||Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-
Saturday, 29th of December
Dairy companies entered into cartel agreement
The Lithuanian Competition Council has ruled that nine local milk purchasing and processing companies and an association representing their interests have entered into a cartel agreement. The Competition Council released on Friday the results of its probe into a possible cartel in the dairy sector. The anti-trust authority said in a statement that it would announce what sanctions would be imposed on each of the companies in January or February. According to the statement, the investigation, which started in September, revealed that the cartel involved the Lithuanian dairy producers' association Pieno Centras and the following eight companies: Kelmes Pienine, Kelmes Pieno Centras, Marijampoles Pieno Konservai, Modest, Pieno Zvaigzdes, Rokiskio Suris, Zemaitijos Pienine and Vilkyskiu Pienine. "Each of the companies face a fine of up to 10 percent of their annual revenue," Palmyra Kvietkauskiene, spokeswoman for the competition authority. "This is the heaviest sanction that can be imposed. In real terms, fines are usually lower than that," she added. Pieno Zvaigzdes, Rokiskio Suris, Zemaitijos Pienine and Vilkyskiu Pienine are listed on the Vilnius Stock Exchange.
Lietuvos Zinios, Kauno Diena, Respublika, Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios
Growth of Lithuanian retail sales
Lithuania's retail sales grew by 18.2 percent in the first 11 months of this year from a year earlier to reach LTL 29.265 billion the Statistics Department reported on Friday.
Food retailers boosted their aggregate turnover for the reporting period by 8 percent, while non-food retailers, excluding the automotive sector, recorded a 17.9 percent rise in sales. Textile, clothing and footwear retailers posted the sharpest rise in sales, at 35.9 percent. The aggregate turnover of restaurants, bars and other catering establishments decreased by 0.1 percent to LTL 798.8 million.
Commercial of beer sine January 1
The Parliament Members that arose the question against the commercial of beer started confusing themselves. Birute Vesaite who was strongly against the commercial of beer encouraged not to follow the requirements of the law and to brake it. She also asked Feliksas Petrauskas, director of the Office of the State Consumer Rights, be placable towards the lawbreakers and to punish the televisions that broadcast the beer logos with minimal fines. It is known that the commercial of beer is forbidden on television from 6 a.m. to 23 p.m. since January 1. The broadcaster TV3 has already announced that it will broadcast the record of the Euroleague match so that it would not get any sanctions. The producers of beer sponsor the basketball teams and the logos are placed in the halls and on the players' shirts.
Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika, Kauno Diena
Friday, 28th of December
Raise of state pension
The Lithuanian Cabinet decided on Thursday to increase the state pension base by LTL 28 to LTL 200 from the start of next year, the government's press office said.
This will cost the state an additional LTL 36.7 million. These funds are earmarked in the state budget for 2008, it said. The state pension base is used to calculate state pensions, which are granted to people with special merits to the state and to deprived persons, such as people who suffered during the Soviet military crackdown in Vilnius in January 1991, former exiles, political prisoners, etc. The parliament this month passed an amendment to the Law on State Pensions providing that starting January 1, 2008, the state pension base cannot be lower than LTL 200.
Respublika, Lietuvos Rytas
New energy company in Lithuania
Lithuania's government has approved draft documents paving the way for the establishment of a new company due to implement billions of litas worth energy projects. The Cabinet has endorsed the amendments to the Law on Nuclear Power Plant, which stipulate that the national investment company shall be created via the setting up of new parent company Leo LT. Moreover, the government has approved a draft shareholders' agreement with private equity company NDX Energija, draft articles of association and draft by-laws of Leo LT. The legislation currently in effect provides for the national investment company to be established on the framework of state-run power utility Lietuvos Energija (Lithuanian Energy). "We have proposed to establish a new parent company instead of setting up the national investment company on the framework of Lietuvos Energija. The shareholders of new company will be Lithuania's government and NDX Energija, if we reach an agreement. The legislative provisions set forth a change in the legal base for the establishment of the national investor," Economy Minister Vytas Navickas said during the government's meeting. The draft documents will be submitted to the parliament, which will be asked to treat the drafts as urgent. Saulius Specius, PM advisor, told that the documents would be submitted in the nearest time after some editing. Last week the government chose one of three options proposed by Navickas-led task group, i.e. to terminate the talks with NDX Energija, to establish a new parent company or set up the national investment company on the framework of Lietuvos Energija. If the parliament adopts the amendments, the state will own 61.7 percent of the national investment company, while NDX Energija will hold the remaining 38.3 percent. Meanwhile, NDX Energija sought a larger share, its CEO Darius Nedzinskas admitted.
