Lithuania's leading airline, flyLAL, was shortlisted by Hungary's privatization authority as a potential investor for Malev, the national carrier that is up for sale. The only other preferred bidder was KrasAir, Russia's fifth-largest airline and which is linked with billionaire Roman Abramovich, owner of London's Chelsea football club. The two potential investors will enter in to lengthy negotiations with Hungarian officials with the aim to purchase 99.5 percent of Malev. This is the seventh time Hungary is trying to privatize the airline, which has failed to post a profit for several years. The government also wants the investor to cover Malev's outstanding debt of 70 million euros.
VP Market, the Baltics' leading retail operator, announced it would change the name of its Lithuania-based corporation to Maxima LT, while its Estonian and Latvian businesses will go under the names Maxima Eesti and Maxima Latvija. "The name change is a logical continuation of our market drive," said CEO Gintaras Marcinkevicius. "We changed the name of all our stores in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia into Maxima, and now we are using the key and unified brand name." The company operates 360 stores in five countries. Last year's sales are expected to be up 20 percent year-on-year and amount to some 6 billion litas (1.7 billion euros).
Many of Latvia's textile producers may pack up and move to cheaper havens, the sector's association announced last week. Due to increasing production costs over the next five 's 10 years, a majority of textile producers may move their operations, most likely to Belarus and Russia, said Guntis Strazds, head of the Association of Textile and Clothing Industry. "The state will then have to think what to do with the unemployed," he added. There are currently 130 textile and clothing firms in Latvia. Together they account for 9.5 percent of GDP.