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  • Latvia registers fourth-lowest hourly labour costs in EU: Eurostat
    However Latvian labour costs was not the lowest in Europe The lowest hourly labour costs were recorded in Bulgaria 3 8 euros an hour Romania 4 6 euros and Lithuania 6 5 euros Yet Latvia s Baltic neighbor Estonia s average hourly labor costs have reached 9 8 euros which is the tenth lowest indicator in the EU six places higher than Latvia By comparison the highest hourly labor costs were registered in Denmark 40 3 euros an hour Belgium 39 1 euros Sweden 37 4 euros and Luxembourg 35 9 euros signs of how much further the Baltics still have to go to match their western European counterparts in terms of quality of life In 2014 meanwhile the average hourly labor costs in the EU were estimated to be 24 6 euros across the EU and 29 2 euros in the euro area On the bright side the results mark a trend that is positive for Latvia Compared with 2013 average hourly labor costs in Latvia have increased 6 percent since 2014 which is the second fastest growth in the euro area Meanwhile Estonia registered a 6 6 percent increase while Lithuania registered an increase of 3 5 percent The data applies to enterprises with ten or more employees Comments Related Articles Lithuania will host innovation experts and creators from around the globe Transport Ministry Sacks Chairman of Latvian Railways Office launch party of Latvian Asian Chamber of commerce Subscribe Advertise Log In Please enter your username and password Forgot your password Login Related Articles Goliath Wind signs 100 million euro deal in India Estonia Merko signs contract on construction of Tallinn tram line extension Russian Roulette the shot of vodka heard round the world Estonia was Europe s biggest exporter of wooden houses in 2014 Subscribe A subscription

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/latvia_registers_fourth-lowest_hourly_labour_costs_in_eu__eurostat/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Citadele Treasurer: ECB’s QE will have limited positive impact on Baltic economies
    denominated in euros So it s clearly the case for Latvia that most of the bond buying under QE program will be non Latvian government bonds I don t think however that this will have any adverse impact on the Latvian banking sector or economy in general A report by Swedbank suggests the Public Sector Purchase Programme will have a very limited direct positive impact on the Baltic economies Do you share this view I do agree that QE will have a limited positive impact on the Baltic economies The biggest gainers from the QE program in EU in general are and will be governments We can see the constant drop in interest rates that governments have to pay for their debt all across the Europe with the exception of Greece So the only way that benefit can be passed into the real economy is by increased expenditure by governments from the saving they get from their lower debt servicing costs Banks play a limited role here because their lending ability is more impacted by different Capital regulations rather than liquidity which is primarily addressed by QE Do you worry that this round of QE could encourage a more risk prone environment in the Latvian banking sector QE as such does not increase the risks in the Latvian banking sector What it does do is push yields lower even into negative territory thus investors have to take more duration or credit risk or both in order to meet their appetite for returns Another consequence of super low and negative interest rates will be like in the case of Switzerland and Sweden where the base rates of central banks are close to 1 the passing on of this low interest rate effect to bank clients We see this happening for large

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/citadele_treasurer___ecb___s_qe_will_have_limited_positive_impact_on_baltic_economies/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Europe’s Easy-Money Endgame
    the 1920s In fact there is only one difference between the two episodes in the current crisis huge international rescue packages have been made available These rescue packages have relieved the eurozone s financial distress but at a high cost Not only have they enabled investors to avoid paying for their poor decisions they have also given overpriced southern European countries the opportunity to defer real depreciation in the form of a reduction of r The article you requested can be accessed only by subscribing to the online version of The Baltic Times If you are already subscribed to The Baltic Times please authorize yourself Log In In case you don t have a subscription yet please visit our SUBSCRIPTION section Comments Related Articles Lithuania will host innovation experts and creators from around the globe Transport Ministry Sacks Chairman of Latvian Railways Office launch party of Latvian Asian Chamber of commerce Subscribe Advertise Log In Please enter your username and password Forgot your password Login Related Articles Goliath Wind signs 100 million euro deal in India Estonia Merko signs contract on construction of Tallinn tram line extension Russian Roulette the shot of vodka heard round the world Estonia was Europe s biggest exporter of wooden houses in 2014 Subscribe A subscription to The Baltic Times is a cost effective way of staying in touch with the latest Baltic news and views enabling you full access from anywhere with an Internet connection Subscribe Now About The Baltic Times The Baltic Times is an independent monthly newspaper that covers latest political economic business and cultural events in Estonia Latvia and Lithuania Born of a merger between The Baltic Independent and The Baltic Observer in 1996 The Baltic Times continues to bring objective comprehensive and timely information to those with an interest in

