Lietuva in brief - 2013-03-21

  • 2013-03-20

A scheme to tackle human trafficking in London has been launched. The two-year initiative is being led by Kensington and Chelsea Council and is being funded with a grant of more than £300,000 from the European Commission. It will work with organizations in Italy and Lithuania to raise awareness among vulnerable people and to provide victim support. In 2011, there were 2,077 victims of human trafficking in the UK according to the UK Trafficking Centre. A recent investigation into a Russian and European-based organized criminal network resulted in the rescue of 13 young, vulnerable Eastern European victims from premises in Kensington, Chelsea and Queensway. It added that Lithuania had been identified by the police as a source location for trafficked victims in the UK, while Italy is both a destination country for trafficking victims and a transit country for co-ordination and onward trafficking of victims from Eastern Europe and Africa.

Siauliu Bankas AB (SAB1L) climbed to a 15- month high in Vilnius trading after the Lithuanian lender proposed its first dividend in five years and announced plans to give shares to its owners free of charge. The stock rose as much as 5.1 percent and closed 4.4 percent higher at 0.285 euro, valuing the bank at 67 million euros and extending this year’s gain to 24 percent. Volume of 269,894 shares was 418 percent of the three- month daily average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Siauliu proposed a dividend of 1.17 million litas ($446,490) from its 2012 profit of 14.9 million litas, according to draft decisions of a March 28 shareholders meeting published on its Web site. The lender also plans to give its shareholders 15.1 million shares in proportion to the size of their stakes, it said. The share issue will be financed from the bank’s capital reserve. The bank last paid a dividend in 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.The Siauliai-based lender, which is 19.6 percent owned by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, agreed last month to assume insured deposits from Ukio Bankas (UKB1L) AB in a deal that will almost double its size. Siauliu is Lithuania’s only publicly traded bank after regulators closed Ukio on Feb. 12, citing risky lending to related companies.

Ryanair launches flights to Vilnius to Dusseldorf Weeze. Ryanair has announced about the start of the route from Vilnius to Dusseldorf Weeze. This newest Ryanair route to/from Vilnius now operates 3 times per week. In total Ryanair will operate 15 routes from the Lithuanian capital this coming summer season, Ryanair said in a press release. “Ryanair is delighted to celebrate the start this new route from Vilnius to Dusseldorf Weeze airport. This is our third connection from Vilnius to Germany and will allow us to bring our guaranteed lowest fares and more choice to even more consumers/visitors wishing to travel between Lithuania and Germany,” Baltic Sales and Marketing Executive Elina Hakkarainen said.