Observer "Lietuva"
Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-

WEEK 33.2008

Saturday, 16th of August

Changing name
Finasta Investiciju Valdymas (Finasta Investment Management), a firm controlled by the Lithuanian investment company Invalda, next month is changing its name to Invalda Turto Valdymas (Invalda Asset Management). Also next month, Inred, another Invalda-controlled company, is set to be renamed into Invalda Nekilnojamojo Turto Valdymas (Invalda Real Estate Management). Under the plan, the two asset management companies will control Invalda's pension, investment, private equity and real estate funds and its real estate holdings, as well as the group's shareholdings in Tiltra, In Real, and etc.
Respublika

Growing instruction sector
Lithuanian building companies carried out construction work for a total of LTL 3.19 billion during the second quarter of this year, a rise of 5.8 percent on the same time last year, the Statistics Department reported. Year-on-year, the total value of construction work performed within the country rose by 5.6 percent to LTL 3.15 billion and the value of construction work carried out abroad was up 27.9 percent to LTL 36.6 million, based on preliminary data. Investment in tangible fixed assets in Lithuania in the second quarter increased by 3.8 percent from a year earlier to LTL 5.172 billion. Investment in construction rose by 9.6 percent to LTL 3.18 billion, accounting for 61.5 percent of the total investment.
Lietuvos Zinios

Maxima LT will use railway
Maxima LT, the operator of the largest Lithuania's grocery chain, has opted for cooperation with the state-run railway operator Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways) for the delivery of freight. "The delivery of goods by rail is gaining popularity all over the world since it requires three times less fuel compared with delivery by road. Thus the delivery of freight by rail is both more effective and environment friendly," Gintaras Jasinskas, Maxima LT CEO, said in a statement. As scheduled, the goods will be carried by rail from two terminals in the port of Klaipeda to the storehouses of Maxima LT twice a week. Maxima LT says to be the first Lithuania's retail chain to opt for goods logistics by rail.
Lietuvos Rytas

Friday, 15th of August

National Holidays

Thursday, 14th of August

Akmenes Cementas represents revenues
Lithuania's only cement manufacturer Akmenes Cementas said on Wednesday its sale revenue for the first seven months of this year soared by 41.5 percent year-on-year to a record high of LTL 178.3 million. Monthly sales for July jumped by 38.9 percent from a year earlier to LTL 35 million. Akmenes Cementas' sales for January through July reached 675,000 tons of cement, a rise of 15.7 percent year-on-year. Cement sales for July rose by 5 percent to LTL 127,000. The company's annual net profit more than doubled to LTL 54 million last year, up from LTL 25.1 million in 2006. Revenue surged by 31 percent to LTL 247.1 million.
Verslo Zinios

Mazeikiai Oil reports net profits
Lithuania's only oil refinery Mazeikiu Nafta (Mazeikiai Oil), which is controlled by Poland's PKN Orlen, reported on Wednesday LTL 280.4 million in consolidated net profits for the first half of this year, versus losses of LTL 50.6 million a year earlier. Consolidated revenue for the first half more than doubled to LTL 8.9 billion, up from LTL 4.03 billion in the same period last year, Mazeikiu Nafta said in a press release. The company attributed the improved results to the restarting in late January of its vacuum distillation unit, which had been destroyed by a major fire in October 2006. That enabled the plant to restore its pre-fire capacity and increase its refining output and sales.
Verslo Zinios

SEB bank is the best again
The international Global Finance magazine published in the United States has declared SEB Bankas, the largest Lithuania's commercial bank, the best Lithuania' provider of e-banking services for private customers for the third consecutive year.
Moreover, the bank was announced the best among the banks in Central and Eastern Europe in assuring the security of information systems. The bank rendered e-banking services to 763,000 customers as of late June, up 11.9 percent year-on-year. The number of money transfers executed via the bank's e-system increased by 19.3 percent in January-June, compared with a respective period of 2007.
Verslo Zinios, Respublika

Wednesday, 13th of August

Lithuanian budget revenues
The Lithuanian central government collected LTL 10.666 billion in budget revenues in the first seven months of this year, LTL 1.1 million above its revenue target of LTL 10.665 billion, the Finance Ministry reported on Tuesday. Total seven-month revenues, including assistance funds from the EU and other foreign countries, amounted to LTL 13.267 billion. In July alone the revenues totalled LTL 1.38 billion, LTL 67.9 million below the target of LTL 1.448 billion. Revenues, including the support funds, made up LTL 1.483 billion last month. The 2008 central government budget projects annual revenues of LTL 25.572 billion, including LTL 5.113 billion in support funds from the EU and other foreign countries.
Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika

