Economy

Government not reached budget agreement, discussions continue next week

25.09.20 ... Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) said on Friday afternoon the government has not yet reached an agreement on the 2021 state budget and discussions will continue next week.

Lithuanian minister: Rail Baltic management model poses threat to continuity

25.09.20 ... The joint management model of the European standard-gauge railway project Rail Baltic is already posing threat to the project's continuity, Lithuania's Transport Minister Jaroslav Narkevic said on Thursday, after hinting about the possibility of building the railway independently without Estonia and Latvia.

Tourism sector hopes for rapid reopening of Finnish border

25.09.20 ... Tourism and catering companies hopes Finland will be able to reopen the border as soon as possible as many Estonian companies will not survive the new restrictions.

State assets rise by quarter of a billion in 2019

24.09.20 ... State budget expenditure and investment rose by €755 million in 2019, to €10.99 billion. Meanwhile state revenues rose by €727.8 million, to €10.86 billion. Over the same period, the Estonian state held total assets of €16.3 billion, €250 million up on year.

Central bank: Housing loan market slowly recovering

24.09.20 ... The home loan market is slowly recovering from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, whose peak was in spring, the Bank of Estonia says. However, companies are borrowing and investing less, due to reduced confidence in the wake of the viral spread.

Fuel prices at pump rose in Tallinn Wednesday, both for gasoline and diesel

24.09.20 ... Circle K and Olerex filling stations were both charging €1.229 per liter for petrol 95, up from €1.189 the day before.

Aivar Linnamäe's Apteekide Koostöö Hulgimüük closes shop

23.09.20 ... Apteekide Koostöö Hulgimüük (AKH) a stake in which belongs to businessman Aivar Linnamäe will be ceasing commercial activities from November 1. The company currently controls 22 percent of the human pharmaceuticals market in Estonia.

Minister of Education: In spring, cutting teachers' salaries was discussed

23.09.20 ... When all schools were distance learning and extracurricular activities were canceled in spring, local governments discussed reducing teachers' salaries, Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps (Center) said on Tuesday.

Transferwise posts 70 percent increase in revenue to £302.6 million

23.09.20 ... Transferwise, the international money transfer service founded by Estonian entrepreneurs, saw a 70 percent increase in revenue to £302.6 million in the last financial year. The coronavirus crisis increased business.

Harju Elekter inks €20-million contract with Finnish grid distributor

22.09.20 ... Electrical equipment manufacturer Harju Elekter has concluded an eight-year, approximately €20-million framework agreement with regional Finnish electricity distribution system operator Elenia OY.

Opera house, cruise terminal plans floated for Tallinn's Kopli peninsula

22.09.20 ... Plans to build a new national opera house on Kopli peninsula are being floated by an entrepreneur but the council of the Estonian national opera is skeptical as the location is a long way from the center of Tallinn.

Statistics: Industrial producer price index fell by 2.2 percent on year

21.09.20 ... in August, the producer price index of industrial output increased by 1.1 percent compared to July 2020 and decreased by 2.2 percent compared to August 2019, data from Statistics Estonia shows,.

Aas: EU funds will dry up for highway construction within two years

19.09.20 ... Constructing four-lane highways will no longer be paid for by European Union funds, economics affairs minister Taavi Aas (Center) says.

Estonia bans direct flights to Sweden, Norway again

19.09.20 ... Estonia has banned direct flights to and from Sweden and Norway as COVID-19 rates in those two countries continue to rise. Direct flights to Sweden in particular have been non-existent through much of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ideas for Tartu's participatory budget displayed on Kaarsild Bridge

19.09.20 ... A disc golf park, floating stage and a children's adventure trail are some of the ideas put forward this year in Tartu's participatory budget. Twenty-five ideas are currently being displayed on Kaarsild Bridge.

Taavi Aas: Coronavirus flight restrictions should be relaxed

18.09.20 ... Minister of Economic Affairs Taavi Aas concedes there is disunity within the government over what to do with coronavirus flight restrictions, as well as whether and to what extent troubled state-owned airline Nordica should continue to be supported.

