The Baltic Course | Baltic States news & analytics http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/ The Baltic Course - International Internet Magazine. Baltic States News & Analysis, Baltic market reviews eng Sun, 22 Apr 2018 23:00:21 +0300 Baltic Course, The baltic-course@baltic-course.com dmitrijs@mansbirojs.lv Latvian lady tennis players beat Russia to advance to Fed Cup World Group http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139477 Latvia’s top-ranked tennis players Alona Ostapenko and Anastasija Sevastova secured victories in second-day matches of the Federation Cup on Sunday, advancing Latvia to World Group II with a 3-1 win over Russia, reports LETA. Sun, 22 Apr 2018 18:00:00 +0300 1524409200 Preilu Siers achieved EUR 59.9 mln in turnover in 2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139476 The joint-stock Latvian dairy company Preilu Siers achieved EUR 59.9 million in turnover last year, which is EUR 2.2. million more than the previous year, the company's board chairman Jazeps Snepsts told LETA. Sun, 22 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0300 1524387600 In 2017, general government budget deficit accounted for 0.5% GDP in Latvia http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=139472 Provisional (1) results compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that, in 2017 general government budget deficit accounted for EUR 131.1 million or 0.5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), whereas consolidated gross debt amounted to EUR 10.8 billion or 40.1% of the GDP. Only Social security fund concluded last year with budget surplus, while expenditure in central and local governments exceeded revenues. Sat, 21 Apr 2018 18:00:00 +0300 1524322800 Snaige: the loss due to doubtful debt provisions http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=139475 Snaige, the only refrigerator manufacturer in the Baltics, says that its 12.616-million-euro loss for 2017 was due to 12.2 million euros worth of loans to the Polair Group's companies having been set aside as doubtful debt provisions, reports LETA/BNS. Sat, 21 Apr 2018 18:00:00 +0300 1524322800 Ilves: Estonia's IT success not based on technological advances http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/Technology/?doc=139474 Estonia's former president Toomas Hendrik Ilves at the Forbes 2018 CIO Summit said that what Estonia has accomplished in the field of IT is was not because of technological advances but the configuration readiness of legislative and executive powers, reports LETA/BNS. Sat, 21 Apr 2018 15:00:00 +0300 1524312000 Elko Grupa reports EUR 14 mln in audited 2017 profit http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139473 Latvian wholesaler of IT products Elko Grupa turned over EUR 1.593 billion in 2017, up 9.1% against 2016, while the group’s audited profit swelled 62% to EUR 14 million, writes LETA, according to the company’s financial report to the Nasdaq Riga stock exchange. Sat, 21 Apr 2018 14:30:00 +0300 1524310200 President introduced Estonia's e-state to IMF chief http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=139469 Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid introduced Estonia's e-state achievements at a meeting with Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde on Friday in Washington, informs LETA/BNS. Sat, 21 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0300 1524301200 DPD Latvija raises profit by 36.2% in 2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139470 Parcel services company DPD Latvija turned over EUR 15.505 million in 2017, which was a 22.9% increase against 2016, while the company’s profit grew 36.2% year-on-year to EUR 1.341 million, writes LETA, according to information available at Firmas.lv. Sat, 21 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0300 1524301200 Latvia reforested 40,000 hectares in 2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=139471 Latvia reforested 40,000 hectares in total in 2017, the data of the State Forest Service shows, cites LETA. Sat, 21 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0300 1524301200 Construction price index continued to rise moderately in Estonia in Q1 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=139455 According to Statistics Estonia, the change of the construction price index in the 1st quarter of 2018 was 0.2% compared to the 4th quarter of 2017, and 1.8% compared to the 1st quarter of 2017. Fri, 20 Apr 2018 18:00:00 +0300 1524236400 The Baltic States commence cooperation on the “Amber Train” route http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139456 The first train on the line has been launched from Šeštokai railway station in Lithuania to Paldiski terminal in Estonia overnight. Fri, 20 Apr 2018 18:00:00 +0300 1524236400 The industrial producer prices in Estonia grew by 2.9% in March y-o-y http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=139450 According to Statistics Estonia, in March 2018, the producer price index of industrial output changed by 0.2% compared to February and by 2.9% compared to March 2017. Fri, 20 Apr 2018 17:00:00 +0300 1524232800 Cargo handling at Riga port might drop by 4 mln tons in 2018 