Off the wire

  • 2000-09-28
NEW PENSION FUND: The Estonian bank Uhispank on Sept. 21 submitted papers to the Securities Inspectorate to register a pension fund and obtain a fund manager's license. The fund is to go into operation in November. The Uhispank pension fund will be a fund of the third pillar into which one can pay up to 15 percent of one's annual gross income tax-exempt, a bank representative said. Loit Linnupold, CEO of Uhispank's asset management division, said it is important that real competition of pension funds spring up on the market, and the opportunity guaranteed unit holders by law of moving one's money from one fund into another will in reality become available.

ESTONIA PROVIDES JOB VIA INTERNET: CV-Online, the leading online recruitment service in Central and Eastern Europe, launched a pan-European career portal and recruitment site this week. CV-Europe will be an umbrella site, connecting to all the local CV-Online sites all over Europe, a representative of the company said. CV-Online aims at becoming the leading international resource for people looking to relocate and find a new job in Europe. The company currently operates in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland.

VODKA MAKER BUYS PAPER: AS Moles, publisher of the Tallinn-based Russian daily Molodyozh Estonii, has sold a majority stake in the firm to OU Pluss Kaks, owner of Estonia's leading alcohol producer Onistar. Molodyozh Estonii editor-in-chief, Sergei Sergeyev, said Moles' stock capital grew after a share issue from 400,000 kroons to two million kroons ($108,900). New shareholders include OU Pluss Kaks and employees of Onistar, a long-time sponsor of the newspaper, the business daily Aripaev reports.

SET TO BEAT TARGET: Lithuania's leading linen textile producer, Linas, anticipates a year-end net profit of at least 3.9 million litas ($975,000) in 2000, which exceeds the target set earlier this year by nearly a million litas. Linas' sales projections for the full year 2000 remain unchanged at 78.5 million litas, a company representative said. Linas' net profit surged by 64.9 percent over the first eight months of this year compared with the same period last year thanks to strong sales in Western European and American markets.

IT FIRM FACES FINE: Penki Kontinentai, a leading Lithuanian IT company, faces a fine of up to 190,000 litas ($47,500) on the grounds that one of the firm's employees allegedly distributed pirated Microsoft software, the local press reported Sept. 22. According to the business newspaper Verslo Zinios, the employee, who advertised illegal production on the Internet, used to meet with buyers at his office. A preliminary investigation put the damage made to Microsoft at about 64,000 litas. The PK employee faces two years in jail, or a fine of 12,500 litas. The Business Software Alliance may file a lawsuit seeking damages of up to 190,000 litas.

REFINERY SHUTS DOWN: Lithuania's only oil refinery, Mazeikiu Nafta, completely stopped refining operations last weekend because of a major overhaul, due to be completed by October 16. Company representatives have said it has enough reserves to ensure uninterrupted oil product supplies to the domestic market during the closure.

ILLEGAL SALE OF FUEL: Latvian police last week arrested top officials from several oil companies on suspicion of illegal sale of fuel for about 900,000 lats ($1.46 million), using forged documents and evading taxes. LVL Ltd.'s president Aivars O. has been detained, as well as Salaspils Nafta Ltd.'s director Sergejs G. and Infast Oil Ltd. president Aivars E. The Riga municipal police along with the economy police succeeded in discovering that the detained persons have sold fuel of unknown origin for 890,000 lats and $19,000.

WORKERS ON STRIKE: Workers of the Latvian joint-stock glassware factory, Livanu Stikls, refused to continue work at the plant as of Sept. 15 because of unpaid salaries. Ex- ecutive director at the Livani Regional Council, Aleksandrs Karpenko, said the company's managers are making every effort to pay out the delayed salaries. Karpenko admitted that the demands of the workers are substantiated.

BANK GETS NEW PRESIDENT: The shareholders of the Latvian bank Latvijas Tirdzniecibas Banka, Sept. 25 approved former Bank of Latvia credit institutions supervision department head, Armands Steinbergs, as the bank's president. The decision has to go before the Bank of Latvia's board before Steinberg can assume his office. The bank's council chairman, Aivars Borovkovs, said the required documents will be submitted to the central bank in accordance with the law.