The Baltic Course | Baltic States news & analytics The Baltic Course - International Internet Magazine. Baltic States News & Analysis, Baltic market reviews eng Wed, 01 Mar 2017 19:49:37 +0200 Baltic Course, The Ryanair to launch Riga-Malta route in October Irish low-costs carrier Ryanair will launch flights from Riga International Airport to Malta from October 2017 when the airport’s winter flight schedule comes into effect, the company’s representatives told BC. Wed, 01 Mar 2017 17:20:00 +0200 1488381600 The economic growth could revive this year from last year’s weakness The year 2016 was spent in expectations of investment as well as against a background of weak external demand. As indicated by the economic growth data published by the Central Statistical Bureau, gross domestic product (GDP) at constant prices and by seasonally and working-day adjusted data, increased by only 1.3% in 2016, which represents the lowest rise in the last six years. Wed, 01 Mar 2017 17:10:00 +0200 1488381000 Case studies from e-Residency, LHV, and IBM. Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Tallinn program is already available On March 9, Tallinn will host the first Estonian large-scale conference dedicated to blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies – Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference. It will bring together representatives of IBM, e-Residency, Bitcoin Foundation, Funderbeam, and other projects well-known in Estonia and abroad. Wed, 01 Mar 2017 17:00:00 +0200 1488380400 The volume of freights Latvia carried in 2016 lowest since 2010 ata of the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that, as compared to 2015, in 2016 the volume of freights carried by land and pipeline transport has decreased by 8.1 mln tonnes or 6.6%. The most notable drop in the volume of freights carried was recorded in rail transport – of 7.8 mln tonnes or 14.1%. Data on freights carried indicate the lowest volume since 2010, when it amounted to 101.6 mln tonnes. Wed, 01 Mar 2017 16:50:00 +0200 1488379800 Retail trade turnover in Latvia grew by 3.7% Calendar adjusted data (at constant prices) compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that, compared to January 2016, total retail trade turnover in January 2017 rose by 3.7%. Turnover of retail trade in food products declined by 0.1%, whereas turnover of retail trade in non-food products grew by 5.9%. Wed, 01 Mar 2017 16:30:00 +0200 1488378600 Latvia`s GDP has grown by 2.0 % in 2016 Data compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that in 2016, as compared to 2015, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 2.0%. In 2016, GDP at current prices amounted to EUR 25 bln, whereas at constant prices – to EUR 21.8 bln Wed, 01 Mar 2017 16:20:00 +0200 1488378000 Construction costs in Latvia grew by 0.3% Data of the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that, compared to December 2016, in January 2017 the level of construction costs in Latvia increased by 0.3%. Prices of building materials rose by 0.9%, whereas labour remuneration of workers decreased by 0.4% and maintenance and operational costs of machinery and equipment dropped by 0.2%. Wed, 01 Mar 2017 15:00:00 +0200 1488373200 Riga to host its largest ever international business tourism forum From March 5 to 7, the Riga Tourism Development Bureau and the Latvian Investment and Development Agency’s Tourism Department, in cooperation with the organizer of conference and congress forums Europe Congress, will organize the largest ever international business tourism forum ever to be held in the Latvian capital - MCE Central & Eastern Europe Forum, LETA learned from the organizers of the forum. Wed, 01 Mar 2017 13:15:00 +0200 1488366900 Aggressive action of Chinese and Turkish producers slash 2016 revenue of Lithuania's Snaige Lithuania's refrigerator manufacturer Snaige, which is part of Russia's Polair group, last year netted 1.207 mln euros in unaudited consolidated profit, up by a factor of 2.7, from 444,900 euros, in 2015, writes LETA/BNS. Wed, 01 Mar 2017 12:40:00 +0200 1488364800 AS Citadele banka has given 155 mln Euro in loans to businesses in 2016 The net loan portfolio for the Citadele Group grew by 6% to EUR 1.24 billion in 2016. This growth reflects Citadele’s strategy of being an active player in small and medium business loans in the Baltic states, as well as in consumer loans in Latvia and Lithuania, Citadeles banka`s representative told BC. Wed, 01 Mar 2017 11:40:00 +0200 1488361200 Business and investment in Russia: comprehensive analyses Famous Routledge Studies in the Modern World Economy series addresses