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=139452 Cargo handling at the Riga port this year might shrink by about four million tons, said Riga vice mayor Andris Ameriks in an interview with the Latvian public television on April 20th, cites LETA. Fri, 20 Apr 2018 15:00:00 +0300 1524225600 First Clarion hotel to be opened in Vilnius http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139453 International hotel chain Clarion plans to settle in a building being developed by investment company Lords LB Asset Management in central Vilnius, Lords LB Asset Management spokesman Justas Vaitkevicius confirmed it to BNS Lithuania, cites LETA. Fri, 20 Apr 2018 15:00:00 +0300 1524225600 Focus Fabrication to build metal processing plant in Klaipeda http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139449 Dutch metal processing company Focus Fabrication Group plans to build a 3,800 square meter metal processing plant in the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda by the middle of 2019, the Verslo Zinios business daily writes, cites LETA/BNS. Fri, 20 Apr 2018 14:00:00 +0300 1524222000 Estonia to support athletes competing on international level with EUR 8 mln http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139445 Estonia's sports associations are to receive eight million euros of additional funding in the next four years to support athletes and teams that compete on an international level, informs LETA/BNS. Fri, 20 Apr 2018 13:30:00 +0300 1524220200 Fox retracts requirement to use Russian guidelines for Baltic translations http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=139447 Fox television has retracted its requirement to translate its original programs that are broadcast in the Baltic states along guidelines that have been developed in Russia, TV3 commercial TV channel reported on April 19th, informs LETA. Fri, 20 Apr 2018 13:30:00 +0300 1524220200 ABLV Bank lawyers in reply to FinCEN ask to recall its proposal on sanctions against bank http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=139448 Lawyers of Latvia’s ABLV Bank, whose shareholders have decided to start voluntary liquidation of the bank, call on the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the U.S. Department of Treasury in regards to its statement in February about planned sanctions towards the bank, to recall its proposal, reports LETA. Fri, 20 Apr 2018 13:30:00 +0300 1524220200 Estonian Weak Monument at the Venice Architecture Biennale http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/forums/?doc=139457 The Estonian Centre of Architecture presents the exhibition Weak Monument in the Pavilion of Estonia at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia (May 26th - November 25th, 2018), entitled Freespace, and curated byYvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara. Fri, 20 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0300 1524214800 Number of economically active companies in Estonia grows by 6% in 2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139430 There were 127,600 economically active companies in Estonia in 2017, about 6% more than the year before, informs LETA/BNS. Fri, 20 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0300 1524214800 AHK: foreign investors critical of Latvia's tax reform, business environment in general http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=139431 Foreign investors are on the whole satisfied with business environment in Latvia but in a number of investment criteria have given the country lower ratings compared to the previous year and are critical of Latvia's tax reform in particular, writes LETA, according to the annual survey carried out by the German-Baltic Chamber of Commerce in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (AHK). Fri, 20 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0300 1524214800 Estonian ministry to support industrial sector's innovation, exports http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=139432 The Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications is working on a measure aimed at increasing the innovation and export capability of the country's industrial companies, informs LETA/BNS. Fri, 20 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0300 1524214800 Lithuania's 1st Marriott hotel opens in Vilnius http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139427 The first Marriott chain hotel in Lithuania was opened in Vilnius on Thursday, the project's developer Hanner said, cites LETA/BNS. Fri, 20 Apr 2018 11:00:00 +0300 1524211200 20% Latvians reluctant to conduct financial transactions via smartphones http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=139428 In Latvia, 20% of the population are reluctant to conduct financial transactions via their smartphones but the number of people willing to use their phones in financial transactions is growing, writes LETA, according to a survey by Swedbank Latvia. Fri, 20 Apr 2018 11:00:00 +0300 1524211200 Estonia's Environment Ministry starts restoring e-services http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/Technology/?doc=139429 Estonian Ministry of the Environment is trying to gradually restore the domain's e-services that were out of action due