Lithuania's parliament has approved the amendments to the law on value added tax, raising the VAT tariff from 19 percent to 21 percent. Sixty-five MPs voted for the measure, 40 parliamentarians voted against and 22 MPs abstained. The parliament however left the preferential VAT tariff in place for heating, as proposed by the government, despite several MPs having registered an amendment proposing for the application to apply a preferential tariff of 5 percent for heating. The preferential VAT tariff is also proposed to be applied to books and non-periodic information publications.
Nordea Bank Estonia earned a profit of nearly 12 million kroons (800,000 euros) in this year's second quarter. Net profit for the first half of the year was 107 million kroons. The volume of the bank's assets dropped by 400 million kroons in the second quarter compared with this year's first quarter, to 47.8 billion kroons. Compared to last year's first half, bank assets rose by 20 percent. Its corporate loan and leasing portfolio stayed at the same level from first to second quarter, totaling 25 billion kroons, 17 percent higher against the same quarter last year. Individual loan portfolio was flat first to second quarter, at 14 billion kroons. The individual loan portfolio compared to last year was up 18 percent. Its share of loan losses for the entire portfolio rose to 0.272 percent at the end of the second quarter, up from 0.02 percent in the previous quarter.