in a new publication important and complex investment issues around Russia’s FDI. Foreign investments’ outflow and inflow has been (until recently) a vital part of both foreign corporate activities in Russia and Russian companies’ expansion in the world. A team of almost 20 researchers by using a range of different models reveals a diverse picture of Russian political economy through FDIs. Wed, 01 Mar 2017 10:30:00 +0200 1488357000 Wages and purchasing power grew at a slower rate last year According to the data of the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB), the rate of wage increase in 2016 (5.0%) in Latvia was the slowest in the last three years. At the end of the year, in the fourth quarter, the gross wage grew 5.9%. year-on-year. Slowdown in the rise in remuneration in 2016 was expected, for economic growth slowed down and changes in legislation had less of a positive impact than in previous years. Tue, 28 Feb 2017 11:50:00 +0200 1488275400 Increasingly more Latvian companies considering hiring third-country workers Increasingly more Latvian businessmen have to consider hiring third-country workers, the State Employment Agency's Director Evita Simsone told Latvian Radio this morning, citing LETA. Tue, 28 Feb 2017 11:40:00 +0200 1488274800 Lithuania launches a new Fast-track Startup Visa Scheme For Non-EU Talent Today, Lithuania launches a Startup Visa program that will make it easier for innovative entrepreneurs from outside the EU to set up operations in Lithuania. The program will enable non-EU startup founders and their families to fast-track their temporary residence permits, Startup Lithuania`s representative informed BC. Tue, 28 Feb 2017 11:30:00 +0200 1488274200 Suspicions brought against Lithuania's MG Baltic concern The Lithuanian Special Investigation Service has brought suspicions of influence peddling and bribery against MG Baltic, one of the largest concerns in Lithuania operated by Darius Mockus, SIS chief Saulius Urbanavicius confirmed to LETA/BNS. Tue, 28 Feb 2017 11:00:00 +0200 1488272400 Lithuanians see radio as most reliable source of information Lithuanian residents see radio as the most reliable source of information, shows the latest Eurobarometer poll. Tue, 28 Feb 2017 11:00:00 +0200 1488272400 President of the Republic at the Estonia Theatre and Concert Hall on 24 February 2017 "...the land is thawing, the grass is sprouting, the trees are budding and in the shadow of a leaf, a bird is again singing its eternal spring song. It is the sentimental nightingale or the romantic bluebird s i u r u – what difference does it make! The main thing is it is proclaiming new life with new buds, blossoms and grain." Tue, 28 Feb 2017 10:40:00 +0200 1488271200 1st case of avian flu confirmed in Lithuania he first case of avian flu has been confirmed in Lithuania – the virus was discovered in six dead swans near the River Nemunas in Kaunas, the State Food and Veterinary Service said LETA/BNS. Tue, 28 Feb 2017 10:20:00 +0200 1488270000 Tallinna Kaubamaja to pay dividend of 63 cents per share The listed Estonian retailer Tallinna Kaubamaja Grupp is planning to pay a dividend of 63 cents per share, totaling 25.7 mln euros. Tue, 28 Feb 2017 10:20:00 +0200 1488270000 The Estonian economy grew last year According to Statistics Estonia, in 2016, the gross domestic product (GDP) of Estonia increased 1.6% compared to 2015. In the 4th quarter of 2016, the Estonian economy grew 2.7% compared to the 4th quarter of 2015. Tue, 28 Feb 2017 10:00:00 +0200 1488268800 Latvian FinMin proposes to cut personal income tax to 20% and remove solidarity tax The Financial Ministry proposes a tax reform, suggesting to cut the personal income tax to 20%, remove a solidarity tax, and retain the microenterprise tax, reports LETA. Tue, 28 Feb 2017 09:50:00 +0200 1488268200 Senate of University of Latvia unanimously agrees to takeover of teacher academy The Senate of the University of Latvia today unanimously upheld the proposal about taking over the Riga Teacher Training and Educational Management Academy (RPIVA), writes LETA. Tue, 28 Feb 2017 09:35:00 +0200 1488267300 U.S. to bring five Blackhawk helicopters to Latvia for strengthening of security U.S. Air Force will tomorrow arrive in Latvia with UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, writes LETA/BNS. Tue, 28 Feb 2017 09:35:00 +0200 1488267300 Wage and salary increase in Latvia slowed down in 2016 Data of the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that in 2016 the average monthly gross wages and salaries in the country amounted to 859 euros. Compared to 2015 when annual increase constituted 6.8%, in 2016 