to a fire that broke out in the server base of the Environment Ministry's information technology department, reports LETA/BNS. Fri, 20 Apr 2018 11:00:00 +0300 1524211200 Birth number still declining in Latvia in 2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=139410 Provisional data of the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that since 2016 birth number in Latvia is reducing – in 2017 number of live births may be approximately one thousand smaller than in 2016. Number of newborn registered during the first three months of 2018 (4 612 children) also was smaller than that recorded in the same period of 2017– by 336 children. Thu, 19 Apr 2018 18:00:00 +0300 1524150000 More motorists pulled over during speed enforcement marathon in Latvia http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=139413 The number of automobiles pulled over in Latvia during the pan-European speed enforcement marathon in 2018 is higher than in 2017, the State Police's Traffic Safety Department Chief Normunds Krapsis told Latvian Television today, cites LETA. Thu, 19 Apr 2018 16:00:00 +0300 1524142800 EU invests in Baltic power grid synchronization project http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139408 The European Commission will provide 125,000 euros for a technical study on the Baltic power grids' planned synchronization with the Continental European network, with the final results of the study, estimated to cost 250,000 euros in total, to be released in June 2018, informs LETA/BNS. Thu, 19 Apr 2018 15:00:00 +0300 1524139200 East Capital purchases Galleria Riga shopping center http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=139404 The property fund East Capital Baltic Property Fund III, which is part of the East Capital asset management company, has purchased the Galleria Riga shopping center in Riga, East Capital informed LETA. Thu, 19 Apr 2018 14:00:00 +0300 1524135600 Most of complaints against Latvia rejected as inadmissible by ECHR http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=139405 Most of the complaints filed against Latvia with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) are rejected as inadmissible, the Latvian representative to the international human rights bodies, Kristine Lice, said on the LNT commercial television, cites LETA. Thu, 19 Apr 2018 14:00:00 +0300 1524135600 Maxima, Latvijas Dzelzcels and Rimi are Latvia’s largest employers http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=139402 Latvijas Dzelzcels state-owned railway company, and Maxima and Rimi retailers were the largest employers in Latvia, writes LETA. according to the State Revenue Service. Thu, 19 Apr 2018 13:30:00 +0300 1524133800 Lithuanian Railways continues to rank 1st in Baltics by freight traffic http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139403 Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways) increased its lead in the Baltic rail freight market in the first quarter of 2018, informs LETA/BNS. Thu, 19 Apr 2018 13:30:00 +0300 1524133800 One of Europe's most dangerous gangs disbanded in Lithuania http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=139401 Lithuanian police detained 19 people linked to an organized crime group during a large-scale operation in the country's second-biggest city of Kaunas on April 17th, reports LETA/BNS. Thu, 19 Apr 2018 13:00:00 +0300 1524132000 US Cognizant to open development and supply center in Latvia http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139390 International IT company Cognizant in May will open a development and supply center in Latvia, Cognizant Latvian head Kim Leandersson told LETA. Thu, 19 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0300 1524128400 President: Estonia needs uniform e-state policy http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=139391 The National Defense Council that convened on April 18th focused on the lessons from the ID-card crisis and issues concerning the future of the e-state, while Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid emphasized the need for a uniform e-state policy, informs LETA/BNS. Thu, 19 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0300 1524128400 British Steel company wishes to acquire KVV Liepajas Metalurgs http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=139392 The British Steel consortium has repeatedly voiced a wish to purchase Latvia’s insolvent KVV Liepajas Metalurgs steelworks as a whole, according to a letter written by British Steel at the disposal of LETA. Thu, 19 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0300 1524128400 Saeima approves in principle bill limiting high-risk customers' operations in the financial sector http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/finances/?doc=139412 Saeima today passed in the first reading a bill limiting financial operations by high-risk customers in the Latvian finance sector, informs LETA. Thu, 19 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0300 1524128400 Most Latvians expect housing prices to rise in near future http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=139388 Most people in Latvia, or 54.6%, expect property prices to grow in the coming 12 months, which is the highest