Kauno Diena, Verslo Zinios, Respublika, Lietuvos Zinios
Compensation of deposits and investments
Starting from January 1, Lithuania's state will compensate deposits and investments up to LTL 10,400 in full and 90 percent of deposits and investments in the amount up to LTL 75,960. The amounts reimbursable in case of bankruptcy of a bank or an investment company will be raised to comply with the provisions of the EU directive on deposit insurance. The government will consider the proposal of the finance ministry to harmonize relevant Lithuania's legislation with the EU directives later on Thursday.
Thursday, 27th of December
Support from the EU for Lithuanian farmers
More than LTL 260 million is paid to Lithuanian farmers for the expansion of the country and for the fishery of the EU support provided for the year 2004-2006. According to the announcement of the National Payment Agency, until now 522 projects are realised. The farmers that release the projects want to decrease the consumption, to increase the restructure of the production, to upgrade the quality of the products and to safe the environment. The support provided for the overall country production and fishery for the year 2004-2006 that reaches LTL 663 million has to be used till the end of 2008. Until now more than LTL 494 million or 75 percent of the total fund has been used.
Respublika, Verslo Zinios
Baldu Rojus before Christmas during the Awards' Ceremony of Acknowledgement of the Mere organized by the mere of Vilnius got the award for Supporting People that Live in Zirmunu Street 93 After Having Suffered Fire. Juozas Imbrasas, mere of the capital city Vilnius, provided the award to Rimantas Grigaravicius, general director of the company Baldu Rojus. On March 11 fire damaged the home of people living in Zirmunai micro region of the city, part of the habitants lost not only their home but also their relatives. Baldu Rojus, one of the biggest supermarkets that provide various kinds of furniture, donated necessary furniture to the citizens of Vilnius that suffered from the fire.
Work of post offices before holidays
Queues are in the post offices. The parcel delivery services refuse to take orders from the clients that are late. Such situation in December is ordinary. According to Jurgita Cepulyte, spokesperson of Lithuanian Post, the company during the period of the holidays has more than 5-6 times of the parcels than ever. So, it is a very hard season for the employees of the Lithuanian post office. Despite the fact the electronic greetings are becoming very popular, the post office workers still have enough of work. For example, in the year 2005 the Lithuanian Post delivered 87 tones of parcel, last year it delivered 96 tones, and this year until the December 19 the number of the delivered parcel is 61 tones.
Monday, 24th of December
Strikes in airports of Great Britain
Lithuanian guests and emigrants might be forced to elongate their holidays because the stuff of seven biggest airports of Great Britain decided to begin their holidays with strikes. Trade Unions of seven great Britain airports last week decided to strike if it would not be possible to agree with the new owners about the reforms of the pension system. The strikes would be performed on January 7, 14, 17 and 18. The employees of Hitrou, Gatwick, Stansted, Southampton, Glasgo and Edinburgh airports will participate in the strikes. About five thousand employees are going to strike. The
companies flyLAL-Lithuania Airlines, airBaltic and Rynanair fly passengers from Lithuania to the airports of Gatwick and Stansted. Liutauras Tarabrinas, assistant of director of the Development Department of flyLAL Lithuania Airlines, claimed that still it is not known if the strikes will really be performed because the bargains are under progress. The representatives of airBaltic stated that they do not have any official information from the airport of Gatewick.
Closed shops during holidays
Lithuanians will meet holidays with closed supermarkets for the first time: the employees are happy while the customers are rushing to buy food and drinks in advance. Tomas Vaisvila, spokesperson of Palink a branch of Iki, claimed that it is obviously seen in their shops that the residents are preparing for the holidays and the off days of the supermarkets. According vaisvila, the sale of the last two days is twice bigger than during an ordinary day and it is 30 percent bigger than before the holidays it usually is. Giedrius Juozapavicius, director of the Department of Corporate Marketing in Maxima LT stated that they are prepared for the holidays. Juozapavicius adds that it is an experiment of this year and he does not know how the customers are going to react to such experiment. Valdas sutkus, director of Association of Lithuanian Trade Companies, admitted that the association sustain the initiative of the supermarkets.
Respublika, Lietuvos Rytas
Recently no records about the bird flue were mentioned in Lithuania, while in Poland it is the ninth. After the exams performed in the National Veterinary Laboratory to the swan found in Kauno Marios the bird flue was not defined. Mindaygas kasinskas, head of the centre of Emergent Actions and Infectious disease, claims that the bird died because of the inner traumas. The specialists of veterinary defined that the four ducks that were found dead in the Zuvintas Lake also did not have the bird flue virus. Each questionable occasion is being investigated. Birds in Lithuania are observed after the flue centres were detected in Poland.
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