smaller rise in the average wages and salaries was recorded – 41 euros or 5.0. Mon, 27 Feb 2017 18:20:00 +0200 1488212400 Bank of Latvia proposes tax system reforms The Bank of Latvia has come up with proposals to the changes in the Latvian tax system, focusing on revision of personal income tax and corporate tax systems, according to unofficial information at the disposal of LETA. Mon, 27 Feb 2017 17:40:00 +0200 1488210000 Estonia`s construction company Bauschmidt to probably go bankrupt While last December a court initiated the reorganization of the construction company Bauschmidt, the company has not submitted a reorganization plan, but is instead applying for the reorganization to be finished and will probably go bankrupt, writes LETA/BNS. Mon, 27 Feb 2017 17:40:00 +0200 1488210000 Electricity price drops 16% in Lithuania over week After Lithuania imported cheaper energy from the Nordic states and generating more from renewable resources, electricity prices on the Nord Pool Spot's Lithuanian bidding area last week declined by 16% to 31.99 euros per megawatt-hour from a week earlier. Mon, 27 Feb 2017 17:40:00 +0200 1488210000 Aldis Paulins resigns as board chairman of Latvian Radio Aldis Paulins has decided to step down as board chairman of Latvian Radio, the public broadcaster's spokeswoman Ilze Zvaigzne told LETA. Mon, 27 Feb 2017 13:00:00 +0200 1488193200 The President of Latvia calls for facilitation of the cooperation among the business from Latvia and the UAE “Latvian enterprises are interested in new sales markets outside the traditional export markets in Europe, therefore the United Arab Emirates, in particular, raise a lot of interest as a potential business destination,” stated President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis when opening the Latvia - the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Business Forum in Dubai on Sunday, the presedential press service informed. Mon, 27 Feb 2017 09:50:00 +0200 1488181800 Uzbekistan and Latvia discuss cooperation in ICT sector Ambassador of Latvia Edgars Bondars held negotiations at the Ministry of Development of Information Technologies and Communications of Uzbekistan on 22 February 2017, reported Mon, 27 Feb 2017 09:20:00 +0200 1488180000 UAE ambassador was departing, not arriving - Riga airport The Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Latvia Hanan Khalfan Obaid Ali Al Madhani was departing from the Riga airport when she was subjected to the security check, not arriving as previously reported by the press, Riga International Airport said LETA. Fri, 24 Feb 2017 18:40:00 +0200 1487954400 Unemployment rate in Latvia was still reducing in 2016 Results of the Labour Force Survey conducted by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that 95.3 thousand persons aged 15–74 were unemployment in 2016. Compared to 2015, the number of unemployed persons has declined by 2.9 thousand or 3.0 %. In 2016, Latvian unemployment rate constituted 9.6 %; it was 0.3 percentage points (ppt) lower than in 2015. The unemployment rate among females still was lower than that among males – 8.4% and 10.9%, respectively. Fri, 24 Feb 2017 17:20:00 +0200 1487949600 Gross earnings in the whole economy grew by 3.7% in Lithuania Statistics Lithuania informs that in IV quarter 2016 average gross monthly earnings in the whole economy (excl. individual enterprises) totalled EUR 822.8: in the public sector2 – EUR 849.7, in the private – EUR 809.1. Against III quarter 2016, average gross monthly earnings in the whole economy increased by 3.7%: in the public sector – by 5.3%, in the private – by 2.8%. Fri, 24 Feb 2017 17:00:00 +0200 1487948400 Finnair ranks as No 1 user of Lithuanian airspace in 2016 Finland's Finnair, Latvia's Air Baltic, Russia's Aeroflot and Germany's Lufthansa were the top users of Lithuanian airspace in 2016, according to figures from Oro Navigacija (Air Navigation), writes LETA/BNS. Fri, 24 Feb 2017 16:20:00 +0200 1487946000 LABEEF expects EUR 500 mln investments in housing renovation in Latvia over 10 years The long-term goal of the Latvian Baltic Energy Efficiency Facility (LABBEF) established last year is to provide EUR 500 mln for housing renovation in Latvia over the next 10 years, Nicholas Stancioff, co-founder and board member of LABEEF, said at a news conference on Friday writes LETA. Fri, 24 Feb 2017 16:00:00 +0200 1487944800 Rietumu Bank will present its opportunities at the Middle East Grain Congress in Dubai On Saturday, the Third International Conference dedicated to the world trade in grains will start in Dubai. Rietumu Bank representatives will participate in panel discussions. Within