Direct Speech

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 27.05.2017, 05:35

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Harsher requirements for buyers of farmlands to affect Latvia’s development

Harsher requirements for buyers of farmlands to affect Latvia’s development


The bill adopted by the Saeima last week, providing for harsher state language requirements for foreigners who buy farmland in Latvia, will negatively affect Latvia’s further development, said Swedish Ambassador to Latvia Henrik Landerholm in an interview with LETA.

Keyword tags: Agriculture, Direct Speech, EU – Baltic States, Latvia, Real Estate

Housing loan portfolio in Estonia up 6% y-o-y in April

Housing loan portfolio in Estonia up 6% y-o-y in April


Corporate and household loan and lease portfolio grew strongly in April, up almost 7% y-o-y. Issuance of new long-term loans to companies remained unchanged from April 2016. New housing loans have seen an increase relative to a year ago.Deposits with banks continued to grow faster than the loan and lease portfolio.

A New Transatlantic Security Bargain

A New Transatlantic Security Bargain


Seasoned NATO heads will snicker at the idea that squabbles over defense spending are new. As long ago as 1970, then U.S. ambassador to NATO Harlan Cleveland described the alliance as “an organized controversy about who is going to do how much.” Since NATO’s inception, the United States has carried most of the organization’s burden. As historian Lawrence Kaplan wrote, the alliance at its birth in 1949 was a one-sided affair, with Washington insisting on European contributions not because it expected anything in return but mainly as a sweetener to induce a skeptical U.S. Senate to abandon a tradition of nonentanglement in Europe.

The work ability reform has brought additional people into the Estonia`s  labour market

The work ability reform has brought additional people into the Estonia`s labour market


he share of people of working age who were in employment reached 66.3% in the first quarter. In seasonally adjusted terms it stood at 67.3%, which is the highest figure in recent decades. The unemployment rate was one percentage point lower than a year earlier. Companies had to hire additional labour to accommodate rebounding demand, but labour productivity increased too. Growth in labour productivity will need investment in human capital by companies and a government policy that facilitates the movement of employees towards jobs with higher productivity.

Less than half of companies are prepared to face growing threat from hackers

Less than half of companies are prepared to face growing threat from hackers


The threat of financial losses from malware that encrypts computer users’ data, known as cryptolockers or ransomware, is growing, according to PwC experts. They emphasize that only half of companies surveyed by PwC have intrusion detection tools and actively monitor & analyse information security intelligence, while less than half of companies conduct vulnerability assessments, conduct threat assessments and use threat intelligence subscription services .


Better Asset Quality and Lower Share of NonResident Deposits Drives Positive Outlook for Baltic Countries

Our outlook for the Baltic countries' banking system is positive1 , compared with the stable outlook that has prevailed since 2015. This reflects our expectation that a supportive macroeconomic environment will improve banks' asset quality and support healthy loan growth across the system over the next 12 to 18 months. The positive momentum will be particularly supportive of domestic banks as, in addition to positive economic conditions, tighter regulatory requirements will encourage them to increase headroom above minimum capital requirements and reduce their reliance on volatile non-resident deposits. »


Inflation in Latvia was still high in April but will decrease soon

In April, the annual inflation rate remained unchanged (3.4%), marking the first time in eight months without climbing inflation.


Heating Swedish real estate market a risk for banks in Lithuania

The overheating real estate market in Sweden poses a risk to Swedish-capital banks in Lithuania, Stefan Ingves, governor of Sweden's central bank Riksbank, says to LETA/BNS adding that collapse of real estate prices would cause problems for the entire Nordic and Baltic region.


Under the impact of global trends, Latvian exports continue to grow

In the first quarter of 2017, goods exports posted a substantial increase, 10.1%, making a positive contribution to economic growth at the beginning of this year.


Manufacturing in Latvia continues to underpin economic growth

At the end of the first quarter, manufacturing has once again posted growth. Thus, in the first quarter of 2017, manufacturing output increased by 6.7% year-on-year, which is a very good result and a crucial contribution to accelerating gross domestic product (GDP) growth.


Inflation in Estonia this year is due to energy prices and rises in excise

Inflation passed 3% in April. Prices for commodities have shown signs of rising more slowly on world markets in recent months.


Threats for the safety of business and society as exemplified by one criminal scheme

The article was written summarizing the results of speech at 30th Baltic Criminological Conference held in the capital of Latvia, Riga on April 28-29.


Present generation of businessmen is used to getting assistance

A generation of businessmen has grown up in Latvia that has been used to receiving assistance, including through the EU funds, EY consultancy partner Andris Laucins said LETA.


The Energy Union: Old Wine in a New Bottle?

The Energy Union, an ‘umbrella strategy’ launched two years ago by the European Commission, was initially aimed at insuring Europe’s smooth transition to the low-carbon/non-carbon future. The plan was to ensure that European citizens have unrestricted access to secure, affordable/competitive and climate-friendly energy sources.


Lithuania’s economic growth has accelerated

Lithuania’s economic growth has accelerated. Due to favourable conditions in the beginning of the year, Lithuania’s economy in 2017 will grow faster than in the previous year, while the positive output gap will gradually increase. In the presence of such economic development, the pressure to increase wages and prices will persist. Without investment into higher productivity, the spiral of growing wages and prices in the future might decrease the competitiveness of Lithuanian companies, limiting economic development as well.

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