TOP 100 Estonian companies with biggest tax debt

According to business daily Äripäev it is the lowest debt level of the last 4 years.

The data has been collected by the Estonian Tax and Customs Board in the beginning of August.

The tax debt of the first company is almost 9 million euros.

The top 10 companies include:

SALTREKS, OÜ (in bankrupt)
POLAR TEKSTIIL OÜ
LUTERMA, AS (in bankrupt)
ROSNEFT EESTI OÜ
KOMMEST AUTO, AS (in bankrupt)
TUNGREN AS (in bankrupt)
MONTAZMETAL OÜ
VEXEL EHITUS, OÜ
LIIWI HELIIS, AS

ÕIGUSVASTASELT REPRESSEERITUTE KAITSE BÜROO OÜ (in bankrupt)

See the table here

Estonia sent 3 athletes to London Paralympics

Estonia is sending three athletes to the 2012 Paralympic Games that will start in London on Wednesday, two of whom will compete in shot put and one in swimming.

The 24-year-old swimmer, Kardo Ploomipuu, will enter the contest in 50 meters freestyle on 31 August and 100 meters backstroke on 4 September. Ploomipuu won bronze in 100 meters backstroke in Beijing four years ago.

Sirly Tiik, 37, will compete in women’s shot put on 5 September and Jüri Bergmann, 23, in men’s shot put on 7 September, the Estonian Paralympics team said.

The opening ceremony of the London Paralympics will take place Wednesday and the games will continue until 9 September.

Source: Estonian Review

Estonian parliament ratifies ESM treaty

At an extraordinary session on Thursday afternoon, the Estonian parliament passed the Bill on the Ratification and Implementation of the Treaty Establishing the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). The bill was approved by the 101-seat chamber in the third reading with 59 votes to 34 and one abstention. The bill passed its first reading on 8 August and second reading earlier on Thursday.

On Tuesday the bill was reviewed  by the parliamentary finance committee, which in the course of a five-hour discussion went through 12 proposals for amendments and made 10 changes to the bill.

The chairman of the finance committee, Sven Sester, said the amendments significantly increased the sphere of the Riigikogu’s jurisdiction by bringing the approval of memorandums of understanding and amendments, which would require rapid decision-making, into the plenary of the Riigikogu rather than leaving them to be decided by the standing committee on European Union affairs.

The Treaty Establishing the European Stability Mechanism was signed in Brussels on 2 February 2012. The bill concerns the national performance of the financial obligations assumed by the state. According to the bill, Estonia agrees to participate in ESM to the extent of 13 020 shares with a nominal value of 1.320 billion euros, of which 148.8 million euros will be contributed as paid-in capital within five years as of the entry into force of the treaty and 1.1532 billion euros will be contributed as calls of capital on receipt of a capital call pursuant to the treaty.

The amounts to be paid to the ESM will be reflected in the state budget.

All euro area member states will become ESM members and stability support will be granted, under strict economic policy conditionality, to ESM members which are experiencing severe financing problems. In setting the conditions and financing economic programs, the ESM will co-operate with the International Monetary Fund.

Source: Estonian Review

The average salary is 900 euros

According to Statistics Estonia, in the 2nd quarter of 2012, the average monthly gross wages and salaries were 900 euros and increased 5.0% compared to the 2nd quarter of the previous year. The increase was smaller than in the previous quarters.

Compared to the 2nd quarter of 2011, the irregular bonuses and premiums per employee grew 19.9% and influenced the growth of the average monthly gross wages and salaries by 0.4 percentage points. The average monthly gross wages and salaries without irregular bonuses and premiums increased 4.6%.Compared to the same quarter of 2011, the growth of the average gross monthly wages and salaries in the 2nd quarter of 2012 was smaller than in the previous quarters (6.3% growth in the 4th quarter; 6.9% growth in the 1st quarter).

Real wages, which take into account the influence of the change in the consumer price index and which show the purchasing power of wages and salaries, increased 1.1% in the 2nd quarter of 2012. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, real wages increased for the fourth quarter in succession, but the growth was lower than in the previous quarters (2.1% in the 4th quarter; 2.4% in the 1st quarter).

The average hourly gross wages and salaries were 5.28 euros and increased by 3.9% compared to the 2nd quarter of the previous year.

According to the Wages and Salaries Statistics Survey, the number of employees as at the end of June had increased by 3.8% compared to the same period of 2011.

Compared to the 2nd quarter of 2011, the average monthly and hourly gross wages and salaries increased the most in arts, entertainment and recreation (13.4% and 10.9% respectively).

Compared to the 2nd quarter of 2011, the average monthly gross wages and salaries decreased only in mining and quarrying (1.0%) and the average hourly gross wages and salaries decreased the most in financial and insurance activities (1.6%).

The average gross wages and salaries were 874 euros in April, 878 euros in May and 948 euros in June.

