The Latvian Consumer Rights Protection Center has accused Aizkraukles Banka of implementing unfair commercial practices by offering changes in mortgage agreements to its customers. Sanita Gertmane, a spokesman for the Center, said Aizkraukles Banka in mid-January sent a letter to its customers asking them to submit additional documents on short notice, threatening with sanctions if the documents are not submitted in time. She said the "bank's action should be considered unfair and aggressive commercial practice, putting a customer in a situation with no choice left." Aizkraukles Banka spokesman Ilmars Jargans told the Baltic News Service that the bank had not engaged in any unfair commercial practices.
Estonia's Kalev Chocolate Factory, one of the largest candy producers in the Baltics, has run up a tax debt of 1.6 million kroons (100,000 euros) 's along with an additional 6,000 kroons in interest 's the Baltic News Service reported. Meanwhile, Kalev Meedia AS, the media holding of the listed Kalev group, had accumulated a tax debt of nearly 4.6 million kroons, along with interest in the amount of 61,489 kroons. Kalev AS had a tax debt of approximately 800,000 kroons and an interest debt of 20,557 kroons. Earlier this year the Kalev Chocolate Factory had the water shut off to its main factory over a payment dispute.
Maxima Grupe, the largest supermarket and retail chain in the Baltics, has posted more that 10 billion litas (2.9 billion euros) in sales in the Baltic states and Bulgaria in 2008 's up more than 25 percent year-on-year. "The economic downturn has affected our financial results, which were the worst in the last three months of 2008. In October the sales increased by 21.7 percent but in December by just 10.8 percent," Maxima Grupe CEO Mindaugas Bagdonavicius said in a statement. The annual growth of company's sales declined gradually during 2008 from 35.1 percent in the first quarter to 16.8 percent in the fourth quarter. Maxima Group runs a chain of 430 outlets, including 231 stores in Lithuania, 125 in Latvia, 51 in Estonia and 24 in Bulgaria. The group employs more than 27,000 people.