figure since 2009, when SEB launched its Housing Price Indicator, SEB Banka spokeswoman Jelena Kontusa told LETA, citing the latest SEB Housing Price Indicator. Thu, 19 Apr 2018 11:00:00 +0300 1524124800 Rimi-Iki deal canceled in Lithuania http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=139389 A 213-million-euro deal on the acquisition by Rimi Lietuva, a Lithuanian retail chain owned by Sweden's ICA Gruppen, of Iki, a rival chain owned by Palink, is being cancelled, informs LETA/BNS. Thu, 19 Apr 2018 11:00:00 +0300 1524124800 'No special easing' of requirements for football fans traveling to Russia via Lithuania http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=139386 Lithuanian officials say that there will be "no special easing" of requirements for football fans who will travel via Lithuania to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad for 2018 FIFA World Cup matches, reports LETA/BNS. Thu, 19 Apr 2018 10:00:00 +0300 1524121200 Eesti Post's net profit grows by 8% in 2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139387 The state-owned Estonian postal company AS Eesti Post, which operates under the Omniva brand, saw its net profit increase 8% year over year to 1.3 million euros in 2107, informs LETA/BNS. Thu, 19 Apr 2018 10:00:00 +0300 1524121200 Almost a half Estonian enterprises are innovative http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=139372 According to Statistics Estonia, 47.7% of Estonian enterprises were innovative in 2016. Industrial enterprises are the most active innovators. Wed, 18 Apr 2018 17:00:00 +0300 1524060000 Net earnings of Technopolis Ulemiste surge by 68% in 2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139375 AS Technopolis Ulemiste, developer of the Ulemiste City complex of commercial properties in Tallinn, saw its net profit surge 68% year on year to 12 million euros in 2017, while its revenue increased 5% to 13.6 million euros, informs LETA/BNS. Wed, 18 Apr 2018 16:30:00 +0300 1524058200 Baltic translations of Fox content being "adjusted" along Russian guidelines http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=139373 The original content of Fox TV channel is translated for Baltic audiences along guidelines that have been developed in Russia and require glossing over certain topics seen as sensitive by Russian censors, informs LETA. Wed, 18 Apr 2018 16:00:00 +0300 1524056400 Latvian inflation rate was above EU average in March http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=139376 In March 2018, Latvia saw higher inflation than the European Union and the eurozone on average, according to the latest inflation data on 27 member states released today by Eurostat, cites LETA. Wed, 18 Apr 2018 16:00:00 +0300 1524056400 New Hanza office center in Riga now scheduled for completion by 2021 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/real_estate/?doc=139370 The planned construction of an office center in the New Hanza quarter in Riga will be delayed by about a year and will be completed by 2012, Edgars Miluns, a board member of the project’s developer Pillar Management, said during the discussion Latvia-Riga-Skanste 2024 today, reports LETA. Wed, 18 Apr 2018 14:30:00 +0300 1524051000 Ministry keen to boost export of Chinese e-goods via Estonia http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139369 Estonia is interested in tapping into e-platforms to increase the flows of goods from China via Estonia, the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications said, cites LETA/BNS. Wed, 18 Apr 2018 14:00:00 +0300 1524049200 Former CIA deputy director represents ABLV Bank in its dispute with FinCEN http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=139367 David Cohen, former deputy director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and supervisor of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), now a partner at the international law firm WilmerHale, is representing Latvian commercial bank ABLV Bank in its dispute with FinCEN, the bank informed LETA. Wed, 18 Apr 2018 13:30:00 +0300 1524047400 Porzingis had 7th most sold jersey in NBA this season http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139365 According to information from the National Basketball Association (NBA), Latvian big-man Kristaps Porzingis (New York Knicks) was seventh in jersey sales in the NBA this season, informs LETA. Wed, 18 Apr 2018 13:00:00 +0300 1524045600 Drivers of Sebe are about to stage pickets http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=139366 Drivers of the Estonian bus company Sebe are about to stage pickets in Tartu and Parnu at noon on Wednesday to support their demand for a pay increase, reports LETA/BNS. Wed, 18 Apr 2018 13:00:00 +0300 1524045600 Datel presents large infrastructure early warning system http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139355 The Estonian IT company Datel on April 17th presented a new early warning system for large scale infrastructure, which uses satellite data to monitor minor movements in pieces of infrastructure such as bridges, railways, pipelines, harbors and mines, informs LETA/BNS. Wed, 18 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0300 1524042000 Charges in