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 Sat, 19 Aug 2017 16:03:42 +0300 Baltic Course, The baltic-course@baltic-course.com dmitrijs@mansbirojs.lv Unemployment: lowest in the last 9 years in Latvia http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/direct_speech/?doc=132364 The labour force survey data received today are not surprising: unemployment in Latvia continues to drop. At 8.9%, unemployment rate is the lowest since 2008 and lower than Latvia’s historical average. It is also slightly lower than the current euro area average. Moreover, unemployment may have even dropped slightly below the natural rate (Fig. 1). Fri, 18 Aug 2017 18:00:00 +0300 1503068400 During the Port Festival Rigans invited to reach the new cargo turnover record http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132362 Every day around 95,000 tons of cargo are transhipped at the port of Riga. This weekend, every visitor of the Port of Riga will be able to participate in the transhipment of cargo at the Freeport of Riga, thus inviting everyone to achieve together a new record for the volume of cargo ever transhipped in Riga. As is known, the Port of Riga is the largest port of Latvia and the second largest port in the Baltics, which tranships an average of 38 million tons of cargo per year, reported BC port’s press service. Fri, 18 Aug 2017 16:00:00 +0300 1503061200 Parnu Council to cover expenses of airport by up to EUR 400,000 per year http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=132363 Council of the city of Parnu on August 17th agreed to cover the expenses of Parnu airport in the amount of up to 400,000 euros a year from 2020 onwards, but the council will decide the exact amount when approving the budget of each year, the regional daily Parnu Postimees writes, cites LETA/BNS. Fri, 18 Aug 2017 16:00:00 +0300 1503061200 6,100 Latvian families with children have used government support to buy housing http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=132361 Development Finance Institution Altum (Altum) has so far granted over 6,100 loan guarantees under the government support program helping families with children buy their first housing, Altum representatives told LETA. Fri, 18 Aug 2017 15:00:00 +0300 1503057600 Energy Advice opens office in India, eyes further expansion http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132359 Lithuania's Energy Advice, the developer and supplier of the power system modeling and fault analysis software EA-PSM, last year opened an office in India together with its local partners, the daily Kauno Diena reported on August 18th, cites LETA/BNS. Fri, 18 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +0300 1503050400 EVR Cargo okays continuing with Russia freight car business http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=132360 The supervisory board of the Estonian state-owned rail cargo operator EVR Cargo on August 17th approved the plan of expanding its freight car business in Russia and the company is planning to move forward with the business once the Estonian government has agreed to it, the daily Postimees writes, cites LETA/BNS. Fri, 18 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +0300 1503050400 Ambassador Riekstins: relations between Latvia and Russia are not easy http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/baltic_states_cis/?doc=132348 Relations between Latvia and Russia are not easy but it is a diplomat’s mission to talk and seek common ground, Latvian ambassador-designate to Russia Maris Riekstins said in an interview with LNT commercial TV channel this morning, cites LETA. Fri, 18 Aug 2017 12:10:00 +0300 1503047400 Circle K and Neste top list of Latvia’s largest fuel retailers in H1 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=132351 Traditional market leaders - Circle K Latvia (formerly Statoil Fuel & Retail Latvia) and Neste Latvija (Neste) - remained Latvia’s largest fuel retailers also in the first half of 2017, information from the excised goods administration of the State Revenue Service shows, cites LETA. Fri, 18 Aug 2017 12:10:00 +0300 1503047400 Revenue of Estonian A. Le Coq increased by 6% in H1 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132352 The sales revenue of the Estonian beverage maker A. Le Coq in the first six months of this year increased 6% on year to 43.8 million euros, while the volume of beverages sold by the company grew 3.1% to 67.2 million liters, reports LETA/BNS. Fri, 18 Aug 2017 12:10:00 +0300 1503047400 University of Tartu climbs 100 places on Academic Ranking http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/education/?doc=132340 The University of Tartu, which found itself on the prestigious Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), or the Shanghai Ranking, for the first time in 2016, climbed to 301-400 this year, reports LETA/BNS. Fri, 18 Aug 2017 12:00:00 +0300 1503046800 Export of Latvia’s ICT services rises to EUR 137 mln in Q1 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132344 Latvia's export of information and communications technology (ICT) services amounted to EUR 137 million in the first quarter of the year 2017, which is 18% more than in the first quarter of 2016, according to the Bank of Latvia's data. Fri, 18 Aug 2017 12:00:00 +0300 1503046800 Rail Baltica joins Estonian declaration of intent on Digital Construction http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=132345 The Rail Baltica project has joined the Estonian Declaration of Intent on Digital Construction, which means that Rail Baltica will seek