Observer "Lietuva"
WEEK 39th

Saturday 27th of September, 2003

Another LTL 20.3 million – from the Guarantee Fund
Over the nine months of this year, LTL 20.3 million were allotted for employees of bankrupted or to-be-bankrupted companies. Payoffs were given to 15 thousand employees from 466 companies; an average payment made some LTL 3 thousand per person.
The largest sum – LTL 905.5 thousand – was allotted for the joint Lithuanian and German company Belytus Textil, also Vilnius-based company Imso Konstrukcijos (LTL 381 thousand), Lazdauskas' personal company Labinga (LTL 151.1 thousand) and Marijampole-based Sesupe company (LTL 140.8 thousand).
Lithuanian companies pay a 0.2-percent tax to the Guarantee Fund.
(Respublika)

New saltpetre unit has been opened in Achema
A Jonava-based fertiliser company Achema that is controlled by Achemos Grupe, has officially opened a new saltpetre production unit, which is one of the largest construction and investment projects of the company under its investment program of LTL 200 million for 2001-2004.
Achema's new production unit, with an estimated annual capacity of 540,000 tons, will manufacture top quality saleable granulated calcium ammonium nitrate fertilisers. The company targets to market the product to the domestic customers, and conduct exports to Western Europe and the neighbouring countries. The first consignment with Achema's saltpetre has been delivered to Germany.
(Lietuvos Rytas, Lietuvos Zinios, Kauno Diena)

Foreign investments have declined by one-third
Due to the decline of direct foreign investments as well as other investments during the first half of this year, the overall flow of foreign investments in Lithuania made LTL 1.64 billion and was by 28.8 percent (or LTL 663.9 million) lower if compared to the respective period last year.
The Bank of Lithuania has reported that the flow of direct foreign investments made LTL 1.08 billion for the first half of this year, a decline of LTL 414.9 million (27.8 percent) from January-June 2002.
As of June 30, the accumulated direct foreign investments in Lithuania made LTL 14.02 billion or LTL 4,060 per capita.
As of the end of June, 28.8 percent of foreign investments went to the processing industry, 19.9 percent to financial brokerage, 17 percent to transportation and logistics and 16.7 percent to retail and wholesale trade sector.
(Lietuvos Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas)

Friday 26th of September, 2003

Housewarming of Giriu Bizonas factory – in Kazlu Ruda
Giriu Bizonas timber company that is controlled by Vakaru Medienos Grupe has recently opened a furniture factory in Kazlu Ruda, southern Lithuania. The domestic timber company built the new factory together with the Swedish concern Ikea. The project was worth some LTL 3.5 million.
Last year, the Swedish concern had a share in building a furniture factory worth LTL 22 million within Klaipedos Mediena territory.
Giriu Bizonas is planning to reach turnover of LTL 42 million for this year and sees a further raise up to LTL 50 million in 2004. In 2002, the company's turnover made LTL 36 million. The company exports half of its production.
Vakaru Mediena posted turnover of LTL 165.6 million for 2002 while for this year, the company anticipates turnover of LTL 210 million.
(Lietuvos Rytas)

Sarma to allot LTL 3 million for modernisation
Sarma, which sells cosmetics and perfumes in Lithuania, has allotted LTL 3 million for the modernisation of its chain this year. The company has already renewed and opened five new shops.
UAB Sarma that has been operating in Lithuania for 12 years already presently has 44 shops in Lithuania and also controls 34 shops of Saules Uola chain.
(Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas)

Hansabankas will have a new board chairman
Darius Nedzinskas, the former deputy chairman of Hansabankas and also a head of Business Financing Department, has been appointed as new chairman of the board of Hansabankas during the board session of Hansabank Group. Nedzinskas will take over as chairman of the board of Hansabankas on November 1.
"Darius Nedzinskas has been working at Hansabankas since the bank's establishment in Lithuania and has proved he is a professional and reliable banker", the Hansabank's Group chairman Anders Sahlen claimed.
Hansabank's council also approved changes in the group's organizational structure. Hansabank will switch to country-based management of business units in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Nedzinskas will be the Lithuanian country manager. Giedrius Dusevi?ius, CEO of the leasing company Hansa Lizingas, will head the Group Corporate Banking Committee starting January 1, 2004.
(Respublika, Kauno Diena, Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas)

Income of companies rose by 7.2 percent in the second quarter of the year
Income of companies during the second quarter of this year (excluding VAT) rose by 7.2 percent if compared to the respective period last year and accounted for LTL 3,920.6 million, the preliminary data of a quarterly research on transportation, communications and service companies performed by the Department of Statistics shows. Income of postal and telecommunication companies rose by 15.2 percent and made LTL 674 million. Income of telecommunication companies increased by 15.3 percent while that of postal and courier companies by 14.3 percent.
(Verslo Zinios)