Lithuania's political corruption case - bribes for laws, procurement, posts http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=139356 Raimondas Kurlianskis, former vice-president of the Lithuanian MG Baltic concern, is charged with paying bribes to politicians for influence to adoption of laws, determining winners of public procurement tenders and appointment of officials, law-enforcement said on April 17th, informs LETA/BNS. Wed, 18 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0300 1524042000 Companies in Latvia to be able to combine several tax payments into one http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=139357 The Latvian Cabinet of Ministers on April 17th approved several legislative proposals by the Finance Ministry to unify the deadlines for regular payments of taxes administrated by the State Revenue Service, reports LETA. Wed, 18 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0300 1524042000 Latvia Tours raises 2017 turnover to EUR 20.123 mln http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139352 Latvia Tours travel agency closed 2017 with a turnover of EUR 20.123 million at a 14.6% rise from 2016 and increased its profit 37% to EUR 220,762, said the company's head, Ieva Keisa, cites LETA Wed, 18 Apr 2018 11:00:00 +0300 1524038400 IMF: Latvia to grow fastest of Baltic economies in 2018 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=139353 Latvia is expected to register faster economic growth than its Baltic peers in 2018, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on April 17th, reports LETA/BNS. Wed, 18 Apr 2018 11:00:00 +0300 1524038400 Rent of Tallinn commercial spaces up by 70% in February y-o-y http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/real_estate/?doc=139354 The average rent of commercial properties offered for rent in Tallinn has grown 70% year over year to 11.7 euros per square meter in February 2018, it appears from statistics compiled by the real estate classifieds website City24, cites LETA/BNS. Wed, 18 Apr 2018 11:00:00 +0300 1524038400 UAE ambassador inquired about business conditions in Rezekne SEZ http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=139340 The Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Latvia, Hanan Khalfan Al Aleeli, during her visit to Rezekne, eastern Latvia, inquired about the export markets of the local companies and the business conditions in the Rezekne Special Economic Zone (SEZ), the Rezekne city government informed LETA. Tue, 17 Apr 2018 17:00:00 +0300 1523973600 Number of tourists stayed at Latvian hotels grew by 9% in 2 months http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139338 The number of nights spent by guests at Latvia’s hotels and other tourist facilities in the first two months of this year grew by 9% against the same period last year to 556,700, writes LETA, according to the data released by the Central Statistics Bureau (CSB). Tue, 17 Apr 2018 16:00:00 +0300 1523970000 Number of births in Lithuania may hit 60-year low in 2018 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=139336 A researcher predicts that Lithuania in 2018 may record the lowest number of births in the past 60 years, the Delfi news website reported on April 17th, writes LETA/BNS. Tue, 17 Apr 2018 15:00:00 +0300 1523966400 Lattelecom has limited options for restricting TV content available to viewers http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=139337 Telecommunications company Lattelecom has very limited options for restricting television content available to viewers, given that TV content is often also freely available on the Internet, Lattelecom Legal Department Director Toms Meisitis said in an interview with Latvian Radio today while commenting on a recent call for agreeing on a joint plan for limiting Russian propaganda channels in Latvia, informs LETA. Tue, 17 Apr 2018 15:00:00 +0300 1523966400 Estonia to direct additional EUR 117.5 mln to development of e-state http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/Technology/?doc=139333 As a result of the state budget strategy negotiations, altogether 117.5 million additional euros will be directed to developing Estonia's e-state over the next four years, while the salaries of the state's information and communications technology (ICT) specialists will be raised by 20%, reports LETA/BNS. Tue, 17 Apr 2018 14:00:00 +0300 1523962800 Riga Airport sees 20% increase in passenger turnover in Q1 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139334 In the first three months of 2018, passenger turnover at Riga International Airport increased by 20% when compared to the same period last year, the airport informed LETA. Tue, 17 Apr 2018 14:00:00 +0300 1523962800 Enefit starts selling electricity in Sweden http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139331 Estonian energy company Eesti Energia keeps expanding its business in the Baltic Sea region and has started selling electricity to households and businesses in Sweden under the brand name Enefit, reports LETA/BNS. Tue, 17 Apr 2018 13:30:00 +0300 1523961000 Bill on shell companies upheld for first reading in Latvia http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=139332 The Latvian parliamentary committee