LOAN GRANTED FOR A MULTI-LEVEL CAR PARK: Parex Bank together with the World Bank have provided financing to Rigas Pirma Garaza company for construction of a multi-level car park in the Latvian capital Riga. The $3 million loan was granted for a period of 10 years. The construction began early 1999 and the first stage of the project, a parking lot for 512 cars, will be completed late August. Rigas Pirma Garaza was founded by the Augstceltne and Nigep companies to build and operate the parking facility in Riga's center. The next two stages of the project provide for organization of a trading center and exclusive apartments in the upper floors of the parking facility.
MORE TRAINS TO GO THROUGH IVANGOROD STATION: Russia's Oktyabrskaya regional railway company has completed the first stage of reconstruction of the Ivangorod train station that will boost cargo turnover between Russia and Estonia. The reconstruction works, costing 90 million rubles ($3.7 million), and two more construction stages are underway. Now the border station between Russia and Estonia can handle up to 15 trains in each direction daily, said Parbo Juchnewitsch, board chairman of Eesti Raudtee railway company. "Since the volume of transit from Russia handled by Eesti Raudtee has increased substantially this year, we can now, together with the Russian railway, start planning an increase in the capacity from 36 to 40 trains per day," Juchnewitsch said.
NEW MOBILE NETWORK IN LITHUANIA: Estonia's multimedia group Levicom, which obtained a license for a GSM 1800 network in Lithuania last September, plans to launch the network in November. Toomas Peek, Levicom's deputy board chairman, said the company was in the process of signing agreements on deliveries of equipment for the new network. Levicom has registered the Q GSM trade mark, under which it operates in Estonia as well as in Latvia and Lithuania. The conditions of the license issued by the Lithuanian authorities to the Levicom's subsidiary Levi ja Kuto say the network must start operation in 1999.
ABOUT 49,000 GET BANKA BALTIJA COMPENSATION: During the first seven weeks of payment of compensation to depositors of the bankrupt Banka Baltija, 48,792 persons have received compensation. The payment of compensation through Latvijas Krajbanka began May 31. Latvijas Krajbanka's Public Relations Manager Olafs Zvejnieks said last week 6,248 compensation payments had been made. Banka Baltija was the largest commercial bank in Latvia until it went bankrupt in 1995, robbing thousands of people of the savings they had deposited with the bank. Clients were intitially attracted by its high interest rate.
LITHUANIAN FOOD ON RUSSIAN TABLES: Agriculture Minister Edvardas Makelis led a delegation to Moscow, where at the beginning of the week a protocol should be signed for the sale of foodstuffs to Moscow's state-owned market Mosprodkontrakt. Mosprodkontrakt through the agricultural and food product market regulation agency will buy Lithuanian food products: beef, preserved beef, butter, powdered milk and wheat. "The Moscow market is alluring to everyone because it is solvent and the demand for products within the market is extremely large, so that a signed protocol is a very big victory," said ministry spokesman Jonas Rekesius.
SAMPO INSURER TO MERGE WITH ITS SUBSIDIARIES: Sampo Kindlustus, the Estonian subsidiary of the Finnish insurers Sampo, will in the future merge with its recent acquisitions Eesti Kindlustus and Polaris Vara. Speaking about Eesti Kindlustus, a non-life insurer bought by Sampo from Hansapank in April, sales director Eduard Saul said the companies will launch unified products and common tariffs from the year 2000. Helve Urmas, project manager at Sampo Kindlustus, said the estimated size of the reserve of Sampo's other acquisition, Polaris Vara, amounted to 14 million kroons and the insurance portfolio to 92 million kroons. Sampo has paid out 3.4 million kroons ($912,650) in claim settlements on Polaris' policies on which a ruling had been made before May 20 and will pay further claim settlements under Polaris' existing policies.