Lithuania Business News: Archive 2003-
Saturday, 19th of September
Deficit is declining
The Statistics Department reported that Lithuania's exports fell by 32.2 percent in the first seven months of this year from a year earlier to LTL 22.2 billion, while its imports slumped by 43.7 percent to LTL 25 billion. The foreign trade deficit declined by 76.3 percent over the reporting period.
Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika
Autumnal flow of the unemployed
7,100 unemployed were registered in Lithuanian Labour Exchange on September 3-10, whereas a week ago the number of the unemployed registered was by almost 1,000 less, 6,200. The representatives of the Labour Exchange state that this increase has been determined by the fact that seasonal jobs have ended but results of the research carried out by the daily Respublika have shown that not all seasonal jobs have ended. Therefore, it is maintained that rise of the number of the unemployed has been determined by worsening economic situation in Lithuania. As a result, it can be forecasted that when seasonal jobs finish, autumnal unemployment statistics will become worse.
Siauliai bank was fined by LTL 50,000, whereas Ukis bank was fined by LTL 82,500 because they have not lent out state finances to small and medium-sized companies by set term. Ukis bank and Siauliai bank had to distribute up to LTL 10 million and up to 8 million respectively. The companies had to receive money over 10 weeks from the day of contract signing. The representatives of the banks acknowledged their guilt only in part.
Friday, 18th of September
According to the data of non-financial companies provided by the Statistics Department, the second quarter was profitable for Lithuanian companies. Their income for sold goods and provided services constituted LTL 36.9 billion which is by 34 percent less than during the same period last year but by 4 percent more than in the first quarter this year. The companies received LTL 0.5 billion profit in the second quarter this year, whereas during the same period last year profit was by 87 percent higher. However, since companies experienced losses in the first quarter, the second quarter was profitable. Profit increased especially in sectors of trade and manufacturing.
Respublika, Verslo Zinios
SEB bank will not fire employees
Despite economic crisis, SEB bank does not intend to fire to fire employees. It has been announced in the report of SEB bank that total number of employees in SEB bank group decreased from 2,379 to 2,362. At present specialists and executives constitute the biggest part of SEB staff. Their average salaries are LTL 3,598 and LTL 10,163 respectively. Rival of SEB bank, Swedbank will fire about 300 employees by the end of the year. Snoras bank fired 32 people in the first six months this year.
Prices of accommodations are further declining
Residential property prices in Vilnius have fallen back to 2005 levels, and prices in the rest of the country have dropped to 2006 levels and continue to go down, data from the Center of Registers showed. According to center's the preliminary third-quarter price index, prices for both new and old-build flats in the capital city declined by 9 percent in the third quarter compared with the second quarter.
Thursday, 17th of September
Snoras is extending its activity
Lithuania's banking group Snoras has closed a LTL 45.75 million worth deal on the purchase of Finasta Bank and other financial companies controlled by the investment company Invalda. Snoras' executives said at a press conference on Wednesday that the structure of Finasta group would be left unchanged and all companies would operate independently. Snoras would use Finasta group as a foundation for the development of the strongest investment services unit in the region, which would operate both domestically and abroad.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios
Shops ICG Kompiuteriai are stopping activity
The company Innovation Computer Group is stopping its retail activity and closing shops ICG Kompiuteriai (ICG Computers). The company states that decision to leave retail trade business was made due to worsening market perspective. By the end of September all 18 shops ICG Kompiuteriai in Lithuania will be closed. Other businesses of the company will continue activity. According to the executive director of the company Jurgis Gylis, market of retail trade of digital devices has declined by about 40 percent from the beginning of the year.
Losses increased 32 times
Lithuania's financially-troubled agricultural investment company Agrowill Group, which is undergoing restructuring, has posted a net loss of LTL 15.581 million for the first half of this year, up from a loss of LTL 482,000 a year earlier. Agrowill Group's first-half revenues increased by 51 percent to LTL 28.313 million.
Wednesday, 16th of September
Is telecommunications market reviving?
Lithuania's telecommunications market as measured by revenues shrank by 6.15 percent, year-on-year, to LTL 1.445 billion in the first half of this year, from LTL 1.539 billion a year earlier. In the second quarter, however, the market expanded by 2.39 percent from the first quarter, to LTL 730.855 million.