on defense, interior affairs and corruption prevention today upheld for the first reading in the parliament the bill about restrictions on financial operations by high-risk customers in the Latvian finance sector, informs LETA. Tue, 17 Apr 2018 13:30:00 +0300 1523961000 Danish, German investors eye Marijampole FEZ http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=139330 The Marijampole Free Economic Zone (FEZ), which now leases most of its territory to Denmark's windows and doors giant Dovista, is dealing with infrastructure issues as at least two investors from Denmark and Germany want to launch operations on the free economic area in southern Lithuania, the business daily Verslo Zinios reported on Tuesday, cites LETA/BNS. Tue, 17 Apr 2018 13:00:00 +0300 1523959200 SCAT Airlines to launch direct Astana-Vilnius service http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139319 SCAT Airlines is set to launch in late May direct flights between Kazakhstan's capital of Astana and Lithuania's capital of Vilnius, informs LETA/BNS. Tue, 17 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0300 1523955600 Madara Cosmetics expects to get EUR 500,000 in revenue from its new sunscreen products http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=139317 Latvia’s Madara Cosmetics company plans to get EUR 500,000 in revenue from its new sunscreen products, the company said in a statement to the Nasdaq Riga stock exchange, cites LETA. Tue, 17 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0300 1523955600 Rietumu Banka registers changes in its Board http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/finances/?doc=139318 Latvia's Rietumu Banka has made changes in the bank's Board, writes LETA, according to Firmas.lv business information website. Tue, 17 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0300 1523955600 Lithuanian economists, trade unions cautiously welcome tax reform plans http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=139320 Lithuanian economists and trade union officials say that the government's planned tax and pension system reform unveiled on Monday will lead to a rise in wages, but will not help to drastically curb emigration, writes LETA/BNS. Tue, 17 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0300 1523955600 Number of schools in Latvia has declined by 1/5 since restoration of independence http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/education/?doc=139321 Since 1991-1992 school year, the number of schools in Latvia has declined by one fifth, while since 1996-1997 school year, when the number of schools was biggest, this number has dropped by 30%, writes LETA, according to the Education and Science Ministry data. Tue, 17 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0300 1523955600 Rescuers' salary to grow by 20%, police officers' by 10% in Estonia http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=139316 In 2019, the salary of rescuers is to rise by nearly 20% and the pay of police officers and border guards by 10% in Estonia, informs LETA/BNS. Tue, 17 Apr 2018 11:00:00 +0300 1523952000 DEPO store in Baltic states opening in Vilnius http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139315 Latvia's building materials and household goods chain Depo is opening its biggest store in the Baltic states in Vilnius on April 16th, making it the third store in Lithuania. According to information available to BNS, investments in the store totaled about 20 million euros, informs LETA/BNS. Tue, 17 Apr 2018 10:00:00 +0300 1523948400 STECCOM to provide premium inflight connectivity over Europe and CIS with SES Networks http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139304 Sputnik Telecommunications Entertainment Company (STECCOM), Russia’s major satellite communications operator and leading developer of VSAT-based communication systems, will elevate the passenger and crew inflight connectivity (IFC) experience across the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region and Europe by utilizing SES satellite capacity and associated services via SES Networks, announced SES today. Mon, 16 Apr 2018 17:00:00 +0300 1523887200 Fuel tax fraud group suspected of concealing tax liability worth EUR 800,000 in Estonia http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=139303 Officials of the investigation department of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board (MTA) at the start of April 2018 detained six persons as suspects in a VAT fraud case connected to fuel, which resulted in concealed tax liability in the amount of nearly 800,000 euros, and three of the suspects were taken into custody at the request of the prosecutor's office, reports LETA/BNS. Mon, 16 Apr 2018 16:00:00 +0300 1523883600 MyFitness to launch GYM! low-cost chain in Estonia, Latvia http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139302 The operator of fitness centers MyFitness is about to launch a network of gyms open round the clock under the GYM! brand in Estonia and Latvia, investing more than two million euros in the project during the first year, reports LETA/BNS. Mon, 16 Apr 2018 15:30:00 +0300 1523881800 Lithuania set to recover EUR 200 mln from shadow in 2019 