In the 2nd quarter of 2012, the employer’s average monthly labour costs per employee were 1,218 euros and the average hourly labour costs were 8.00 euros. Compared to the 2nd quarter of 2011, the average monthly labour costs per employee increased by 5.1% and the average hourly labour costs by 3.2%.

Compared to the 2nd quarter of 2011, the average monthly and hourly labour costs per employee increased the most in construction (12.2% and 9.0% respectively).

Compared to the 2nd quarter of 2011, the average monthly labour costs per employee decreased only in mining and quarrying (1.1%) and the average hourly labour costs per employee decreased only in financial and insurance activities (1.3%).

Statistics Estonia conducts the Wages and Salaries Statistics Survey on the basis of international methodology since 1992. In 2012, the sample includes 11,523 enterprises, institutions and organisations. The average monthly gross wages and salaries have been given in full time units to enable a comparison of different wages and salaries, irrespective of the length of working time. Calculations of the monthly gross wages and salaries are based on payments for actually worked time and remuneration for time not worked. The hourly gross wages and salaries do not include remuneration for time not worked (holiday leave pay, benefits, etc.). In short-term statistics, the average gross wages and salaries are measured as a component of labour costs. Labour costs include gross wages and salaries, employer’s contributions and employer’s imputed social contributions to employees.

Average monthly gross wages and salaries, 1st quarter 2008 – 2nd quarter 2012 (euros)
  Year 1st quarter 2nd quarter 3rd quarter 4th quarter
2008 825 788 850 800 838
2009 784 776 813 752 783
2010 792 758 822 759 814
2011 839 792 857 809 865
2012   847 900    

Average monthly gross wages and salaries, 1st quarter 2008 – 2nd quarter 2012 (euros)

Diagram: Average monthly gross wages and salaries, 1st quarter 2008 – 2nd quarter 2012 (euros)

Average hourly gross wages and salaries and hourly labour costs, 2nd quarter 2012

Diagram: Average hourly gross wages and salaries and hourly labour costs, 2nd quarter 2012

Source: Statistics Estonia

157 native languages spoken in Estonia

According to the preliminary results of the Population and Housing Census (PHC 2011), 157 native languages are spoken in Estonia. The previous census of 2000 indicated that 109 languages were spoken as native tongue.

Estonian is the most common native language (886,859 speakers – 68.5%), followed by Russian (383,062 – 29.6%) and Ukrainian (8,012 – 0.6%).There are a total of 25 languages with over hundred speakers in Estonia.

Sign language could also be reported in the census and 147 people stated Estonian sign language as their native language.

For the first time, the latest census enabled respondents to report their knowledge of Estonian dialects.131,243 people, i.e., 10.1% of Estonian permanent residents, were able to speak a dialect.

The most common dialects include Võru (87,048 speakers, incl. 12,549 speakers of Setu subdialect), Saarte (24,520, incl. 1,320 speakers of Kihnu subdialect), and Mulgi (9,698).

Detailed information on native languages and dialects is published in the statistics database. A map of Estonian dialects can be found at http://eki.ee/murded.

The 11th population census in Estonia was conducted from 31 December 2011 until 31 March 2012. Previous censuses were carried out in 1881, 1897, 1922, 1934, 1941, 1959, 1970, 1979, 1989 and 2000. The next population census will be conducted in Estonia in 2020/2021.

Source: Statistics Estonia

The growth in retail sales continues

According to Statistics Estonia, in July 2012 compared to July of the previous year, the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises increased 6% at constant prices.

Since March this year, retail sales growth has remained within 6 to 9% compared to the same month of the previous year. The growth was 6% in March, 7% in April, 9% in May and 7% in June.

In July 2012, the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises were 392.4 million euros. The retail sales in stores selling manufactured goods increased 8% compared to July 2011. The sales increased in most economic activities. Only the retail sales in stores selling household goods and appliances, hardware and building materials were one percent smaller than in July of the previous year. The fall in the retail sales of these stores was influenced by the high reference base of the previous year. In July, the retail sales of pharmacies and cosmetics stores increased the most, with their retail sales growing by a fifth compared to July of the previous year. A higher than average increase also occurred in the sales of other specialized stores, such as stores selling computers and their accessories, photography supplies, books, sports equipment, games and toys, flowers and plants (14% growth); stores selling textiles, clothing and footwear (12% growth) and retail sales via mail order or the Internet (10% growth).

The retail sales in grocery stores, which decelerated a little in June, stabilized in July and, like in June, increased 5% in annual comparison. The growth in the retail sales of these stores was influenced by the acceleration in the price increase of food products in recent months. In April and May the annual price increase of food products was 1.5 to 2%, while in June and July it was about 4%.

Compared to the previous month, in July the retail sales in retail trade enterprises increased 2% at constant prices. According to the seasonally and working-day adjusted data, the increase was 1%. During the seven months of 2012 (January to July), the retail sales in retail trade enterprises increased 8.5% at constant prices compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.