Thursday 25th of September, 2003

IMF mission to come to Vilnius
A mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will arrive in Vilnius next week for the regular assessment of economic performance of the state in the third quarter of 2003, overview of reforms and review of draft budget of 2004.
Two IMF experts will arrive to Vilnius on September 29-30. The mission, which will be led by Patricia Alonso Gamo of the 2nd European Department, will wrap up the regular visit on October 3, the IMF Vilnius office has reported. IMF experts will hold series of meetings with officials from the ministry of finance, the Bank of Lithuania. Also, meetings with president and prime minister have been put on the agenda.
Lithuania has been cooperating with the IMF since 1999. Three stand-by agreements, the last of which expired in late 2002, were signed with the fund during this period. In January of this year, the government signed an additional Memorandum on Economic Strategies, a technical document required for the overview of macroeconomic performance of the state in 2002 .
The government has said it does not plan to make any new arrangements with IMF.
(Respublika, Verslo Zinios)

Hansabankas to raise its authorised capital
Hansabankas, the second-largest Lithuania's bank in terms of assets, will ask shareholders to raise authorized capital of the bank, owned by the largest Baltic financial group Hansabank, by LTL 65 million.
Analysts link the increase of the authorized capital with intentions of Hansabankas to take over the top Lithuania's life insurer Lietuvos Draudimo Gyvyb?s Draudimas for LTL 63.5 million.
The board has proposed to enter the issue of capital increase into the agenda of the shareholders' meeting due on October 10.
Tresently, the authorized capital of the bank stands at LTL 370.332 million.
Hansabankas closed the first half of 2003 with unaudited net earnings of LTL 41.125 million, a rise of 74.4 percent versus the first six months of 2002. The bank sees full-year net earnings slipping to LTL 37.1 million from LTL 50.129 million, recorded last year.
(Lietuvos Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas, Verslo Zinios)

Money supply grew by 2 percent up to LTL 16.3 billion
Total money supply in Lithuania grew by LTL 311.8 million, or 2 percent, in August compared to July and reached LTL 16.28 billion. In year-on-year terms, the money supply increased by LTL 2.6 billion, or 19.4 percent, the Bank of Lithuania has reported.
Currency in circulation rose by LTL 63 million, or 1.5 percent, to LTL 4.285 billion over the month, while demand deposits shrank by LTL 69.6 million, or 1.4 percent, to LTL 5.011 billion.
Deposits in foreign currencies grew by 6.9 percent (LTL 235.3 million) and reached LTL 3.646 billion as of the end of August.
Net foreign assets fell by LTL 53.2 million, or 0.8 percent, to LTL 6.635 billion. Total foreign assets grew by LTL 337.8 million, or 3.2 percent, to LTL 10.922 billion, while foreign liabilities increased by LTL 391 million, or 10 percent, to LTL 4.287 billion.
(Respublika, Lietuvos Rytas)

Wednesday 24th of September, 2003

Cheaper travels attracted more people
The turnover of the travel agency Novaturas in January-August this year was similar to that of last year and stood at LTL 36.972 million (Last year, the figure made LTL 36.969 million). However, number of people who used the company's offer for cheaper travels grew by 16 percent up to 25,332.
In 2002, Novaturas serviced 28,000 tourists; the company's turnover accounted for LTL 46.5 million. The company is anticipating a turnover of LTL 48 million for this year.
(Verslo Zinios)

The mandatory motor third partly liability market shrank by 22.3 percent
According to the data provided by the State Insurance Supervisory Authority, Lithuanian insurance companies wrote premiums of LTL 160.143 million in the mandatory motor third party liability insurance (MMTPLI) in January-August, a decline of 22.3 percent if compared to the respective period last year.
In August alone, 11 insurance companies that provide the service signed LTL 8.1 million in MMTPLI, a decline of 10.3 percent from August 2002.
The largest Lithuanian insurance company Lietuvos Draudimas signed MMTPLI premiums for LTL 50.933 million and controlled 31.8 percent of the market.
Over the eight months of this year, insurance companies paid LTL 40.666 million in MMTPLI claims, 2.6 times more than in 2002.
(Respublika)

Privatisation of Stumbras is coming to an end
Lithuania's privatization regulators gave permission to the draft agreement on purchase and sale of a 91.95 percent stake in Stumbras, the largest Lithuania's vodka producer. The government expected to tackle the draft on October 1, while the State Property Fund (SPF) saw signing of the contract with the Lithuania's alcohol wholesaler Mineraliniai Vandenys by the middle of the coming month, Liutauras Radzevicius, head of SPF Transactions Department, says.
Mineraliniai Vandenys, the winner in the public tender to privatize the vodka producer, initially bid LTL 152 million for the 91.95 percent stake in Stumbras, or LTL 5.57 per share with face value of LTL 4, and offered investments of some LTL 30 million. However, later the bid was revised up, lifting the total amount of investments, unofficial sources reported.
The initial price for the stake in Stumbras has been pegged at LTL 107 million, or LTL 3.92 per share.
(Lietuvos Zinios, Respublika, Kauno Diena, Verslo Zinios, Lietuvos Rytas)

