Eesti in brief - 2009-07-23

  • 2009-07-23
Temporary bankruptcy trustee Peep Lillemae ruled to close all Enter Itmarket stores, reports news wire According to Lillemae, the decision was based on the fact that the company continues operating with losses. According to owner and management board member Aivar Paalmerg, the company is cooperating with the bankruptcy trustee in looking for the best solutions, for both creditors and clients.  The efforts ran out of time however, as the bankruptcy application was filed last week, in Harju district court. Enter Itmarket operated a total of eight stores employing 50 people.

SEB bank posted a loss of 595 million kroons (39.6 million euros) in Estonia in Q2, which compares unfavorably with an 169 million kroons profit the previous year. In fact, operating income has decreased 27 percent year-on-year, dropping to 484 million kroons, reports National Broadcasting/LETA. However, operating costs totalled 266 million kroons in Q2, which is 3 percent less than in the same period the year before. According to Estonian bank's CEO Ahti Asmann, the economic environment ahead remains unstable and uncertain. The bank continues to increase loss provisions on its loan portfolio . According to Chief Executive Annika Falkengren, the coming quarters are challenging not only for SEB but for the markets and economies as well. Moreover, SEB, which is a core asset in Sweden's powerful Wallenberg family holdings, said total credit losses for the entire SEB group increased to 3.6 billion Swedish kronor, up from 448 million kronor last year, 74 percent of which was attributable to its operations in the Baltics.

Celebrations were held commemorating the 90th anniversary of the Estonian Air Force on July 17, with the participation a U.S. strategic B-52 bomber and Czech's Saab Gripen fighters, which take responsibility for the air patrol of the Baltic skies.  According to the Minister of Defence, Jaak Aaviksoo, the visit by the military aircraft represents reliable relations with Estonia's allies. The Estonian National defence development plan for 2009-2018 expects to see the completion of reconstruction of the Amari Air Base, after which NATO fighters could be based there, offering an alternate to the existing base in Lithuania. "The air policing exercises, with the assistance of the five states as well as the demonstration flight by a U.S. strategic B-52 bomber, brightly showed that our air space is an integral part of all the air space of NATO, and its protection has equal value for all allies," assured Aaviksoo. Estonia is not going to develop an independent air policing capability in next 10 years, though, but has a chance to analyze various possibilities with Latvia and Lithuania cooperation as well securing the defense of the Baltic States airspace after 2018.

The index for construction materials in the second quarter in 2009 has fallen by 8.8 percent, in comparison with the same period in 2008, reports Estonia's Department of Statistics.
The index of the building prices in Q2 was affected, first of all, by the decrease in prices of the labor force, which have fallen 17 percent. In fact, building equipment and building material prices have also fallen.
There are four indicators used in the calculation: the prices for building private houses, for a block of flats, industrial and office buildings.
Eesti Energia supplied low cost construction material to road construction company Kukruse-Jõhvi, in a recent example of falling construction costs, reported Aripaev .ee.
The road construction consortium would pay the dump trucks no more than about twenty cents per ton of sand.
Former head of Eesti Põlevkivi, Lembit Kaljuvee, says that the state gives its resources out almost for free to private companies, giving easy routes to profit.