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/europe___s_easy-money_endgame/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Swedbank: Household consumption becoming key driver of Lithuanian growth
    wood and plastic goods also fell significantly Export of goods to Russia contracted by as much as 38 percent Export to other CIS countries such as Belarus and Ukraine also decreased considerably The decrease of dairy product export was mostly caused by the embargo imposed by Russia Moreover dairy product export to Belarus somewhat decreased in January 2015 although prior to this it had grown by dozens of times It is likely that dairy products might have also entered the Russian market through Belarus In September January dairy exports to Kazakhstan increased by 2 5 times Dairy companies were one of the most active among those looking for new markets In the fourth quarter of 2014 exports of dairy products to the USA increased tens of times in December January export to Azerbaijan increased twice compared to a year ago between November and January exports to Uzbekistan jumped by a staggering 22 6 times In addition in January 2015 dairy product exports to Libya commenced Meat exporters also managed to find new markets Meat exports to Hong Kong increased by 5 6 times between August and December 2014 but dropped slightly in January 2015 Meat exporters increased exports to Poland by 2 7 times between September and January while exports to the Netherlands surged by 39 7 percent in 2014 and by 47 4 percent in January 2015 Nevertheless Chief Economist of Swedbank Vaiva Seckute says that all these staggering export growth figures were achieved due to low comparative basis penetration of these markets was basically very insignificant before this Furthermore despite the growth in new markets exports of Lithuanian goods decreased by 11 1 percent compared to last year And products from Lithuanian food producers account for only 7 3 percent of total exports Whereas it will be difficult to find an alternative market for many other Lithuanian origin goods especially those meant for re export Therefore household consumption is likely to be the sole factor in Lithuania s economic growth In January 2015 its growth slowed down somewhat as retail trade growth increased by a mere 1 percent Consumption growth slowed down at least partially as a result of the introduction of the euro Some consumers rushed to purchase items before the adoption of the euro in fear of price growth while others decided to spend cash litas in December 2014 retail trade grew substantially by 8 2 percent In February 2015 when consumers had already got used to the single currency of the EU retail trade grew by 4 3 percent Consumer confidence unexpectedly increased in March and reached the highest level since late 2007 Consumers evaluate much more optimistically their household s financial situation Lithuania s economic prospects and prospects in the labour market Consumers also believe that the time is beneficial for saving the indicator has reached its historic peak Meanwhile projections of major purchases are lower than the year ago Thus it seems that Lithuanians are likely to save rather than spend at least

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/swedbank__household_consumption_becoming_key_driver_of_lithuanian_growth/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Capital Markets Union: A Law and Finance Perspective
    traditions Let s focus first on shareholder rights One of the most fundamental rights is the one share one vote rule which limits the risk of diversion of cash flows by few insider shareholders In some countries in Europe the one vote one share principle is violated In some countries companies can issue non voting shares low and high voting shares and sometimes issue shares whose voting right increases with time Another issue is how much the minority investors are protected against managers and dominant shareholders A few so called anti director rights are considered of major importance The most important one is arguably the possibility for shareholders to mail their proxy instead of showing up personally Another one is the possibility for minority shareholders to put their representatives on boards of directors The message of the Law and Finance literature is very clear worldwide only a minority of countries are respecting all those shareholder rights The most protective ones are Common Law countries Creditor rights What about creditor rights The topic is slightly more complex as there exist different types of creditors Creditor rights mainly matter in case of default and there are two general strategies to deal with default namely reorganization or liquidation In case of liquidation the process is relatively simple the collateral is repossessed and the firm is liquidated In case of reorganization however things might be more complicated as creditors have to monitor the reorganisation process and creditor rights enable the creditors to have more monitoring power The creditor rights refer to the following issues whether managers can file for reorganisation without the consent of creditors whether the management stays during the resolution of the reorganisation procedure whether there is an automatic stay of assets during reorganisation Those measures of creditor rights are referring to potential conflicts of interest between managers and creditors Here again the message is clear creditor rights are better protected in Common Law countries Legal Enforcement and Ownership Concentration A fundamental question arises are some countries eventually using other mechanisms to counteract investor right shortcomings In some countries there might be better and stronger legal enforcement Here typical indicators of so called law and order are the efficiency of the judicial system the rule of law levels of corruption and the risk of expropriation by governments Another measure is the quality of the countries accounting standards Those measures of law enforcement however differ between countries and thus cannot compensate for the disadvantage in investor protection The last possible solution to low investor protection might be ownership concentration Basically the idea is that large and dominant shareholders monitor managers more in order not to be expropriated Those dominant shareholders are very often financial institutions such as different types of funds Dominant creditors are typically banks International data indicates that the fraction of shares in private publically quoted companies held by the three major shareholders is around 50 This indicates that ownership is quite concentrated but it turns out to be less concentrated