Rents for economy flats rise
Rents for economy flats in Lithuania's major cities and towns rose by 10 percent on average in the first half of this year compared with the end of 2007, the real estate company Inreal said on Tuesday. Flat rents rose as the number of apartment sales dropped amid a wait-and-see mood in the property market, it said in a press release. "With the autumn season approaching, the demand for rented housing is likely to rise further. The increase in market activity in late summer and early autumn is due mostly to young people coming to the major cities and towns to study," said Nerijus Valikonis, the head of the Brokerage Department at Inreal. According to a market survey conducted by the company in the first half of this year, rents for one and two-room flats in the so-called "bedroom districts" outside the center of Vilnius range between LTL 700 and LTL 1,500 monthly.
Verslo Zinios, Kauno Diena, Lietuvos Rytas

Current account deficit widens
Lithuania's current account deficit for the first half of this year reached LTL 7.58 billion, widening by 12.4 percent compared with a year earlier, the country's central bank reported on Tuesday. Based on preliminary estimates, the first-half deficit accounted for 14.4 percent of the country's gross domestic product, down from 15.5 percent in the same period last year, the Bank of Lithuania said. In June compared with May, the current account deficit narrowed by 18 percent to LTL 942.5 million. Lietuvos Rytas

Tuesday, 12th of August

Recommendation to buy Teo LT shares
The analysts of Hansabank Markets, the finance markets service of Hansabankas, the second largest Lithuania's commercial bank by assets, have issued a Buy recommendation on the shares of Teo LT, putting the target value of Lithuania's integrated telecommunications company at LTL 2.35. Teo LT, quoted on the Main List of Vilnius Stock Exchange (VSE), traded for LTL 1.95 on Friday. "The company has high profit margin, generates solid cash flows and pays large annual dividend. In our opinion, the share is well undervalued, that is why we have issued a Buy recommendation," Donatas Uzkurelis, an analyst with Hansabank Markets, said.
Verslo Zinios

Stealing in internet
Sixty-seven percent of Lithuania's internet users used the internet to download, or play online, music, videos or games in the first quarter of this year, but only seven percent of them paid for the material, the Statistics Department reported on Monday. Forty percent of those who did not pay for the downloaded or viewed material said they would not pay "in any case", according to the department's latest survey IT usage by households. Forty-six percents of those who did not pay said they would pay to download or view the material if they could not get it free of charge. Sixteen percent would agree to pay if the paid material were of a higher quality than free content and another 16 percent would pay if prices for audio or video products available online were more attractive than those in conventional stores.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios

Achema reports figures
Lithuania's nitrogen fertilizer and chemical product manufacturer Achema reported LTL 1.023 billion in revenues for the first half of this year, up 51.6 percent versus the year-earlier figure of LTL 675 million. The company attributed the rise in revenues to the growth of fertilizer prices on international markets. A surge in natural gas prices had prompted Achema to invest into the improvement of manufacturing efficiency, Achema's CEO Jonas Sirvydis said in a statement. In the second quarter alone the price of natural gas acquired by Achema soared by 83.4 percent, year-on-year, he added. The company aims to plough more than LTL 500 million into the upgrade of workshops, raw material saving and energy efficient technologies by 2009.
Lietuvos Zinios

Monday, 11th of August

Insurance premiums by PZU Lietuva
Insurance premiums written by non-life insurance company PZU amounted to LTL 101.79 million for January-June of 2008. The amount of insurance premiums written grew faster than the market average. The company paid LTL 40.88 million in insurance benefits during the first half-year, a rise of 24.4 percent year-on-year. The non-life insurer PZU Lietuva (PZU Lithuania) ended the first half with a loss of LTL 4.18 million, compared with a profit of LTL 5.6 million a year ago.
Respublika, Verslo Zinios

Lithuania’s exports increases
Lithuania's exports increased by 33.6 percent in the first half of this year from a year earlier to LTL 27.5 billion and its imports rose by 24.9 percent to LTL 36.9 billion, the Statistics Department reported on Friday. The country's foreign trade deficit widened by 4.8 percent over the reporting period to LTL 9.4 billion, according to preliminary data based on customs declarations and Intrastat reports. In June compared with May, exports rose by 9.4 percent and imports were up 6.2 percent. Year-on-year, the growth rates were 35.6 percent and 23 percent, respectively.
Verslo Zinios

Consumer prices in Lithuania rise
Consumer prices in Lithuania rose by 0.4 percent in July compared with June, driven up by increased housing and transport costs, as well as rising food and drink prices, the Statistics Department reported on Friday. The 12-month inflation rate last month reached 12.2 percent and the average annual inflation rate was 9.7 percent, it said. The department had forecast a 0.4 percent monthly rise in the EU-harmonized monthly consumer price index for July. The annual inflation decreased in all the Baltic States in July.
Verslo Zinios

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