to implement Building Information Modeling and Management (BIM) in all stages of the project life-cycle, informs LETA/BNS. Fri, 18 Aug 2017 12:00:00 +0300 1503046800 Lithuanian accused of swindling Facebook, Google handed over to US officials http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=132346 Evaldas Rimasauskas, a Lithuanian national accused of defrauding the US-based IT giants Facebook and Google of over 100 million US dollars via an email fraud scheme, on August 16th was turned over to American officials, the Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau confirmed to BNS/LETA. Fri, 18 Aug 2017 12:00:00 +0300 1503046800 Latvia's fiscal space now estimated at EUR 60 million in 2018 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/finances/?doc=132349 Latvia’s fiscal space for 2018 is now projected at an estimated EUR 60 million, Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola (Greens/Farmers) told LETA. Fri, 18 Aug 2017 12:00:00 +0300 1503046800 Lithuania posts EU's highest annual inflation in July http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=132343 Lithuania registered the EU's highest annual inflation rate for July 2017, figures from the EU statistical office Eurostat showed on Thursday, cites LETA/BNS. Fri, 18 Aug 2017 11:30:00 +0300 1503045000 Ergo profit in Baltics amounts to EUR 3.43 mln in H1 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/finances/?doc=132338 Insurance company Ergo operated with a profit of EUR 3.43 million in the Baltic countries during the first six months of this year, which is approximately 38% more than in the first half of 2016, the company's communications manager Agnese Grinberga told LETA. Fri, 18 Aug 2017 11:00:00 +0300 1503043200 Latvians' overall mood has become more upbeat http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=132339 The overall mood of Latvia’s residents has become more upbeat lately, Teika Lapsa, a spokeswoman for Baltic International Bank, told LETA citing the bank’s latest Latvian Barometer survey. Fri, 18 Aug 2017 11:00:00 +0300 1503043200 All 3 Baltic countries post annual growth of H1 exports http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132341 All three Baltic countries posted year-on-year growth in exports for the first half of 2017, figures from the EU statistical office Eurostat showed on August 16th, cites LETA/BNS. Fri, 18 Aug 2017 11:00:00 +0300 1503043200 Many potential tenants struggle to find suitable offices for rent in Riga http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/real_estate/?doc=132342 Demand on the Riga office market slightly exceeds supply, but activity on the rental market is relatively low as many potential tenants are struggling to find premises that would meet their requirements, Ober-Haus real estate company said in its latest office market review, cites LETA. Fri, 18 Aug 2017 11:00:00 +0300 1503043200 Latvian fuel sales rise 6.8% in H1 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132336 With 642,341 tons of oil products (fuel) sold in Latvia in the first half of 2017, fuel sales picked up 6.84% or 41,000 tons against the same period in 2016, reports LETA, according to the information from the Excise Goods Administration of the Latvian State Revenue Service. Fri, 18 Aug 2017 10:00:00 +0300 1503039600 Under existing law SRS cannot conclude agreement on using mediation in dispute with ss.lv http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/Technology/?doc=132337 The existing laws do not allow the State Revenue Service to conclude an agreement on using mediation to resolve its dispute with SIA Internet, which operates Latvia’s largest classified advertisements website ss.lv, or with any other taxpayer, LETA was told at the Revenue Service’s PR department. Fri, 18 Aug 2017 10:00:00 +0300 1503039600 Latvian beer output grew by 12.4% in H1 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132333 During the first six months of 2017 Latvian breweries produced 45.995 million liters of beer, which was 12.04% more than in the same period last year, writes LETA, according to the information from the Excise Goods Administration of the Latvian State Revenue Service. Fri, 18 Aug 2017 09:00:00 +0300 1503036000 Government endorses Estonia's financial report for 2016 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=132334 The government has approved the financial report of the Estonian state for 2016, which offers an overview of the achievement of the goals set out in the state budget, the financial standing of the state, economic performance and cash flows, cites LETA/BNS. Fri, 18 Aug 2017 09:00:00 +0300 1503036000 Fortum businesses top list of recipients of renewable energy subsidy in Estonia in July http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/energy/?doc=132335 Companies of Fortum Eesti group were the biggest recipients of renewable energy support and high-efficiency cogeneration support in Estonia in July 2017, receiving altogether 1.7 million euros, writes LETA. Fri, 18 Aug 2017 09:00:00 +0300 1503036000 Lithuanian PM: exporting oil products via Russia dangerous for Belarus http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=132318 If Moscow forced Minsk to export its oil products via Russian railways and ports, that would be economically unviable and dangerous for Belarus, Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said on August 17th, cites LETA/BNS. Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:00:00 +0300 1502971200 Lithuanian producers get opportunity to export organic products to China http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132319 Lithuanian producers will be able to export organic products to China if they are certified as meeting the Asian country's standards, informs LETA/BNS. Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:00:00 +0300 1502971200 Only Estonia saw households' expenses rise in Baltics in July http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=132316 The dynamics of average monthly household expenses was different in the three Baltic countries in July 2017, with downward movements compared with the preceding month registered in Latvia and Lithuania and a minor increase in Estonia, it appears froma survey by Baltic Market Insights (Baltmi), cites LETA/BNS. Thu, 17 Aug 2017 14:00:00 +0300 1502967600 Renerga in Lithuania wants to increase wind energy production http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132313 Renerga, a renewable energy arm of Achemos Grupe (Achema Group), one of Lithuania's largest business groups, plans to boost wind energy generation, the daily Lietuvos Zinios reported on Thursday, cites LETA/BNS. Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:30:00 +0300 1502965800 Latvian gasoline and diesel fuel imports drop in H1 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/energy/?doc=132311 During the first half of 2017, Latvian gasoline imports dropped 9.5% from the first six months of 2016, while diesel fuel imports declined 2.7% year-on-year, the Central Statistical Bureau reported LETA. Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +0300 1502964000 Olsson & Nielssen Nordic planning solar plant with 4,500 panels in Estonia http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132312 An Estonian owned company, Olsson & Nielssen Nordic OU, is set to build an electricity generating plant with 4,500 solar power panels in the small town of Peetri in Jarva county, regional newspaper Jarva Teataja reported, cites LETA/BNS. Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +0300 1502964000 Lithuania's budget revenue EUR 154 mln above target in 7 months http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/finances/?doc=132317 Lithuania's central government and local authorities collected a total of 4.74 billion euros in budget revenue in January through July 2017, some 153.8 million euros, or 3.4%, more than planned, reports LETA/BNS. Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +0300 1502964000 Image of Vilnius' Gate of Dawn losing popularity concerning design of Polish passports http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=132310 The background image the Gate of Dawn in Vilnius is losing popularity as a possible choice for the design of new Polish passports, according to the latest results of online voting, informs LETA/BNS. Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:40:00 +0300 1502962800 USAID: viability of Estonian civil society declined in 2016 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=132301 Estonia once again tops the Civil Society Organization (CSO) Sustainability Index for Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia for 2016 published by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), although this time Estonia is among the countries where after years of fast development a setback can be seen, writes LETA/BNS. Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:30:00 +0300 1502962200 Latvian Police bust organized group illegally selling luxury cars http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=132305 The Financial Police of the State Revenue Service in August 2017 busted an organized group that had been illegally selling luxury automobiles and household equipment, avoiding to pay more than EUR 2.8 million in value added tax (VAT), LETA was told at the Revenue Service. Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:10:00 +0300 1502961000 Over 18,700 first graders to start school in Latvia in 2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/education/?doc=132294 As many as 18,744 first graders will start school in Latvia in 2017, informs LETA, according to the Education and Science Ministry’s data. Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:00:00 +0300 1502960400 Beta testing of updated e-voting system started in Estonia http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=132296 The beta testing of Estonia's updated e-voting environment at www.valimised.ee started on August 16th in preparation for the fall municipal elections, informs LETA/BNS. Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:00:00 +0300 1502960400 The Digital Freedom Festival and LatBAN announce an invitation to a startup competition http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/forums/?doc=132300 The Digital Freedom Festival, in cooperation with the association Latvian Business Angel Network (LatBAN), announces an invitation to pre-seed startups to submit applications for the November Investment Session. For the first time, the top 10 startups will have an opportunity to present their business ideas to Latvian and international business angels at the Digital Freedom Festival taking place on November 28. It is anticipated that the festival will welcome up to 1300 participants from the whole region, including investors, corporate executives and journalists, informed BC Digital Freedom Festival Press Secretary Inga Tauriņa. Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:00:00 +0300 1502960400 Muuga suitable for Rail Baltica multimodal cargo terminal http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=132302 Estonian Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kadri Simson on August 16th visited the port of Muuga where she inspected the port's infrastructure and said that the port is a suitable location for the multimodal cargo terminal, which is to be one end of the Rail Baltica high-speed railway route, informs LETA/BNS. Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:00:00 +0300 1502960400 airBaltic flies 20% more passengers in January-July http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132303 Latvian national carrier airBaltic flew 1,958,774 passengers in the first seven months of 2017, which was a 20% increase against the respective period in 2016, LETA was told at the company. Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:00:00 +0300 1502960400 Coop's e-store to create own food delivery service in Estonia http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132298 While the Estonian state-owned logistics company Eesti Post AS operating under the Omniva brand on August 16th announced that it will stop offering food delivery services to retail chains, the e-store of the Estonian retailer Coop is to create its own delivery service starting from September 2017, informs LETA/BNS. Thu, 17 Aug 2017 11:00:00 +0300 1502956800 Latvian Railroad not to pay dividends from 2016 profit http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=132299 Latvian state-owned Latvijas Dzelzcels (Latvian Railroad) railway company will not pay dividends into the state budget from the profit of 2016, but will spend its profit on infrastructure investment projects, the government decided on August 16th, cites LETA. Thu, 17 Aug 2017 11:00:00 +0300 1502956800 The IT Channel Company seeks 23% stake in 1ClickFactory http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/Technology/?doc=132297 The IT Channel Company, a Dutch IT group, is seeking to buy a 23% stake in the IT company 1ClickFactory from Volternas, a Lithuanian firm controlled by the Milaknis family, and the Danish investment firm Sfink Invest, cites LETA/BNS. Thu, 17 Aug 2017 10:20:00 +0300 1502954400 Saab signs contract with Estonian defense forces for delivery of training equipment http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=132295 Defense and security company Saab has signed a contract with the Estonian defense forces to deliver BT46 training systems to the defense forces and hand them over in 2018, writes LETA/BNS. Thu, 17 Aug 2017 10:00:00 +0300 1502953200 Estonian medicines market expands 2% to EUR 74.7 mln in Q2 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132291 The volume of the Estonian human and veterinary medicines market in the second quarter of 2017 increased 2% to 74.7 million euros, reports LETA/BNS. Thu, 17 Aug 2017 09:00:00 +0300 1502949600 Lithuanian PM hails progress in relations with Poland http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/baltic_states/?doc=132292 Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis says that Vilnius and Warsaw are gradually moving to a new stage of better relations and hopes that Lithuanian politicians will solve the highly contentious issue of the spelling of Polish names in Lithuanian personal documents, reports LETA/BNS. Thu, 17 Aug 2017 09:00:00 +0300 1502949600 Potential investors in KVV Liepajas Metalurgs steelworks are from third countries http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=132293 Potential investors in insolvent KVV Liepajas Metalurgs steelworks are from third countries, said Latvian Economics Minister Arvils Aseradens (Unity) in an interview with the Latvia public television, writes LETA. Thu, 17 Aug 2017 09:00:00 +0300 1502949600 Latvia shows EU's second fastest economic growth in Q2 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=132282 During the second quarter of the year 2017 Latvia showed the second fastest economic growth against the same period last year, according to preliminary data on 21 EU member states, released by Eurostat today, cites LETA. Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:00:00 +0300 1502888400 28.7% Latvian family physicians have so far agreements on use of e-health system http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=132276 So far 28.7% of 378 family physicians have signed agreement on joining the Unified Electronic Information System of the Health Sector, or e-health system, informs LETA, according to the National Health Service's data. Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:00:00 +0300 1502881200 Estonian PM hails Turkey for providing decent living environment to refugees http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=132278 Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas on August 15th looked at the work of the representation of the UN International Organization for Migration (UN/IOM) in the town of Gaziantep in Turkey near the Syrian border and the living conditions of refugees in the Nizip container city, and praised the activity of Turkey in providing refugees with a decent living environment, reports LETA/BNS. Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:00:00 +0300 1502881200 SAF Tehnika reports profit of EUR 1.733 mln for 2016-2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132273 Latvia's SAF Tehnika telecommunications equipment group generated EUR 17.048 million in turnover in its financial year from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017, which was a rise by 24.4% from the previous financial year, and its profit increased by 87.3% to EUR 1.733 million, writes LETA, according to the interim financial report submitted to the Nasdaq Riga stock exchange. Wed, 16 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +0300 1502877600 Latvians need EUR 3,342 monthly to fulfill all dreams http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=132274 The average monthly amount that a person living in Latvia needs to fulfill all one’s dreams is 3,342 euros, informs LETA, according to the poll conducted by SKDS pollster. Wed, 16 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +0300 1502877600 Russia's Sistema buys stake in Lithuanian Laserpas http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=132275 A company of Russia's investment group Sistema has purchased a 50% stake in Lithuania's commercial drone operator Laserpas from Avia Solutions Group, the business daily Verslo Zinios reported on August 16ht, cites LETA/BNS. Wed, 16 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +0300 1502877600 Estonian Inbank earns EUR 5.7 mln profit in H1 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/finances/?doc=132259 Inbank, the financial services company that started operations in April 2015 and that has evolved from the Cofi financial technology startup established in 2011, earned a profit of 5.7 million euros in the first six months of this year, marking a 429.4% increase compared to the year before, reports LETA/BNS. Wed, 16 Aug 2017 12:00:00 +0300 1502874000 Preliminary sales of Olainfarm pharmaceutical company reached EUR 67.9 mln in 7 months http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=132264 In seven months of 2017, according to preliminary consolidated numbers, sales of Latvia’s Olainfarm pharmaceutical company reached EUR 67.9 million, which represents an increase by 7% compared to seven months of 2016, according to the company’s statement to the Nasdaq Riga stock exchange, cites LETA. Wed, 16 Aug 2017 12:00:00 +0300 1502874000 SEB: unemployment level in Latvia might drop to 8.6% by end-2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=132265 Unemployment level in Latvia by the end of this year might drop to 8.6%, but at the end of 2018 it might reach 7.4%, said SEB Banka macroeconomic expert Dainis Gaspuitis, commenting on the latest unemployment figures, cites LETA. Wed, 16 Aug 2017 12:00:00 +0300 1502874000 Riga Food 2017 to be held in September http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/forums/?doc=132266 The Baltic's biggest food industry event Riga Food 2017 offering an ambitious exhibition of international and domestic companies and organizations, masters and food competitions, news presentations, educational seminars, exciting shows, master classes and tastings takes place at Kipsala International Exhibition Centre, Riga, Latvia from 6–9 September. Wed, 16 Aug 2017 12:00:00 +0300 1502874000 Cargo turnover of Latvian ports rises 4.3% in 7 months http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132267 In the first seven months of 2017, Latvian ports reloaded 38.204 million tons of cargo, which was a 4.3% increase against the same period in 2016, informs LETA, according to information released by the Transport Ministry. Wed, 16 Aug 2017 12:00:00 +0300 1502874000 Latvia and Russia reach agreement on freight transportation, historians' meeting http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132263 Latvia and Russia on August 15th agreed to step up cooperation in transport and ensure uninterrupted freight transportation, as well as to organize a meeting of the two countries’ historians by the end of this year, Latvian Transport Minister Uldis Augulis (Greens/Farmers), who co-chaired a meeting of the Latvian-Russian intergovernmental commission in Riga, told reporters after the talks, writes LETA. Wed, 16 Aug 2017 11:30:00 +0300 1502872200 Criminal gang detained in Latvia had swindled more than EUR 2 mln from China http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=132261 The criminal gang detained in Latvia on August 14th had swindled more than EUR 2 million from residents of China, said Criminal Police chief Janis Lazdins in a press conference on August 15th, cites LETA. Wed, 16 Aug 2017 11:00:00 +0300 1502870400 Talks with KVV Liepajas Metalurgs’ potential buyers to be completed in August http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=132262 Talks with the potential buyers of Latvia’s insolvent steel company KVV Liepajas Metalurgs will be completed by the end of August, Dzintars Hmielevskis, a representative of the company’s insolvency administrator, told LETA. Wed, 16 Aug 2017 11:00:00 +0300 1502870400 Lage Ko makes more than EUR 0.5 mln in profit in 2016 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132258 Company Lage Ko, which runs the network of Gan Bei restaurants that in 2014 came under close scrutiny for tampering with cash registers and tax evasion, made EUR 585,173 in profit in 2016 after posting EUR 276,347 in losses in 2014, while the company's turnover decreased 3.1% to EUR 15.66 million, informs LETA. Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:30:00 +0300 1502868600 Latvia, Russia agree on exchange of additional 3,000 universal permits for truckers http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132260 Latvia and Russia have agreed on exchange of additional 3,000 universal permits for international cargo transportation and truckers will be able to receive them starting from September 2017, the Latvian Road Transport Directorate’s representative Zane Plone reported LETA. Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:30:00 +0300 1502868600 Rail freight in Latvia up 0.2% in 7 months http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132256 Freight transportation using the Latvian railway infrastructure amounted to 27.237 million tons in the first seven months of this year, up 0.2% from the same period in 2016, the state-owned railway company Latvijas Dzelzcels (LDz) said, cites LETA. Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:00:00 +0300 1502866800 Latvians' life satisfaction hits all-time high http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=132257 The life satisfaction levels of Latvia’s residents has hit an all-time high, a survey by SKDS pollster shows, cites LETA. Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:00:00 +0300 1502866800 airBaltic to launch new flights to Malaga, Lisbon, Split, Bordeaux and Gdansk for the summer 2018 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132253 Latvian national airline airBaltic has announced its first destinations for the summer season of 2018, starting on March 27, 2018, LETA was informed by the airline. Wed, 16 Aug 2017 09:00:00 +0300 1502863200 Prosecutor: criminals' assets should be given to law enforcement agencies in Estonia http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=132254 Estonian Prosecutor General Lavly Perling finds that criminal income confiscated from criminals could be directed into the development of law enforcement institutions, informs LETA/BNS. Wed, 16 Aug 2017 09:00:00 +0300 1502863200 Minister appoints new members to Estonian Railways supervisory board http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=132255 Estonia's Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kadri Simson at the proposal of the nomination committee recalled Tiit Riisalo from the supervisory board of the state-owned Estonian railway infrastructure company Estonian Railways (Eesti Raudtee) and appointed Siiri Lahe and Enn Veskimagi as new supervisory board members, reports LETA/BNS. Wed, 16 Aug 2017 09:00:00 +0300 1502863200 62.6% Latvia’s population were employed in Q2 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=132239 Results of the Labour Force Survey conducted by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that since the 2nd quarter of 2016 the employment rate has increased by 0.8 percentage points. Tue, 15 Aug 2017 19:00:00 +0300 1502812800 In Q2, Latvian unemployment rate fell to 8.9% http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=132235 Results of the Labour Force Survey conducted by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that in the 2nd quarter of 2017 the Latvian unemployment rate constituted 8.9%. Compared to the previous quarter, the unemployment rate decreased by 0.5 percentage points, whereas, compared to the same period of the year before – by 0.6 percentage points. Tue, 15 Aug 2017 18:00:00 +0300 1502809200 Latvian wood-processing companies raise turnover by 7-8% in H1 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132233 The Latvian wood-processing companies united in the industry association Latvijas Koks (Latvian Timber) raised their aggregate turnover by 7-8% year-on-year in the first half of 2017, the association’s executive director Arturs Bukonts told LETA. Tue, 15 Aug 2017 15:00:00 +0300 1502798400 Turnover of Aldaris brewery drops by 1.5% in 2016 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=132238 Latvian brewery Aldaris closed 2016 with EUR 25.857 million in turnover, down 1.5% from a year before, while its losses expanded by 21.6% year-on-year to EUR 3.178 million, writes LETA, according to information available at Firmas.lv. Tue, 15 Aug 2017 15:00:00 +0300 1502798400 The Freeport of Riga handled 20 mln tonnes of cargo in 7 months http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=132231 Over the first seven months of the year 2017, the Freeport of Riga handled 20 million tonnes of cargo. As compared to 2016, cargo turnover increased by 1.6% for dry bulk and by 11.5% for general cargo, including by 14.3% for container cargo. In turn, the volumes of handled liquid bulk cargo have also decreased at the port of Riga this year, taking into account market trends, informed BC port’s press service. Tue, 15 Aug 2017 14:00:00 +0300 1502794800 Half Estonian businesses expect profit to increase in 1 year http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=132232 A total of 58% of Estonian business operators expect their revenue to increase in the next 12 months, while 52% of the respondents anticipate an increase in profit during the same period of time, a survey by the financial services company Grant Thornton indicates, cites LETA/BNS. Tue, 15 Aug 2017 13:30:00 +0300 1502793000 Nordecon to build EUR 3.4 mln office building in tech park in Kiev http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132230 Eurocon Ukraine TOV, a Ukrainian subsidiary of the listed Estonian construction group Nordecon, and Kyiv Standartbud TOV have signed a contract for the construction of a seven-story office building in the Unit City technology park in Kiev for 3.4 million euros, reports LETA/BNS. Tue, 15 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +0300 1502791200 Merko to renovate Chinese embassy in Tallinn http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/real_estate/?doc=132229 The listed Estonian construction company Merko Ehitus is set to perform the renovation works of the official embassy residence and the construction of staff apartments of the Chinese embassy in Kadriorg for 6 million euros, reports LETA/BNS. Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:40:00 +0300 1502790000 The number of building permits issued in Lithuania increased by 5.3% in Q2 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132218 Statistics Lithuania informs that in II quarter 2017, against II quarter 2016, based on the data from the Building Permits and State Construction Supervision Information System of the Republic of Lithuania (IS) Infostatyba, the number of building permits issued increased by 5.3%, of which for the construction of residential buildings – by 3.4%. Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:30:00 +0300 1502789400 Lembergs, Sesks, Pozarnovs were highest-paid mayors in Latvia in 2016 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=132224 Ventspils Mayor Aivars Lembergs (For Latvia and Ventspils), Liepaja Mayor Uldis Sesks (Liepaja Party), and the new Baldone Region Council Chairman Andrejs Pozarnovs (Honor to Serve Our Latvia) are the highest-paid mayors in Latvia, writes LETA, according to the State Revenue Service's data based on municipal leaders' declarations for 2016. Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:30:00 +0300 1502789400 Riga port’s stevedore WT Terminal to take over Freja http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/transport/?doc=132220 WT Terminal, a stevedore company operating at the Freeport of Riga, is taking over Freja stevedore company, writes LETA, according to an announcement published in the official gazette Latvijas Vestnesis. Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:10:00 +0300 1502788200 1,083 schools, pre-schools in Latvia participated in Milk program in 2016-2017 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/education/?doc=132215 1,083 schools and pre-schools in Latvia with 235,447 children in 2016-2017 school year participated in the School Milk program co-fianced by the EU, which is 83% of the target audience, the Latvian Agricultural Ministry reported LETA. Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:00:00 +0300 1502787600 Latvia favors constructive cooperation with Russia in a number of areas http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/baltic_states_cis/?doc=132216 Latvia favors constructive and practical cooperation with Russia in a number of areas, Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis (Greens/Farmers) said yesterday during a meeting with Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov who co-chairs the Latvian-Russian intergovernmental commission, informs LETA. Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:00:00 +0300 1502787600 Limbazu Siers cheese maker sees turnover fall 36.7% in 2016 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=132217 Limbazu Siers cheese maker closed 2016 with EUR 5.204 million in turnover, down 36.7% from a year before, and a loss of EUR 917,129 in contrast to profit in 2015, writes LETA, according to information available at Firmas.lv. Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:00:00 +0300 1502787600 Cargo transportation by road has been growing steeply in 2017 in Latvia http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132219 Cargo transportation by road has been growing steeply this year, Transport Minister Uldis Augulis (Greens/Farmers) said in an interview with Latvian Television this morning, cites LETA. Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:00:00 +0300 1502787600 Skele family's investment management group makes EUR 9.1 mln profit in 2016 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/investments/?doc=132223 Sabiedriba Privatajiem Ieguldijumiem (Company for Private Investment), an investment management group controlled by the family of Latvia’s ex-premier Andris Skele, closed 2016 with EUR 13.305 million in turnover, up 1.3% from 2015, while the group’s profit surged to EUR 9.162 million, reports LETA, according to information available at Firmas.lv. Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:00:00 +0300 1502787600 Riga airport raises turnover of passengers by 10.1% in 7 months http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132212 During the first seven months of 2017, Riga International Airport received by 10.1% more passengers that in the same period a year ago, LETA was told at the airport. Tue, 15 Aug 2017 11:00:00 +0300 1502784000 Swedbank: number of Estonia's employed to continue growing in H2 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=132213 While in the second quarter of this year Estonia's unemployment rate and labor force participation rate increased 0.5% on year and the employment rate remained the same, in the second half of the year the number of employed should once again grow because bigger economic activity requires more workers, Swedbank said, cites LETA/BNS. Tue, 15 Aug 2017 11:00:00 +0300 1502784000 SEB in Latvia lends EUR 2 mln to Salmo Invest http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/real_estate/?doc=132214 SEB Banka has granted a EUR 2 million loan to Salmo Invest, a company of the fishing lure group Salmo, for the planned renovation and refurbishing its office building in Riga, the bank’s spokesman Martins Panke told LETA. Tue, 15 Aug 2017 11:00:00 +0300 1502784000 Up to 25% grain crops harvested in Lithuania http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=132211 After the start of harvesting in July 2017, about a fourth of the total area of grain crops and rape has been harvested in Lithuania so far, reports LETA/BNS. Tue, 15 Aug 2017 10:00:00 +0300 1502780400 EUR 300,000 allocated to 8 co-produced film projects in Latvia http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132208 