In July the revenues from sales of retail trade enterprises were 488.7 million euros, out of which retail sales of goods accounted for 80%. Compared to July 2011, the revenues from sales increased by 11% at current prices. Compared to the previous month, this indicator stayed at the same level.

Retail sales volume index of retail trade enterprises and its trend, January 2002 – July 2012 (2005 =100)

Diagram: Retail sales volume index of retail trade enterprises and its trend

Source: Statistics Estonia

Estonians conclude Moroccan oil shale agreement

Enefit Outotec Technology, a joint venture of Estonia’s state-owned energy group Eesti Energia and the Finnish engineering company Outotec, has concluded a co-operation agreement with San Leon Energy on a study of the latter’s oil shale deposit in Morocco’s Tarfaya area. One of the aims of the co-operation agreement is to assess the suitability of the Tarfaya oil shale for the Enefit technology, Eesti Energia said.

The agreement covers research and pilot tests to be carried out by Enefit as well as designing services and in the later phases of the project also the supply of equipment for the planned Enefit280 shale oil production plant and support in its launch.

San Leon is planning a commercial retort operation for the production of oil and electricity from the Tarfaya oil shale which is estimated to contain 500 million barrels of oil.

Eesti Energia started hot commissioning of the first shale oil plant using the Enefit280 technology at the end of July. The factory is expected to produce the first batch of oil in September, the company said.

Eesti Energia has studied Morocco’s oil shale reserves earlier, too, carrying out research in the Aghbala and Errachidia deposits in 2010. As the oil shale in those deposits was found not to be of sufficient quality for commercially viable processing, the project was wound up.

Source: Estonian Review

The three-year drop in the loan stock appears to be over

Corporate lending reached a record high of recent years in July. New loans and leases issued to Estonian companies totalled 743 million euros in July, marking a nearly 29 per cent growth from the year ago. As in the previous months, short-term lending was particularly strong in July, with transport and trading companies being the biggest borrowers. The volume of new long-term loans grew too, compared to the previous months. The value of these loans totalled 225 million euros, of which about a third was issued to real estate and construction companies.

The issuance of housing loans decreased somewhat in July. The volume of new housing loans amounted to 49 million euros, with annual growth plummeting to 11 per cent. Household borrowing has nevertheless gained some momentum, as shown by rapid annual growth in car leases, which stood at 30 per cent in July.

Increased corporate borrowing boosted banks’ loan portfolios. The loan and lease portfolios grew by 89 million to 14.6 billion euros in July. Developments in the credit market in recent months indicate that the three-year drop in the loan stock appears to be over. Banks’ credit portfolios have picked up gradually since April. The total volume of loans and leases, however, was still 0.3 per cent lower in July, compared to the year-ago level.

The average interest rate on housing loans remained at 2.9 per cent in July. The six-month Euribor, the key interest rate for the majority of loans issued in Estonia, fell by 0.15 percentage points from June, thus increasing the interest margin. The average interest rate on long-term corporate loans was 3.4 per cent in July.

The quality of the loan portfolio improved further, as expected. The level of loans overdue for more than 60 days decreased by more than 6 million euros. The share of long-term overdue loans declined to 4.3 per cent of the loan portfolio in July.

Annual deposit growth remained at 10 per cent. Deposits increased by 190 million euros, of which the majority came from the business sector. At the end of July, the total volume of household and corporate deposits was 8.4 billion euros.

Author: Jana Kask, Head of the Financial Sector Policy Division of Eesti Pank

SEE GRAPHS on the Bank of Estonia website

Mayor of Vilnius shopping for a Greek island

The flamboyant mayor of Vilnius Arturas Zuokas is reportedly looking for an island in Greece that Lithuania could buy, writes Delfi.

He says that Lithuanian hotels and spas could open their facilities on the island to promote tourism or business.

The money would not be taken out of the budget of Vilnius, but, according to the mayor’s plans, could come from Lithuanian businessmen who could then transfer it to the city or Lithuanian state and could become official territory of Lithuania.

Read more from BBN

Trading capacity attained a record level of profit

Last year the trading capacity reached a record level,  increasing export by 38 percent and import by 37 percent. Total trade profit  added up to 24.6 billion euros.

The growth of global economy progressed quite fast in the first half of 2011, mainly due to the progression of  international trading and intense internal demand of developing economies.

The year 2011 was successful to Estonian exporters. External demand and the growth of competitiveness during crisis helped to increase the export. The biggest growth, 1.7 times, happened in the machinery and appliances sector.
The biggest export markets for Estonia were Sweden, Finland and Russia, accordingly 16, 15 and 11 percent of the total export.

In 2011, import almost reached the growing pace of the export, extending to 37 percent. Similarly with the export, machinery and appliances were the biggest contributors to the growth, which increased 1.6 times within a year.

Source: Estonian Ministry of  Ecoomic Affairs and Communications

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