the framework of the conference, the largest exhibition of food industry of the Persian Gulf will be held - Gulfood 2017 Fri, 24 Feb 2017 15:50:00 +0200 1487944200 Health Ministry’s deputy state secretary temporarily appointed head of Riga Eastern Hospital Latvian Health Ministry’s deputy state secretary Egita Pole temporarily has been appointed the board chairwoman of the Riga Eastern University Hospital, the hospital’s representative Aija Lietina reported LETA/BNS. Fri, 24 Feb 2017 15:30:00 +0200 1487943000 airBaltic to launch Riga – Abu Dhabi service The Latvian airline airBaltic in cooperation with Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), will launch a direct service between Riga and Abu Dhabi on October 29, 2017, airBaltic representative informed BC. Fri, 24 Feb 2017 13:00:00 +0200 1487934000 BAA Training starts providing Embraer 190 type rating training for Israeli pilots Global aviation training provider, BAA Training, has recently expanded its list of aviation approvals by receiving a certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel (CAAI). According to the document, BAA Training complies with Israel Aviation Authority’s regulations and is empowered to operate as an Approved Training organization providing an Embraer 190 type rating course for Israeli pilots. Fri, 24 Feb 2017 13:00:00 +0200 1487934000 Lithuanian bank plans no basic payment services basket for banks' business clients The Lithuanian central bank does not plan to require that banks offer a basket of basic payment services at a regulated fee to their business customers, the daily Lietuvos Zinios reported on Friday. Fri, 24 Feb 2017 10:20:00 +0200 1487924400 Manchester Mercantile court rules in favour of Baltic International Bank to pay him almost half a million pounds from the Oyston family At the court hearing today in Manchester judgment was given in favor of Valeri Belokon in his dispute against Oyston family. The court action was raised by Baltic International Bank, BIB representative told BC. Thu, 23 Feb 2017 18:50:00 +0200 1487868600 Putin congratulates Estonia on national day Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated his Estonian counterpart Kersti Kaljulaid on Estonia's Independence Day, the Russian Embassy in Tallinn wrote on Facebook Thursday. Thu, 23 Feb 2017 17:20:00 +0200 1487863200 Lithuania's Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai to unify tariffs for port handling firms The new leadership of the state-run Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways, or LG) is set to shortly revise the pricing applied to the Klaipeda port handling companies and unify the tariffs, reports LETA/BNS. Thu, 23 Feb 2017 17:10:00 +0200 1487862600 Construction volumes increased in Estonia According to the preliminary data of Statistics Estonia, in 2016 the total production of Estonian construction enterprises in Estonia and in foreign countries amounted to 2.1 billion euros, which was 3% more than in 2015. The construction volumes increased after two years of decline. Thu, 23 Feb 2017 17:00:00 +0200 1487862000 Both the unemployment rate and number of employed decreased A simultaneous decrease in unemployment rate and number of employed at the end of 2016 may seem illogical, yet only at a first glance. In fact, the situation in the labour market continues to improve according to expectations. Thu, 23 Feb 2017 16:40:00 +0200 1487860800 Prices of standard-design apartments in Riga grow 7.6% in 2016 Prices of standard-design apartments in Riga rose by 7.6% last year to EUR 706 per square meter on average, said Arco Real Estate board member Maris Laukalejs in a press conference on Thursday writes LETA/BNS. Thu, 23 Feb 2017 16:20:00 +0200 1487859600 Rietumu Has Started Cooperation with the Leading German Platform for Placement of Deposits Rietumu Bank started cooperating with ZINSPILOT – the Germany's largest platform for placement of deposits. Rietumu Bank is the first bank in Latvia to launch such FinTech project. Thu, 23 Feb 2017 15:30:00 +0200 1487856600 MPs file bill to ban fur farms in Estonia Social Democrat MP Barbi Pilvre on Thursday handed to the board of the Estonian parliament a bill that would outlaw fur farms in Estonia from Jan. 1, 2028, writes LETA/BNS. Thu, 23 Feb 2017 13:15:00 +0200 1487848500 Nord Stream 2 Awards Pipelay Contract to Allseas Offshore pipelay capacities secured for both line.Further important milestone for the Nord Stream 2 project. Dynamically-positioned vessels will operate without anchors for environmental protection in the Baltic Sea. Thu, 23 Feb 2017 13:00:00 +0200 1487847600 Pending tax reform in Latvia to be based