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=139301 Lithuania's government plans to recover 200 million euros from the shadow in 2019 in an effort to reduce the scope of shadow economy, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said on April 16th, cites LETA/BNS. Mon, 16 Apr 2018 15:00:00 +0300 1523880000 Female ex-employees of EU gender equality institute in Vilnius: harassment was widespread http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=139298 Sexual harassment at the European Institute of Gender Equality (EIGE) in Vilnius was more widespread than the few cases of harassment, former foreign employees of the Euorpean Union's (EU) institution told BNS, cites LETA. Mon, 16 Apr 2018 14:00:00 +0300 1523876400 airBaltic carries 24% more passengers in Q1 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139299 The Latvian airline airBaltic in the first quarter of 2018 has transported 729 897 or 24% more than in the same period last year to its network spanning Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, CIS and the Middle East. In March 2018, 280 724 passengers or 25% more than last year travelled with airBaltic, reported BC airline’s press service. Mon, 16 Apr 2018 14:00:00 +0300 1523876400 Latvian speaker in Uzbekistan underscores necessity to continue cooperation in transit http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=139300 Latvian parliament speaker Inara Murniece (National Alliance) during her visit to Uzbekistan underscored the necessity to continue practical cooperation in transport and transit between both countries, reports LETA. Mon, 16 Apr 2018 14:00:00 +0300 1523876400 Novaturas raises Q1 sales by 49% http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139296 Novaturas, one of Lithuania's largest tour organizers, posted 25.8 million euros in revenue in the first quarter of 2018, up by 49% from the January-March period last year. In March alone, the revenue stood at 10.1 million euros, which is a jump by 46% year-on-year, the company said, cites LETA/BNS. Mon, 16 Apr 2018 13:00:00 +0300 1523872800 Raw milk purchase prices fall in Lithuania for 5th month in a row in March http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=139297 Milk purchase prices in Lithuania fell for the fifth month in a row in March 2018, reports LETA/BNS. Mon, 16 Apr 2018 13:00:00 +0300 1523872800 ABLV Bank to fire 250 employees in April http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/finances/?doc=139285 Latvia’s ABLV Bank whose shareholders made a decision on voluntary liquidation, will fire 250 employees in April, said ABLV group’s spokesman Arturs Eglitis, reports LETA. Mon, 16 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0300 1523869200 Since joining EU, EUR 10 bln of EU funds have already been injected in Latvia http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/baltic_states/?doc=139286 Since joining the EU, more than EUR 10 billion of EU budget funds have already been injected in the “bloodstream” of Latvia, which allowed getting additional development capacity, said Zanda Kalnina-Lukasevica, the Parliamentary Secretary of the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the opening of the European Info Day European Vitamin, reports LETA. Mon, 16 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0300 1523869200 FlexStart investment of 3.3 mln euros approved by Klaipeda FEZ http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139287 The Klaipeda FEZ board has just approved investment for the exciting new 3.3 million FlexStart project in Lithuania. FlexStart will be a ready to use purpose built manufacturing and administrative complex that will give businesses the ability to have their operations up and running in only 3 months. Mon, 16 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0300 1523869200 Nord Stream 2 gas project strives to fill EU’s import gap http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/energy/?doc=139288 Gas pipeline from Russia to Germany does not plan to substitute Ukrainian transit, could also supply southern Europe, Nord Stream 2 tells New Europe. Mon, 16 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0300 1523869200 Latvian construction industry to have 3-year general collective agreement http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/real_estate/?doc=139284 The Latvian construction industry is about to sign the general collective agreement about the minimum wage in the sector, and the initial agreement period is three years, said Baiba Fromane, the head of the Latvian Partnership of Building Contractors, informs LETA. Mon, 16 Apr 2018 11:00:00 +0300 1523865600 Latvian Environmental Protection Fund receives Baltic Sea Fund prize http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139282 The Latvian Environmental Protection Fund has received the Baltic Sea Fund prize and EUR 20,000 for its campaign My Sea, the fund’s representative Sanita Ribena reported LETA. Mon, 16 Apr 2018 10:00:00 +0300 1523862000 Lembergs' incomes at EUR 343,998; debts at over EUR 15 mln in 2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=139283 Ventspils Mayor Aivars Lembergs' incomes last year amounted to EUR 343,998, while his debts still exceed EUR 15 million, writes