and Top Sport, which have gambling licenses in Lithuania. Lithuanian residents have lost LTL 5.2 million while gambling during the first half year; it is by 7.6 percent more than last year during the same period.
Verslo Zinios

Lack of work force in Klaipeda
The furniture company in Klaipeda region Alksnio Baldai ir Co claims that it lacks a lot of employees and due to that it intends to transfer its production to Sakiai region; as it is the only way to save its business and find more employees. Andrius Kusevicius, manager in Alksnio Baldai ir Co, claims that the demand for furniture is immense, however, the company cannot produce it, as there are no people. He adds that three people left the company last week; they went abroad to earn more money. Kusevicius explains that the company has analyzed the situation in Sakiai and has cooperated with the labour market in the region. It appeared that there were many people searching for jobs in Sakiai, due to that the company plans to move there in spring.
Verslo Zinios

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