In the first eight months of the year, seven Latvian banks and two foreign bank branches operated with profit, earning a total of 7.1 million lats (10.1 million euros), however, losses on the Latvian banking sector as a whole reached 299.2 million lats, according to data from the Financial and Capital Market Commission, reports Nozare.lv. Compared to the same period last year, when banking sector losses reached 455.4 million lats, the latest figures show losses have dropped by 34 percent. The FCMC predicts that total losses of the sector this year could be around 500 million lats, about a third less when compared to 2009. Currently there are 20 banks and ten foreign bank branches operating in Latvia.
Starting Jan. 1, customs documents will have to be submitted to the Estonian Tax and Customs Board in electronic form only, reports Aripaev Online. A-Tolliagentuur board member Marek Velling says that transition to fully electronic customs formalities can end up stalling trade. “Practices have shown that every new thing stalls trade, especially with the Estonian customs,” claimed Velling, adding that experiences of dozens of years show that transitions usually take longer than planned. Velling said that transition to the electronic system affects all large transport companies. Estonian Tax and Customs Board reiterated that on Jan. 1, 2011, the transition period to electronic submitting of entrance and departure general declarations and manifests will end.
Statoil ASA Fuel & Retail unit, pending a listing this month, set up its financial center in Estonia, investing 270 million euros in the Baltic country, reports Bloomberg. The center will manage the group’s financial assets and liquidity as well as provide loans to other units. Estonia was chosen for the location due to factors such as a well-developed financial and information technology infrastructure, favorable business and tax environment and its planned euro entry, Statoil Fuel & Retail ASA’s Chief Financial Officer Klaus-Anders Nysteen said in the statement.