LETA, according to Lembergs' declaration of income for 2017. Mon, 16 Apr 2018 10:00:00 +0300 1523862000 In March, harmonized average annual inflation in Lithuania stood at 3.7% http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=139271 Statistics Lithuania informs that in March 2018, average annual inflation calculated based on the harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP), which is methodologically harmonised with those of other EU member states, stood at 3.7% and was by 0.2 percentage points lower than that calculated based on the consumer price index (CPI). Fri, 13 Apr 2018 17:00:00 +0300 1523628000 HKScan, trade union in Estonia reach agreement on salary terms http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=139270 HKScan Estonia, subsidiary of the Nordic food group HKScan, in the first quarter updated its salary system and increased the company's salary fund, based on which individual salary changes were carried out for striking employees as well, informs LETA/BNS. Fri, 13 Apr 2018 16:00:00 +0300 1523624400 Baltic countries post growth in January-February exports http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139272 All three Baltic countries posted year-on-year growth in exports for the first two months of 2018, figures from the EU statistical office Eurostat showed on Friday, cites LETA/BNS. Fri, 13 Apr 2018 16:00:00 +0300 1523624400 Facebook promised to help ensure transparency of elections in Latvia http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=139265 Ensuring transparency of elections is one of Facebook’s top priorities, Jekabs Straume, the head of the Latvian Corruption Prevention Burau (KNAB) said following a meeting with the social network’s representatives today, reports LETA. Fri, 13 Apr 2018 15:00:00 +0300 1523620800 EuroChem to build ammonia terminal at Sillamae, Estonia http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139263 The Russian manufacturer of fertilizers EuroChem Group AG is to build an ammonia terminal to the northeastern Estonian city of Sillamae for 65 million euros by the end of the year, informs Interfax/BNS/LETA. Fri, 13 Apr 2018 14:00:00 +0300 1523617200 Proportion of unreported pay in Latvian construction sector estimated at 24.4% http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/real_estate/?doc=139264 The share of unreported pay in the Latvian construction sector is 24.4%, Dace Peleka, acting secretary general of the State Revenue Service, told journalists today, cites LETA. Fri, 13 Apr 2018 14:00:00 +0300 1523617200 43% entrepreneurs in Latvia have been affected by labor shortages in 2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=139262 As many as 43% of entrepreneurs in Latvia admit they have been affected by labor shortages over the past year, which is an increase by 4% percentage points from the summer of 2017, Citadele Bank’s spokeswoman Baiba Abelniece told LETA, citing the latest Citadele Index. Fri, 13 Apr 2018 13:30:00 +0300 1523615400 Riga Wood Baltic raises 2017 sales by 20.6% http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=139260 Riga Wood Baltic, a subsidiary of the largest Latvian wood-processing company Latvijas Finieris, closed last year with EUR 6.644 million in turnover at a 20.6% rise from 2016 and made a profit of EUR 103,576 as opposed to a loss the year before, reports LETA, according to Firmas.lv business information website. Fri, 13 Apr 2018 13:00:00 +0300 1523613600 EUR 30-60 mln per year lacking for updating state's e-services in Estonia http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/Technology/?doc=139261 Altogether 30 to 60 million euros per year is lacking for the maintenance and updating of the e-services of Estonia in the next few years, the daily Postimees reports, cites LETA/BNS. Fri, 13 Apr 2018 13:00:00 +0300 1523613600 Lithuanian PM: political project Nord Stream 2 would harm Ukraine http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/energy/?doc=139250 The gas pipeline Nord Stream 2, which is projected on the bottom of the Baltic Sea, is in essence a political project and would cause major harm to Ukraine's economy, Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said during a visit in the country, reports LETA/BNS. Fri, 13 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0300 1523610000 Tax revenue to Latvian budget 1.4% short of target in Q1 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/finances/?doc=139251 Revenue to the Latvian central government consolidated budget administrated by the State Revenue Service in Latvia was EUR 2.066 billion in the first quarter of 2018 and stood at 98.6% of the planned amount, the tax authority said, cites LETA. Fri, 13 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0300 1523610000 Estonian parliament expands possibilities for helping EU citizens outside Europe http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=139252 The Estonian parliament on April 12th adopted a bill of amendments to the Consular Act and Identity Documents Act that would take over an EU directive, which will foster the consular protection of the union's unrepresented citizens in third countries, reports LETA/BNS. Fri, 13 Apr 2018 12:00:00 +0300 1523610000