ESTONIAN DAIRY DISCOVERS NEW MARKET: The subsidiary of the Estonian dairy Tallinna Piimatoostus, Kohuke, has launched a production line in the Czech town of Jaromer. Aavo Sormus, Kohuke board chairman, said the company invested more than 1 million kroons ($71,428) in the project. The production line was installed in premises rented from a local dairy company. Kohuke is producing a chocolate-coated sweet cottage cheese bar, a product unknown until now in the Czech Republic. Although the Estonian dairy has already produced a 1 ton sample batch, Sormus said, "We've had no feedback yet."
LATVIAN BANKS RATED TOP: AWall Street Journal survey ranked small Latvian banks highest by return on assets (ROA) in Central and East Europe. Latvia's fourth largest bank in terms of total assets, Rietumu Banka, tops the list with 51.77 percent ROA. The leader is followed by the 15th largest bank, LATEKO Banka, with 47.67 percent. Banka Paritate, the country's 14th largest bank, ranks third with 43.93 percent, and Aizkraukles Banka, Latvia's 10th, comes fourth with 39.73 percent ROA. There are no Estonian banks in the top 10, but Tallinna Aripank, with minus 8.6 percent ROA, ranks eighth among the 10 banks with worst returns. Yet another Latvian bank, Latvijas Industriala Banka, is at the very bottom of the list with minus 58.94 percent ROA.
DANES CONTROL LITHUANIAN SUGAR COMPANIES: The Danish Danisco Sugar company is planning to acquire a 68.24 percent stake in the Lithuanian sugar refinery Kedainiu Cukrus and take over management of the company completely. Kedainiu Cukrus recently issued a 33.53 million lita ($8.4 million) stock emission, which was acquired by the Danish investors. Danisco controls 64.88 percent of Panevezio Cukrus, 41.66 percent of Kedainiu Cukrus, 39.76 percent of Pavenciu Cukrus and 30.19 percent of Marijampoles Cukrus. The Danish company's vice-president Mogens Granborg said the investors will assist the Lithuanian sugar industry in entering the EU sweetener market.
COMPANIES COMPETE FOR CONTAINER TERMINAL: Three firms have joined the race for a contract to build a container terminal at Tallinn's Muuga port. "The companies are well known in Estonia and the winner will be picked in a month's time," said Aare Kitsing, Tallinn Port's development director. According to Kitsing, work cannot start until next summer, because the paperwork involved in getting a ground lease for state-owned land is going to take a lot of time. The lease will run for 50 years, and the annual ground rent will start at 324,500 kroons ($23,178). The Muuga container terminal is to be built in two stages. The terminal's full capacity is to be 200,000 standard containers a year, and the whole complex will cost up to 400 million kroons.
UNIBANKA ENTERS INSURANCE MARKET: Latvian Unibanka will launch active operations on the insurance market through its insurance brokerage Unipolise. Unipolise will be the largest insurance brokerage in Latvia with share capital of 30,000 lats ($51,724). Unibanka holds 70 percent of shares, and the rest belongs to Unipolise's staff. The company was founded this summer on the basis of the insurance brokerage KRG. Unipolise will help clients choose the most appropriate insurance service available on the market. The new brokerage is cooperating with the 12 largest Latvian insurance companies, including Balta, Trygg Hansa Latvia, Alterna, Balva, Saules Laiks and others. The company is offering its clients both insurance of large industrial risks, and widely used insurance products like compulsory vehicle owner's civil liability, the Green Card, life insurance and others.