ä Life insurer Leks Elukindlustus collected 1.35 million kroons ($101,000) in November, up 52 percent from last November. In November, Leks made claim payments to the tune of 190,000 kroons, 28 percent more than in November 1997. Leks Elukindlustus public relations director, Rivo Saarna, said that in January-November 1998, the life insurance company collected more than 12 million kroons in premiums, up 47 percent year on year. The company has made claim settlements to the tune of 1.3 million kroons this year. At the end of October, Leks Life Insurance controlled a market share of 6.3 percent.
ä Gutta reported to the Riga Stock Exchange that at an emergency meeting, the company's shareholders had agreed to suspend the resolution to pay dividends for 1997. The decision to suspend payment of dividends was due to the approval given by Gutta's shareholders to the loan agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. One of the provisions in the agreement signed on November 27 requires Gutta not to pay any dividends in 1997, 1998 and 1999.
ä The distillery Latvijas Balzams expects to end the year with a profit of 2.3 million lats ($4.03 million). The company's profit last year was roughly the same. The Russian economic crisis has had only marginal effect on LB performance as its exports to the Commonwealth of Independent States were insignificant. In 1998 the company's total exports made up 6 percent of the net turnover.
ä The knitwear manufacturer Ogre is planning to earn 2 million lats in profits for 1998, Chairman of the Board Eriks Kaza told the BNS agency.
ä Ventspils Nafta will earn a profit of around 20 million lats in 1998, President Igors Skoks told BNS. He stressed however it is difficult to make forecasts for such a big oil company. Nevertheless Skoks noted he did not see any reason at this point why the profit forecast of 20 million lats should change significantly.
ä Latvian Unibanka suffered a loss of over 4.64 million lats in the first 11 months of 1998, spokeswoman Dace Senberga said. The bank's net profit in November was 344,000 lats. Senberga pointed out Unibanka was continuing to earn profits despite the negative impact of the Russian financial crisis on the Latvian and foreign financial environment. The bank's gross revenues in November totaled 3.3 million lats which is the biggest monthly indicator for the bank so far this year. Unibanka's 11 month profit before forming reserves was 8.8 million lats which is 18.3 percent or 1.3 million lats more than in the first ten months of the year.
ä Ukio Bankas had almost 1.28 million litas ($320,000) in net profits over the first 11 months of 1998 Ñ more than eight times as much as in the same period in 1997. Last year, the bank had 155,000 litas in eleven-month profits and ended the year at a loss of 27.8 million litas. The bank's audited nine-month profits stood at 4.14 million litas, but it will be reflected only in the annual audited results.
ä The wood-fiber and paper producer Grigiskes said its exports had fallen by nearly 30 percent in November because of dumping sanctions imposed by the European Commission in autumn. Grigiskes' Financial Director Kestutis Murauskas blamed the decrease on the minimum export prices and quotas set by the EU. The commission also limited the assortment of goods allowed to be sold in the European Union.
ä The savings bank Taupomasis Bankas had a loss of 9.825 million litas in the period Jan.-Nov. 1998, its spokesman said. In November, the bank's operations brought in a profit of approximately 2.17 million litas, reducing the figure in the loss column, he said. The savings bank's ten-month losses ran at 11.99 million litas. Last year, the bank had a loss of 6.3 million litas over 11 months, while its audited annual profit amounted to 5.2 million litas. As of December 1, the bank's assets were valued at over 3.16 billion litas, up by more than 1.32 billion litas or 72 percent in 11 months and by 295 million litas or 10 percent in month-on-month terms. In early December, the bank had over 2.35 billion litas in deposits, up by 820 million litas or 53 percent on year-on-year basis and by 144 million litas or 6.5 percent, month-on-month.
ä Vilniaus Bankas had less than 55 million litas in unaudited net profits over the first 11 months of this year, up by 21.5 percent from more than 45 million litas in 1997. The Lithuanian bank netted 6.07 million litas in November. In October, the bank had 1.7 million litas in profits due to additional provisions, while its nine-month audited profits stood at 47.09 million. Over the same 11 months, Vilniaus Bankas earned 74.6 percent of its planned annual profits, the bank's Planning and Monitoring Department said. In late November, Vilniaus Bankas' assets were valued at over 2.34 billion litas, up by 781.5 million litas, or 50 percent, year-on-year. Last month, the bank's assets decreased 50 million litas, or 2.1 percent.