MONEY FOR VENTSPILS: The western Latvian city of Ventspils will have a special coin made on the occasion of the 710th anniversary of the city. Maruta Brukle, spokeswoman from the Bank of Latvia, said the silver one lat coin, devoted to the anniversary of Ventspils, will be made as part of the international coin program Hanseatic Towns. The coin will reflect Ventspils' Palace and a mirror reflection of a sailing boat of the Hanseatic times. The other side will bear the emblem of the town of Ventspils amid ornaments of the western Latvian region of Kurzeme and the Livonian people.
LATVIANS AND LITHUANIANS GET HOOKED: Latvian and Lithuanian directors of informational media TeleMedia signed an agreement with API Online, the international commercial Internet company. API Online provides companies an opportunity to establish effective international contacts between buyers and sellers in Europe, the United States, Japan and other countries. The API Online system operations, products and services are encoded in line with official system of codes adopted by the EU.
TAXES ON THE NET: In Tallinn, finance ministers of the Baltic Sea countries and Nordic countries decided at a roundtable to establish closer ties between their ministries to fight tax evasion. Participants in the meeting decided to exchange information to avoid unjust competition between different countries in the area of tax policy. The countries would exchange information with one another on taxation of e-commerce, national tax systems, tax laws and tax regulations through the net.
GAS FOR MORE MONEY: Estonian gas company, Eesti Gas, will raise the price of gas for consumers to $0.13 a cubic meter for consumers who use local heating. Aarne Saar, the Eesti Gas board chairman, said the price hike is necessary to cover costs made for the delivery of natural gas in the years to come. Consideration has taken in account the rise in inflation and for prices of other services. The present price of gas has been in effect for the past two years and before that the price was fixed for three years. We do not subsidize one group of consumers with another group, said Saar.
THE VIKINGS ARE COMING: The purchase of Estonian energy company's, Eesti Energia, main building has been of interest to a variety of Scandinavian businessmen. More than 20 companies and individuals have shown active interest in the building and technical experts, authorized by several potential buyers, have been to inspect it, Eesti Energia reported. The assessed price of the building is $4,19 million. Scandinavians have displayed the most interest.
PRIVATE BANK: Lithuania's largest government owned bank, Taupomasis Bankas, should be privatized by October or November. The agreement was signed between the Central Financing and Contracting Unit and the UK company Daiwa SBCM Europe, said a sell-off advisor involved in the deal. Under the agreement, the advisor is to start working within two weeks after the deal has been signed, said CFCU director Zilvinas Pajarskas. The deal covers the search for investors, negotiations, the process of the sale and other activities.
SWEDISH POWER INVASION: The Lithuanian city of Kaunas has lost Swedish energy group Vattenfall as an investor in its heating sector project. The Swedish company has now confirmed its intention to set up an investment in the Lithuanian energy company, Lietuvos Energija. Vattenfall has given up on its plans to sign a 15 year contract to operate Kauno Energija and invest approximately $100 million in the modernization of the heating sector of Kaunas. Vattenfall's president, Bertil Tiusanen, said the company now intends to actively participate in the restructuring of Lietuvos Energija and the electricity distribution business in Lithuania.