Direct Speech

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Monday, 30.03.2020, 22:19

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Lending for business: challenges and opportunities

Lending for business: challenges and opportunities


The preliminary results of 2019 clearly indicate that the loan portfolio of Latvian banks has stabilized. Moreover, judging by the statements of industry participants, the credit function is considered by many as a priority.

Keyword tags: Analytics, Banks, Direct Speech, Financial Services, Latvia, Markets and Companies

Latvia: The labour market also cools as a result of slower growth

Latvia: The labour market also cools as a result of slower growth


Latvia's labour market indicators for 2019 reflect both slower economic growth and contractions in the number of working age population.

Kersti Kaljulaid: Estonia needs to save more than before for sense of security

Kersti Kaljulaid: Estonia needs to save more than before for sense of security


Although Estonia has been doing well, for our own sense of security, we actually need to save more, President Kersti Kaljulaid said in her speech on the occasion of the 102nd anniversary of the Republic of Estonia in Viljandi on Monday evening.

Latvia: "First shift" of manufacturing subsectors getting tired

Latvia: "First shift" of manufacturing subsectors getting tired


In the circumstances of weakening external and domestic demand, manufacturers continue with their attempts at conquering export markets and the hearts of local consumers.

US ambassador to Lithuania: We see opportunities for thaw in relations with Belarus

US ambassador to Lithuania: We see opportunities for thaw in relations with Belarus


Washington sees some potential for "a slight thaw" in relations with Belarus, the United States' new Ambassador to Lithuania Robert Gilchrist says.


Open letter to politicians and society of the Kingdom of Denmark in relation to the case of Kristīne Misāne

I always believed Nordic countries to be a role model for what Latvia should strive to become – strong, independent, able and willing to protect itself and every single one of its citizens. Unfortunately, the case of Kristīne Misāne has proved quite the opposite and has broken this illusion to reveal the not-so-pretty reality.


Housing policy in Latvia

According to the Constitution of Latvia, the strategic goal of its housing policy is to fulfill the right to housing for all categories of citizens. The most vulnerable from this point of view is the low-income category of citizens.


Solutions dictated by the need for IT professionals: from non-formal education to corporate academies

The growing demand for IT specialists is heating the market not only in the world or Lithuania, but also in Kaunas. In order to prevent the limited supply of skilled workers from becoming a barrier to development and growth, companies are taking a variety of decisions. Nowadays they start looking for talent not in universities but in high schools. However, an equally important factor - the retraining of adults - brings some fresh perspectives and pushes companies to look at the shortage of professionals in a different way.


Will modest consumption hinder retail trade development?

In 2019, the average wages continued to rise steadily and the retail trade capacity expanded. However, monthly developments of the retail sector were rather uneven and overall its annual average growth moderated year-on-year. Nonetheless, in the fourth quarter the development accelerated slightly again, with the year-on-year growth reaching 3.2% in December.


Growing career opportunities attract employees from abroad to Kaunas

According to preliminary data of the Department of Statistics, 2019 was a record year for Lithuania in terms of immigration. In total, last year 8 thousand more people immigrated rather than emigrated from the country. This nice tendency is also evident in the Kaunas region - compared to 2018, the number of newcomers has increased by almost 40%.


Estonia: The net profit of the banks fell last year

The banking sector in Estonia earned net profit of 285 mln euros in 2019, which was one fifth less than in the previous year. The main reason for this was structural changes in the banking market. The net interest income and net service fee income of the banks fell a little as a ratio to total assets, but the ratio of administration costs remained the same as a year earlier. Changes in loan write-downs also affected profits. The net profit of the banking sector was 1% of total assets.


Bank of Lithuania: The halfway point towards European prosperity surpassed, yet many challenges still await

Over the last two decades, the gap between the standard of living in Lithuania and the EU average has more than halved, placing Lithuania in the leading position among the rest of the new EU Member States. However, an analysis carried out by the Bank of Lithuania has shown that to reach the average EU prosperity level, the country will have to address complex challenges that may come on its way. t


Estonia: Companies are borrowing from other sources alongside banks

Corporate debt grew faster last year, at a rate that reached around 6% at the end of the third quarter. Estonian companies again borrowed mostly from banks operating in Estonia, but they also used other sources of loans more than they did last year. Household debt grew fast because the labour market remained favourable and supported strong demand for loans.


2019 on Baltic Stock Market – the Good, the Bad or the Ugly?

Baltic stock returns. 2019 appeared to be quite a solid year for Baltic stock market, if one looks at it in isolation: OMX Baltic Benchmark price index has returned 6.73%, while its Total Return index yielded 13.62%, implying that almost half of its performance was generated by returning cash to the investors via dividends and share capital reduction.


Latvia: A surge reported for foreign direct investment in the third quarter

The current account of Latvia's balance of payments ran a 296 mln euro deficit amounting to 3.7% of gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter of 2019.

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