on higher capital gains taxes and lower labor taxes A tax reform that is being planned for Latvia could be based on increasing capital gains tax and reducing labor taxes, reports LETA/BNS. Thu, 23 Feb 2017 12:50:00 +0200 1487847000 The amount the Kyrgyz Government owes to Valeri Belokon has increased by US$1.5 million The statement by the Kyrgyz Government that the Paris Court of Appeals has annulled the international arbitration award in favor of V. Belokon is not correct. International arbitration awards may not be appealed. In the two years since the handing down of the international arbitration award over the expropriation of Manas Bank the amount the Kyrgyz Government owes to Valeri Belokon has increased by US$1.5 mln and now totals US$17.78 mln, accordgin to information from Belokon Holdings. Thu, 23 Feb 2017 12:50:00 +0200 1487847000 Natural gas offer from Lithuania last year was cheaper than from Latvijas Gaze Natural gas offer from Lithuania in most of the periods last year was cheaper than the offer of Latvijas Gaze natural gas utility, said Latvenergo power company's board member Maris Kunickis in a forum on energy supplies on Thursday writes LETA. Thu, 23 Feb 2017 12:40:00 +0200 1487846400 Commission launches European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2017 oday the European Commission launched the 2017 edition of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards, a competition to reward the most imaginative and successful initiatives from public bodies and public-private partnerships that support entrepreneurship and small and medium-sized enterprises in Europe, EC announced. Thu, 23 Feb 2017 12:30:00 +0200 1487845800 Vilnius regional prosecutor's office being searched Law-enforcement officials on Thursday are conducting searches at the Vilnius Regional Prosecutor's Office, according to information available to LETA/BNS. Thu, 23 Feb 2017 12:30:00 +0200 1487845800 Lithuanian ruling party's mayor in Panevezys district suspected of abuse of office Lithuania's Special Investigation Service (SIS) has brought suspicions of abuse of office against Panevezys District Mayor Povilas Zagunis of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU) as part of a probe into the local authority's public procurement activities, reports LETGA/BNS. Wed, 22 Feb 2017 21:00:00 +0200 1487790000 Estonia has one of best performing labor markets in EU he European Commission said in its annual analysis published on Wednesday that while Estonia has one of the best performing labor markets in the European Union, but its declining working-age population and the continuing increase of labor costs per worker might reduce the country's competitive ability, reports LETA/BNS. Wed, 22 Feb 2017 19:10:00 +0200 1487783400 800 million euro to be invested in Skanste – the modern center of Riga The plan for the future of Skanste neighborhood entails developing this area into the modern center of Riga as defined in Riga City development documents and contained in our, i.e., Skanste Development Agency, vision. Wed, 22 Feb 2017 19:00:00 +0200 1487782800 Estonian govt planning strategic investments worth EUR 315 mln Estonian Minister of Finance Sven Sester has proposed to the government to plan strategic investments that increase Estonia's competitive ability and defense ability in the amount of 315 mln euros in 2018-2020. Wed, 22 Feb 2017 18:50:00 +0200 1487782200 Latvian corruption watchdog closes so-called oligarch case The Latvian Corruption Prevention Bureau (KNAB) reported that the so-called oligarch case had been closed because of the lack of constituent elements of a criminal offense, wirites LETA. Wed, 22 Feb 2017 18:20:00 +0200 1487780400 HKScan to increase exports from N Estonia's Rakvere plant to New Zealand The listed Finnish meat group HKScan is to increase exports from its Rakvere meatpacking factory in northern Estonia to New Zealand to 100 tons a month. Wed, 22 Feb 2017 18:20:00 +0200 1487780400 Latvia's Jan annual inflation among EU's highest Latvia's harmonized annual inflation was among the highest in the European Union (EU) in January, Eurostat said on Wednesday. Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:50:00 +0200 1487760600 Israel-capital Blender entering Lithuania's p2p lending market srael-capital company blender intends to join the Lithuanian peer-to-peer lending market after operating as provider of consumer credits in the country for six months, according to Verslo Zinios business daily writes LETA/BNS. Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:50:00 +0200 1487760600 Lithuanian energmin to ask about Latvian stance on Astravyets Amid the discussions in Lithuania on ways to halt the construction of the Astravyets Nuclear Power Plant (INPP) in Belarus, Lithuania's Energy Minister Zygimantas Vaiciunas is addressing the issue in Latvia on Wednesday, reports LETA/BNS. Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:50:00 +0200 1487760600 Sweden's Ikea owns 38,000 hectares of forest in Baltic states Sweden's Ikea group currently owns 38,000 hectares of forest in the three Baltic states, which is a rise by 52% from what the group announced last September, Verslo Zinios business daily said citing LETA/BNS. Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:40:00 +0200 1487760000 Health for all at every stage of life: SDGs in practice Global leaders have recognized 17 most important world’s issues to be resolve by 2030. They are called Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs and health is among most vital for humanity. It is ranked third in priorities and all countries has to make “health for all” a priority in national development. Practical efforts released by a Danish “health engineer” are the good and valuable steps in the right direction. Wed, 22 Feb 2017 10:20:00 +0200 1487751600 39% of residents would leave Latvia in case of Russian invasion Should Russia attack Latvia, 39 percent of residents would either do nothing or leave the country, according to a public opinion survey carried out by SKDS for the Defense Ministry writes LETA. Tue, 21 Feb 2017 21:00:00 +0200 1487703600 Resident deposits at Latvian banks reach historically highest level in 2016 Resident deposits at Latvian banks increased by 12.6 percent or EUR 1.4 bln in 2016, reaching the historically highest level or EUR 12.2 bln at the end of the year, according to the Latvian financial regulator, the Finance and Capital Market Commission. Tue, 21 Feb 2017 19:30:00 +0200 1487698200 Government considers suing Grindex shareholders over sale of the company's state-owned shares The government considers taking two large shareholders of Latvia's Grindex pharmaceutical group to court for selling the company's state-owned shares, allegedly causing a EUR 2 mln loss to the state as a result. Tue, 21 Feb 2017 19:20:00 +0200 1487697600 M. Kučinskis and Brexit Minister agree on inviolability of interests of Latvia's residents working in UK On Tuesday 21 February, Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis held a meeting with David Davis, Minister for Exiting the European Union (EU) in Rīga. Tue, 21 Feb 2017 15:20:00 +0200 1487683200 UniPark buys Citypark Eesti Stova, a Lithuanian company that provides car parking services under the UniPark brand, has purchased Citypark Eesti, the owner of around 6,500 parking spaces in Tallinn, reports LETA/BNS. Tue, 21 Feb 2017 14:10:00 +0200 1487679000 Klaipeda lags behind Riga in container traffic in January Klaipeda lagged behind Riga in terms of container traffic in January, the Lithuanian seaport's authority said LETA/BNS. Tue, 21 Feb 2017 14:00:00 +0200 1487678400 Electricity consumption in Lithuania: highest in a quarter of a century In 2016, the final electricity consumption in Lithuania totalled 10.47 kilowatt hours (or 10.47 terawatt hours, TWh). A record growth in the consumption was observed last year: residents, businesses, agriculture and transport used 4.5% more electricity compared to 2015. The growth rate in agriculture was as high as 8.4%, service sector 5.7%, residents 4.3%, and transport sector 4%. The lowest year-on-year growth rate (3.5%) was recorded in the industrial sector. Tue, 21 Feb 2017 13:40:00 +0200 1487677200 Honda to recall 4,800 cars in Estonia Honda Baltic is to recall around 4,800 of Honda's 2004-2010 models in Estonia which might have problems with airbags. Tue, 21 Feb 2017 13:30:00 +0200 1487676600 Municipal water supplier sells HQ in Vilnius' Old Town for EUR 3.9 mln The municipal water supplier Vilniaus Vandenys (Vilnius Water) sold its headquarters in Vilnius' Old Town to the Danish-owned property developer Asgaard Property for 3.9 mln euros in an auction on Tuesday. Tue, 21 Feb 2017 13:00:00 +0200 1487674800 Latvian banks show higher profitability than EU average Latvian banks' profitability figure is higher than in the European Union on average, Peteris Putnins, chairman of the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC), said at a news conference today citing LETA. Tue, 21 Feb 2017 12:50:00 +0200 1487674200 Latvian exports creep forward in a determined way According to the data of the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB), the turnover value of the external trade of Latvian goods in December dropped by 2.6% month-on-month, with goods