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/capital_markets_union___a_law_and_finance_perspective/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Latvija in brief
    no way of telling whether one of Latvia s birch sap thieves who was caught by authorities on March 23 was fuelled by similar motives This season Latvian State Forests LVM has recorded several cases of birch trees being illegally tapped on property managed by LVM Fines for this activity may reach as high as 700 euros Now that the weather is becoming warmer people are beginning to collect birch sap an activity closely monitored by LVM Last week LVM Security and Control Department operatives came across 22 holes in several birch trees The perpetrator was established on March 23 and he has admitted his crime The offender initially claimed that the sap which was found in extra large sized rubbish bags was being collected for personal consumption Evidence collected at the scene will be forwarded to the State Forest Service for processing an administrative offence for unwarranted damage to flora There are several laws that must be followed while collecting birch sap to ensure that the tree remains unscathed Just one tree can be tapped for private consumption by any one person on each property managed by LVM The hole must be made at least 50 centimeters from ground and on a tree of at least 40 centimetres in diameter furthermore it should not exceed 5 centimetres in depth as the sap flows under the bark If a resident wants to tap several holes he or she must take care of payment according to LVM s price list A sales contract is signed and LVM specifies where the tree can be tapped so that the least amount of damage is inflicted In order to receive such permission residents are urged to contact the LVM authority that manages the particular territory Comments Related Articles U S heavy weaponry to be

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/latvija_in_brief_154497092855202cdd5f74d/ (2016-02-13)
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  • 10,000 signatures call for Latvia to legalise marijuana
    that the motion is now eligible for submission to the parliament The initiative was launched on the social initiative website www manabalss lv on January 23 2012 and by the beginning of this month about 9 400 people had signed the petition A disproportionately large number of signatures about 250 were collected yesterday Aris Abele the person behind the initiative believes that people of legal age should be permitted to g The article you requested can be accessed only by subscribing to the online version of The Baltic Times If you are already subscribed to The Baltic Times please authorize yourself Log In In case you don t have a subscription yet please visit our SUBSCRIPTION section Comments Related Articles U S heavy weaponry to be deployed in Latvia from autumn 2015 Latvia Lumbers Towards Higher Spending on Defence Russia Today requests permission to establish Latvian subsidiary Subscribe Advertise Log In Please enter your username and password Forgot your password Login Related Articles Latvian government reaches for guns over health care Crude oil leaks from Latvia s VNT terminal Latvia and China discuss bilateral cooperation Drunk AirBaltic crew sentenced to jail in Norwegian court Subscribe A subscription to The Baltic Times is a cost effective way of staying in touch with the latest Baltic news and views enabling you full access from anywhere with an Internet connection Subscribe Now About The Baltic Times The Baltic Times is an independent monthly newspaper that covers latest political economic business and cultural events in Estonia Latvia and Lithuania Born of a merger between The Baltic Independent and The Baltic Observer in 1996 The Baltic Times continues to bring objective comprehensive and timely information to those with an interest in this rapidly developing area of the Baltic Sea region Read more Our news analysis

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/10_000_signatures_call_for_latvia_to_legalise_marijuana/ (2016-02-13)
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  • LTV working on new channel for Latvia’s Russian speakers
    LTV is waiting for politicians to offer their proposals regarding what should be taken into consideration during the work on the concept but no such proposals have been received thus far LTV3 will supplement LTV1 and LTV7 and it is scheduled to debut in mid 2016 The channel s content will be presented in the Russian language and it will be broadcast in the entire territory of Latvia It was also reported that there will be specific content for the residents of the region of Latgale 6 million in its first year However the establishment of an LTV channel in Russian could cost up to 6 million in its first year according to the TV3 show Neka Personiga Though LTV is refusing to reveal any specific sums until the concept has been approved by the National Electronic Mass Media Council Neka Personiga has found out that according to the Council s estimate the state will be requested to cover 3 million euros in 2016 5 3 euros in 2017 and 5 6 euros in 2018 Due to these large sums several ministers are questioning the idea of a third LTV channel Neka Personiga reported Furthermore an alternative channel should be made available in Russian sooner than in 2016 Transport Minister Anrijs Matiss believes that instead of simply commissioning a TV channel in Russian there should be an open tender in order to pick out the best ideas and synergies also taking into account the local factors When asked how he plans to pressure the National Electronic Mass Media Council given that it only has one proposal a new channel the minister said that the matter should be further discussed Meanwhile Culture Minister Dace Melbarde says I hope that the Council having made only one proposal will leave contemplate and return with several scenarios This discussion clearly demonstrated that we need to work on several scenarios as we must reach the local audience in Latgale province in a fast and efficient manner Finance minister not convinced However the Finance Ministry does not support the idea of a new LTV channel in Russian Finance Minister Janis Reirs said in an interview with the newspaper Latvijas Avize Both our and Estonia s wish to establish new television channels seems like a waste of money If we actually listen to experts such as Professor Anda Rozukalne it is clear that we will need at least five years to have such a channel of decent quality It will be too late then With the presence of the private media the country already has a good television and radio infrastructure It would be logical to buy content from private entities Reirs explained Regardless of the number of studios and technical equipment in the country for some reason more hardware is needed notes Reirs The Finance Ministry will not support such an initiative We have already allocated funds to the existing channels that are loyal to Latvia LTV7 too has received funding which is why instead of

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/ltv_working_on_new_channel_for_latvia___s_russian_speakers/ (2016-02-13)
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