Salaries are still declining
Salaries declined by 7.7 percent and hourly pay by 6.2 percent in the second quarter this year in comparison with the same period last year. This is the biggest decline among EU countries. During comparative period salaries have grown by 3.6 percent in the entire EU, by 3.9 percent in eurozone and hourly pay by 3.7 percent and 4 percent respectively.
Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios
Containers from Kazakhstan to Lithuania
The Lithuanian Transport Ministry proposes that a container train route be launched between Lithuania and Kazakhstan for transportation of freight between the two countries, as well as for transit shipments from other European and Asian states. Lithuania's representatives put forward the idea during a meeting in Almaty of the Lithuanian-Kazakh intergovernmental commission for trade and economic cooperation, the ministry said. Lithuania also calls for a more active use of the container train service Viking, which operates between the Ukrainian port of Ilyichevsk and the port of Klaipeda. In an effort to improve conditions for freight transportation, Lithuania will also invite Kazakh business people to participate in the development and use of public logistics centers, the ministry said.
Respublika, Verslo Zinios
Tuesday, 15th of September
Lithuanian industry is one of the most growing industries
Industry grew the fastest in Ireland, Lithuania and Denmark in July. Comparing production of EU countries this July with last July, industry grew in ten countries, declined in nine countries and did not change in Romania. In July industry rose by 3.4 percent in Lithuania in comparison with June, whereas in Ireland it rose by 8.7 percent in the same period.
Rent is becoming cheaper by 20-40 percent
The website Aruodas.lt informs that prices of rented accommodations for various purposes declined by 40 percent in Vilnius, by about 20 percent in Kaunas and by about 30 percent in Klaipeda in August in comparison with the same period last year. The prices of office rent range from LTL 20/m2 to LTL 30/m2 on the average. Price of rent of office accommodation is about up to LTL 20/m2 in Kaunas and Klaipeda. However, it is stated that these prices are not final since lessors applied 20 percent discount for rent on the average in August.
Excise for electricity
Electricity prices for industrial and other non-household consumers in Lithuania are set to rise at the start of next year not only because of the planned shutdown of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP), but also because of the introduction of an electricity excise tax in January. In line with the EU's directive, the government plans to levy a dual-rate excise duty on electricity in January: at LTL 3.5 per megawatt-hour (MWh), or LTL 0.0035 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), for all consumers except industrial enterprises and households, and LTL 1.8 per MWh, or LTL 0.0018 per kWh, for consumers using electricity for production. Virgilijus Poderys, the chairman of the National Control Commission for Prices and Energy, stated that consumers will feel virtually no impact because the excise duty is very low compared to electricity prices.
Monday, 14th of September
Heating will become cheaper, whereas price of gas will increase
The price regulator states that district heating prices in Lithuania, including the increased 9 percent VAT rate, are expected go down by 12 percent on average at the start of the new heating season. Natural gas will become more expensive by 2 percent and electricity by LTL 0.10/kWh or 29 percent, including VAT. According to Virgilijus Poderys, the chairman of Lithuania's National Control Commission for Prices and Energy, although the commission set prices of electricity and gas for next years in autumn but they could change heating prices for different towns in different time. This year the commission will calculate heating prices for all towns at once. Poderys claims that an average decline in heating prices in Lithuania will be 16 percent, considering increase of VAT.
Problems of employees
According to the data of Lithuania Labour Market, 218,700 people were looking for a job at the beginning of September. It is not known how many of them are bank debtors. However, not only unemployed but also working people have problems. A resident of Kaunas told that bank employees keep calling her and press her family regarding their debt despite the fact they constantly pay the bank and are not problematic clients. The representative of the bank explained that this client is not warned but just reminded of payments. It is stated that 6303 accommodations were arrested in July 2008, whereas this July 10,012 accommodations were arrested.
Pension funds have declined
State Social Insurance Fund Board (SODRA) transferred LTL 130,746 million to the pension funds of the second stage for the second quarter of this year. It constituted only a half of the sum which was intended for the second quarter of 2008. In total, payments of 955,736 participants of pension funds have been transferred.
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