exports dropping by 8.8% and imports increasing by 11.4%. Year-on-year, the goods export and import values posted positive growth by, respectively, 7.6% and 11.4%, which should be considered a good performance. Mon, 20 Feb 2017 20:50:00 +0200 1487616600 Bank of Lithuania to operate not only as heavy-handed demanding regulator The absolute majority of financial market participants supervised by the Bank of Lithuania acknowledge that supervision by the central bank is effective, while the respondents assess highly the competence and behaviour of the supervisory staff – this is reflected in the results of the first survey of this kind. Market participants expect consultancy and assistance from the central bank, as well as quick response to inquiries and notifications, enhancement of submission of electronic documents. Mon, 20 Feb 2017 20:50:00 +0200 1487616600 Electricity prices in Lithuania drop w-o-w as demand falls Electricity prices across the Baltic Sea region went down last week as demand for power declined due to improved weather conditions, Litgrid said LETA/BNS on Monday. Mon, 20 Feb 2017 20:30:00 +0200 1487615400 UPB and Re&Re the only construction companies that meet requirements for building Liepaja Prison The only Latvian construction companies that at the moment meet the requirements on companies that want to apply for building a new prison in Liepaja are the joint-stock company UPB and Re&Re, both in terms of turnover and having the industrial security certificate, as LETA has found out. Mon, 20 Feb 2017 20:30:00 +0200 1487615400 Estonian Alexela's Paldiski LNG terminal not granted EU funding The Estonian Alexela Group failed to secure EU funding for its project to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Paldiski in last year's round of calls for energy proposals but plans to go ahead with the project and raise private capital if necessary, reports LETA/BNS. Mon, 20 Feb 2017 19:50:00 +0200 1487613000 Estonian defense contractor Milrem enters into partnership with UAE's defense industry The Estonian defense contractor Milrem has signed a memorandum of understanding with IGG Aselsan Integrated Systems (IAIS), a joint venture of the United Arab Emirates' International Golden Group and Turkey's Aselsan, informes LETA/BNS. Mon, 20 Feb 2017 19:50:00 +0200 1487613000 Icebreaker has assisted ships 151 times off Parnu EVA-316, the multipurpose vessel of the Estonian Maritime Administration that has been breaking ice on ship routes to the southwestern port of Parnu since Jan. 10 has assisted ships on 151 occasions, spending 241,000 liters of fuel in the process, informs LETA/BNS. Mon, 20 Feb 2017 19:35:00 +0200 1487612100 Latvia earned EUR 8.5 mln from Estonians' alcohol purchases The Estonian Institute of Economic Research (EKI) estimates that approximately EUR 8.5 mln of revenue generated by Estonians' alcohol purchases flowed into the Latvian state budget last year, writes LETA/BNS. Mon, 20 Feb 2017 19:30:00 +0200 1487611800 Margit Sutrop to challenge incumbent Volli Kalm in UT rectoral vote The committee for the election of the rector of the University of Tartu on Monday registered incumbent rector Volli Kalm and Professor Margit Sutrop as candidates for the election to be held at the end of next month. Mon, 20 Feb 2017 19:20:00 +0200 1487611200 Police open criminal investigation into last week's accident at Riga airport The State Police have started a criminal investigation into an accident in which a Vim Airlines plane skidded off the runway at Riga International Airport last Friday, LETA was told at the police. Mon, 20 Feb 2017 18:50:00 +0200 1487609400 Estonian IT company Helmes wins software tender of OECD The Estonian software company Helmes has won a framework tender for information systems development of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, reports LETA/BNS. Mon, 20 Feb 2017 15:10:00 +0200 1487596200 Renewable energy investments amount to EUR 70 mln in 2016 According to data of the Estonian Renewable Energy Association, new renewable electricity capacity added last year totaled 42.19 megawatts or approximately as much as in three preceding years combined, and investments in renewable energy amounted to 70 mln euros. Mon, 20 Feb 2017 15:00:00 +0200 1487595600 Orkla Confectionery&Snacks Latvija boosts zephyr export to 52% Orkla Confectionery&Snacks Latvija has increased exports of Maigums zephyrs to 52 percent of the zephyr output, and the increase has been ensured by rise of sales in such markets as Israel, Ireland and Greece, the company reported LETA. Mon, 20 Feb 2017 14:45:00 +0200 1487594700 EU’s future from the Parliament’s plenum in