The Latvian National Film Center has distributed a EUR 300,000 allocation to eight film projects Latvian film studios are co-producing with foreign filmmakers, LETA was told at the center. Tue, 15 Aug 2017 09:00:00 +0300 1502776800 Estonia's industrial production growth biggest in EU in July http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=132209 In June 2017, the seasonally adjusted industrial production grew 2.6% on year in the eurozone and 2.9% in the European Union, and the biggest increase in the EU was recorded in Estonia, informs LETA/BNS. Tue, 15 Aug 2017 09:00:00 +0300 1502776800 Riga may allocate additional EUR 702,870 for renovation of VEF Culture Center http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/real_estate/?doc=132210 The Riga City Council city property department lawmakers on August 14th supported allocation of additional EUR 702,870 to renovation of the VEF Culture Center, reports LETA. Tue, 15 Aug 2017 09:00:00 +0300 1502776800 The number of guests at Latvian hotels rose by 13.3% in Q2 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132200 According to the latest data of the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB), 694.2 thsd visitors stayed at Latvian tourist accommodation establishments in the 2nd quarter of 2017, which is 13.3% more than during the respective period of 2016. As compared to the previous year, the number of nights spent by visitors increased by 14.3% and reached 1.32 million. The average duration of a visitor's stay at an accommodation establishment was 1.9 nights. Mon, 14 Aug 2017 19:00:00 +0300 1502726400 Labour force participation rate at highest for 20 years in Estonia http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=132192 According to Statistics Estonia, in the 2nd quarter of 2017, the unemployment rate was 7%, the employment rate 66.9% and the labour force participation rate 72%. Compared to the 2nd quarter of 2016, the employment rate remained on the same level and the labour force participation rate reached its highest level for 20 years. Mon, 14 Aug 2017 17:00:00 +0300 1502719200 In Q2, the volume of construction works in Lithuania grew to EUR 628.5 mln http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132196 Statistics Lithuania informs that in II quarter 2017, the volume of construction works carried out in the country amounted to EUR 628.5 million at current prices and, against the previous period, seasonally and calendar adjusted, grew by 0.5% at constant prices (unadjusted – by 72.6%). Mon, 14 Aug 2017 17:00:00 +0300 1502719200 Future start-ups in Latvia and Estonia may apply for new pre-acceleration program http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/markets_and_companies/?doc=132199 Potential founders of Latvian and Estonian start-up companies may apply for a new pre-acceleration program to establish their teams, develop ideas and start business, TechHub Riga reported LETA. Mon, 14 Aug 2017 15:00:00 +0300 1502712000 Sales of Latvijas Gaze decreased by 2.5% in H1 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/energy/?doc=132194 Latvian natural gas utility Latvijas Gaze generated EUR 177.336 million in turnover in the first half of 2017, down 2.5% year-on-year, but its profit shrank 23.9% to EUR 14.14 million, excluded the interrupted operations, according to the financial statements, cites LETA. Mon, 14 Aug 2017 13:10:00 +0300 1502705400 Freight carriage of Estonian Railways increased by 7.5% in July y-o-y http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132193 Altogether 7.1 million tons of freight was transported on the infrastructure of the state-owned Estonian railway infrastructure company Estonian Railways (Eesti Raudtee) in the first seven months of 2017, 4.7% less than in the same period last year, while carriage in July grew 7.5% on year to 856,000 tons, reports LETA/BNS. Mon, 14 Aug 2017 13:00:00 +0300 1502704800 In Q2, the unemployment rate stood at 7% in Lithuania http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/analytics/?doc=132180 Statistics Lithuania informs that, according to the Labour Force Survey data, in II quarter 2017, the unemployment rate stood at 7% and, against I quarter 2017 and II quarter 2016, decreased by 1 percentage point. In II quarter 2017, the male unemployment rate stood at 8.6, female – at 5.4%. Mon, 14 Aug 2017 12:30:00 +0300 1502703000 Police reform complete in Lithuania http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/legislation/?doc=132189 Lithuania's Police Department has announced having completed the reform of the country's police force, informs LETA/BNS. Mon, 14 Aug 2017 12:30:00 +0300 1502703000 PM: Latvia should retain control over Incukalns natural gas storage facility http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/energy/?doc=132190 The state should retain control over Incukalns underground natural gas storage facility by purchasing shares in the company, but these shares should not be bought for any price, said Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis (Greens/Farmers) in an interview with the Latvian public television on August 14th, informs LETA. Mon, 14 Aug 2017 12:30:00 +0300 1502703000 Baltic sales of Hesburger rose in H1 http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=132182 Sales of the Finnish-owned fast food chain Hesburger in the Baltic states rose in the first half of the year 2017, including by 15% in Latvia, 25.5% in Lithuania, and 12% in Estonia, said Hesburger chain director Kari Salmela in an interview with LETA. Mon, 14 Aug 2017 12:10:00 +0300 1502701800