Off the wire

  • 2000-11-30
EASIER FOR BIG SPENDERS: The Latvian parliament adopted amendments to the law on corporate income tax in the final reading Nov. 23, which would provide support to large investment projects. Under the law, if anyone invests more than 10 million lats ($15.97 million) in less than three years, that investor will be entitled to a 40 percent corporate income tax alleviation for the coming 10 years.

BIG DEBTORS: Dinaz Oil Terminal LLC has the largest debt to the Latvian state in overdue payments to the main national budget and social insurance contributions. According to the State Revenue Service General Tax Administration, Dinaz owes the state 7.501 million lats ($11.982 million) as of Nov. 1, 2000. The second largest tax debtor is the company Alehandra, which owes the state 2.749 million lats, followed by Lapo Tika company with 2.703 million lats.

EXPERT HELP: The Estonian bank Hansapank's e-banking division head Tiit Pekk will start working in Latvian Hansabanka from Jan. 1, 2001 to develop on-line banking there. According to Ingrida Bluma, president of Hansabanka, the primary task for Pekk in Latvia is to reach Estonia's level of on-line banking.

COKE FIRES OVER LOSSES: Coca-Cola Corp., which is operating at a loss in the Baltic states, has in the last four months replaced the director general of AS Eesti Coca-Cola Joogid and scrapped the position of marketing director. Kiira Kure, public relations manager with Eesti Coca-Cola, said the firm needs to make changes to avoid as weak an economic result as last year's loss of 20 million kroons ($1.08 million).

CHEESE IN RUSSIA: Rokiskio Suris, one of Lithuania's leading dairy groups, is set to launch the production of cheese in Russia next year, the business newspaper Verslo Zinios reported Nov. 23. In July this year, it decided to set up a joint Russian-Lithuanian venture in Russia's Leningrad region, close to St. Petersburg's nuclear power plant, with $350,000 earmarked for investments in the project.

FUEL PRICES UP: Diesel fuel prices leapt up at Lithuanian filling stations late on Nov. 23, and retailers say the situation in global markets and the approaching winter should keep the prices high in the near term, the business newspaper Verslo Zinios reported Nov. 24. With petrol and diesel fuel prices rocketing to new record highs in western markets, more diesel price hikes could be on the way in Lithuania, retailers say.

MORE BLACK GOLD: Russia's oil giant LUKoil resumed crude oil supplies to the Lithuanian oil refinery Mazeikiu Nafta on Nov. 27, the Lithuanian company said. Tadas Augustauskas, head of Mazeikiu Nafta's communications service, confirmed LUKoil is due to deliver 50,000 tons of oil.

INTERNATIONAL BANK DEAL: Heads of the central banks of Lithuania and Belarus signed an agreement Nov. 24 on the procedure for settling accounts among economic entities, the Bank of Lithuania reported. Reinoldijus Sarkinas, chairman of the board of the Bank of Lithuania, and Piotr Prokopovich, chairman of the central bank of Belarus, signed the document.

OWNER DOESN'T INVEST: The Greek company Lavinia Corporation Ltd., the owner of the controlling block in the shipping company Rigas Transporta Flote, so far this year has not made any investment in the company, RTF official Vladimirs Sedihs said. He said the owner of the company's controlling stake still has to invest almost 4.73 million lats ($7.56 million) in the company by April 2001. Under RTF privatization regulations, Lavinia Corporation Ltd. in total has to invest 6 million lats in the company.

NO GERMAN BEEF: Latvia has banned cattle and beef imports from Germany's Saxony-Anhalt and Schleswig-Holstein regions as of Nov. 27, State Veterinary Service official Aivars Dedzins said. The ban was imposed due to an outbreak of the mad cow disease or bovine spongiform encephalopathy traced to the regions. The ban is imposed for an unspecified term. Latvia has imported 155 million tons of beef from Germany so far this year.

ROLLS ROYCE TO LITHUANIA: Rolls Royce, one of the largest aero engine manufacturers worldwide, considers investment possibilities in Lithuania, the daily Lietuvos Rytas reported Nov. 22. Lloyd Roach, the senior engineer of Rolls Royce, expressed interest in establishing a company in Siauliai, in northern Lithuania, which would offer full repair and overhaul services of aero engines, as well as manufacture them.