Tuesday 23rd of September, 2003

Panevezys will have a new thermal plant
Since the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant is to be closed, Panevezio Energija (Panevezys Power) is planning to build a thermal plant in the town. The new plant will produce both heat and electricity.
"The project is useful not only for industry companies but also for heat users. After the project is accomplished, centralised heating will be the cheapest", Vytautas Sidlauskas, the CEO of Panevezio Energija, claims.
The overall value of the project will make some LTL 108 million.
Specialists of the Danish enginery consultation company Cowi say that it would be expedient to build a 50-megawatt thermal plant in Panevezys.
In 2002, Panevezio Energija posted an audited net profit of LTL 5.137 million while in 2001, the company incurred a loss of LTL 2.296 million. Turnover of Panevezio Energija accounted for LTL 94.826 million in 2002 and was by 7 percent higher than in 2001.
(Lietuvos Zinios, Verslo Zinios)

Pension accumulation funds have announced the fees
Eight companies have permissions to run pension accumulation business. Specialists of the Lithuanian Free Market Institute say that athwart the opinion of sceptics of the reform, competition among companies has already given results – administration fees have been considerably reduced.
Vilniaus Bankas has recently reported that administration fee for VB Pensija 1 will make 2 percent while that for the more risky VB Pensija 2 was set at 3 percent. The annual assets management fee will make 1 percent.
Finasta Investicij? Valdymas has set the lowest administration fees (1.19 and 1.49 percent). The company also declared it would not apply any fees for those who would change pension funds while the annual assets management fee will not exceed 0.99 percent.
Nord/LB Investicij? Valdymas, the secondary company of the third largest Lithuanian bank in terms of assets, Nord/LB Lietuva, has set an administration fee at 2.95 percent and the annual assets management fee at 1 percent.
Meanwhile, the fee applied by the secondary company of Hansabankas, Hansa Investicij? Valdymas, will not exceed 3 percent of a monthly contribution.
(Kauno Diena)

Venta reported investments of LTL 14 million
A Siauliai-based chair and table manufacturer Venta, has invested LTL 13.8 million into manufacturing development and new technologies over the first eight months of this year, of its combined LTL 18 million development loans package secured with Vilniaus Bankas.
Venta has successfully moved Danish Nitex Mobler and its facilities to Siauliai, and was already using the equipment for export-bound tables manufacture.
"At this point we have moved around 86 percent of the Danish facilities, of which 80 percent are now manufacturing furniture", Venta's chief economic officer Lina Kaminskiene says.
In its future strategy, the Lithuanian furniture maker has envisaged further movement of other West European furniture companies to Siauliai as a more economically viable pattern than business expansion abroad.
(Verslo Zinios)

Monday 22nd of September, 2003

95 percent of Lithuania's residents have their own homes
The results of the census in 2001 have showed that 95.2 percent of Lithuania's residents have their own homes. In the spring of 2001, 2.9 percent of the houses and flats belonged to the state and municipalities, 1.3 percent – to private legal entities and 0.5 percent were under a common ownership.
According to the data of the census of 1989, 69.1 percent of people lived in houses and flats controlled by the state or cooperation and public organisations and only 30.9 percent of residents had their own homes.
In April of 2001, wooden houses made the biggest part (45.7 percent) of houses; 78.5 percent of such houses were situated in rural areas. Flats made 61.2 percent of the overall number of homes; most of them had two or three rooms.
The census has also showed that in Lithuania, 8.4 percent of people live in houses and flats constructed in 1991 and later while in Estonia and Latvia the number makes only 4.6 and 4 percent respectively.
(Kauno Diena)

Linas has aimed at Africa
Panevezys-based producer of linen and household textile, Linas, is going to introduce its production in the Republic of South Africa in November.
Over the eight months of this year, Linas reached an income of LTL 41.8 million from its base activities, a decline of 7.7 percent from 2002. The August sales this year were rather modest and made LTL 4.46 million, a decline of 18.4 percent.
"September will be more generous. Apart from exports the domestic sales were on rebound as well. We hope to meet a medium business plan estimate, which will not be revised", Romualdas Mazylis, a representative of Linas, says.
A moderate sales estimate for Linas this year indicates LTL 72.3 million, while the target pre-tax profit stands at LTL 3.5 million versus LTL 2.9 million earned last year.
(Verslo Zinios)

The new business route: Varena – New York
Lithuanians would be surprised to get to know that the mushrooms they have picked in Lithuanian forests are transported to New York or Toronto. Soon, it will be an ordinary thing, yet this year is the first when Lithuanian businesspeople are constantly supplying mushrooms to trans-Atlantic countries.
This year, more than 15 tons of fresh mushrooms, mostly chanterelles, have been sent over the ocean.
The logistics company Militzer&Munch Fortransas that transported some 15 tons of mushrooms to the USA and Canada says that this year, mushroom pickers are extremely active in Lithuania.
The Lithuanian Agency of Economy Development has reported that in January-July, 220 tons of chanterelles were exported to Germany, 80 tons – to France and 78.8 tons – to the Netherlands.
Besides, Lithuania is becoming a country of transit; a large part of mushrooms exported from Lithuania were imported from Russia.
(Lietuvos Rytas)

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