Strasbourg Heated debate about the EU’s future in the European Parliament recently showed that the EU faced big shocks if reforms were not introduced urgently. Three separate reports were debated in Strasbourg’s plenary prepared by most influential party groupings: socialist, Christian democrats and liberal democrats. Mon, 20 Feb 2017 14:00:00 +0200 1487592000 Baltic Dairy Board has sent its first shipment to US Latvian dairy company Baltic Dairy Board in mid-February has sent its first shipment of first milk protein concentrate to the US, the company said in a statement to the Nasdaq Riga stock exchange. Mon, 20 Feb 2017 12:00:00 +0200 1487584800 The number of building permits issued and new buildings completed increased in Lithhiania Statistics Lithuania informs that, based on the data from the Building Permits and State Construction Supervision Information System of the Republic of Lithuania (IS) Infostatyba, in IV quarter 2016, against IV quarter 2015, the number of building permits issued increased by 13.8%, of which for the construction of new residential buildings – by 27.9%. Fri, 17 Feb 2017 19:50:00 +0200 1487353800 Lithuania posts EU's biggest q-o-q construction growth Lithuania in the fourth quarter of 2016 registered the largest quarterly increase in construction output in the European Union, figures from the EU statistical office Eurostat showed on Friday. Fri, 17 Feb 2017 19:30:00 +0200 1487352600 Financing conditions are favourable for economic growth in Estonia The availability of financing of companies is aided by good access to bank lending, low interest rates, and profits built up earlier Companies are borrowing more than before from Estonia, and less from abroad Growth in household loans accelerated in 2016, but remained slower than growth in incomes and savings. The loan portfolio to companies and households will grow by around 5% in the years ahead, which is about the same rate as nominal GDP Fri, 17 Feb 2017 19:00:00 +0200 1487350800 Health Inspectorate says new Stradins Hospital wing ready to be put in operation The Health Inspectorate has concluded after inspecting the new wing of Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital that the new facility may officially open as the past faults ascertained at the building have been solved, as the inspectorate told LETA. Fri, 17 Feb 2017 18:00:00 +0200 1487347200 Criminal probe launched to investigate failure to conduct border checks at Riga Airport The State Border Guard has launched a criminal probe to investigate a failure to check the passports of 38 air passengers who had flown into Riga International Airport from London and were directed to the airport’s Schengen terminal where they did not have to undergo border checks, LETA was told at the State Border Guard. Fri, 17 Feb 2017 16:50:00 +0200 1487343000 Cereal cropland in Latvia increased significantly – by 6.5 % Provisional data of the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that 716.0 thousand hectares of land were covered with cereals in 2016 – 43.6 thousand hectares or 6.5 % more than in 2015, leading to the largest cereal cropland area observed since 1984. Harvested production of grain has diminished; half of the harvested winter wheat were produced in Zemgale Fri, 17 Feb 2017 16:50:00 +0200 1487343000 Russian startup aims to build small-scale LNG terminals around Baltic Sea Alongside Gazprombank-controlled Cryogas, which supplies LNG to Eesti Gaas, LNG Gorskaya, a relatively small privately-owned Russian energy company, is entering the Baltic LNG sector with plans to build small-scale LNG terminals around the Baltic Sea to deliver fuel to ships sailing in the sea, the business daily Verslo Zinios reported on Friday writes LETA/BNS. Fri, 17 Feb 2017 16:30:00 +0200 1487341800 Lithuanian move to ban RTR Planeta broadcast in line with EU law The Lithuanian decision to ban broadcasts of the Russian television channel RTR Planeta for instigation of hatred is not in violation of the European Union's (EU) law, the European Commission said on Friday, writes LETA. Fri, 17 Feb 2017 16:20:00 +0200 1487341200 Several airBaltic flights delayed, cancelled or diverted due to incident at Riga Airport Due to today's incident at Riga Airport, a dozen or so airBaltic flights have been either delayed, cancelled or diverted, the airline's spokesman Janis Vanags informed LETA. Fri, 17 Feb 2017 16:20:00 +0200 1487341200 Riga International Airport resumes work Riga International Airport is up and running as normal again after the airport's work was halted when an aircraft skidded on a runway before takeoff earlier today. Fri, 17 Feb 2017 16:10:00 +0200 1487340600