Estonia and Latvia sign agreement for joint offshore wind farm plan

18.09.20 ... Estonia and Latvia signed a memorandum of understanding to develop an offshore wind farm this week, the first agreement of its kind in the region.

Flights to Norway, Sweden could be canceled from Saturday

18.09.20 ... The coronavirus rate in Norway and Sweden has passed 25 per 100,000 - the cut off point for direct flights to and from Estonia. If the government does not add both countries to the list of exceptions flights will be suspended from Saturday.

Hiiumaa requests additional ferry to cover summer traveler peak

18.09.20 ... Residents of the island of Hiiumaa have requested an additional ferry to link them to the mainland during summer months, citing growing numbers of visitors resulting in long waiting lines at ports, the island's mayor says.

Government still debating support for tourism industry

18.09.20 ... Measures to support the tourism industry have not yet been agreed by the government, Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik (Center) told ERR.

AK: Martin Helme defense proposal possibly linked to overseas defense firm

18.09.20 ... ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Thursday night that an Israeli defense firm had presented weapons systems to the Riigikogu's defense committee back in spring. However, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) says that while additional defense investments are being seriously looked at, this is not to favor any concrete defense contract bidder.

State road management requires €2.16 billion in investments over 10 years

18.09.20 ... According to the state road management plan, the development debt of Estonian roads by 2030 will be €2.16 billion. The current backlog in development works not carried out is €689 million.

Statistics: Dwelling Price Index fell in second quarter

18.09.20 ... In the second quarter of 2020, the Dwelling Price Index decreased by 5.8 percent compared to the first quarter but it increased by 4 percent compared to the second quarter of 2019, data from Statistics Estonia shows.

11,500 households' power restored after Storm Alia, thousands still cut off

18.09.20 ... Grid distributor Elektrilevi says that, together with its partners, it had restored power to 11,500 households as of Thursday evening after eliminating 83 system failures, a job hampered by fallen trees and branches and other hazards.

Bolt aims to be climate positive with its e-scooters globally by year end

18.09.20 ... Estonian-founded taxi hailing app tech and mobility platform Bolt says it will have achieved climate-positive e-scooter operations by year-end, meaning it will remove more carbon from the environment than producing and maintaining its scooters add to it.

SEB: Almost 25 percent of Estonian companies cut wage during crisis

17.09.20 ... The SEB Baltic Business Outlook survey carried out in the Baltic states in July shows that 23 percent of Estonian businesses have reacted to the coronavirus crisis with wage cuts.

NyxAir ready to take on Saaremaa flight link activities

17.09.20 ... NyxAir, an Estonian carrier which won the tender for the Tallinn to Kuressaare route, linking the island of Saaremaa with the Estonian mainland, says it is ready to start operations as soon as the tender is finalized.

Statistics: People prefer e-commerce, enterprises prefer cloud services

17.09.20 ... More than 56 percent of the population has made an online purchase in the last three months and spending has increased. More than half of companies which use the internet are using paid-for cloud services.

Eesti Energia wants to build €280 million methanol plant in Ida-Viru County

16.09.20 ... As part of Ida-Viru County's plans for transition to a sustainable economy, Estonia's state-owned energy group Eesti Energia is seeking to build a methanol production complex in the county with an estimated cost of €280 million.

Xfly to start Tallinn-Stockholm flights later this month

16.09.20 ... State-owned airline Nordica subsidiary Xfly is to start regular flights between Tallinn and Stockholm.

Prisma expanding in Tallinn, plans for provincial Estonia too

16.09.20 ... Finnish supermarket chain Prisma plans to expand in Estonia, with three new stores planned for the next year.

Tartu brings in €124.7 million fiscal receipts January- August

15.09.20 ... Tartu has generated €800,000 less income than its expenditures over the period January to August 2020, and has reported a total revenue of €124.7 million, the city's government says, representing 71 percent of the amount budgeted for the year.

Strawberry growers still waiting for information on loss compensation

15.09.20 ... The Ministry of Rural Affairs had promised a method for evaluating if, where and from what source strawberry growers' yield loss has derived, by the end of July. However, this has not appeared, but the ministry promises to analyze the situation next week. The Horticultural Association (Aiandusliit) says that the loss, partly the result of the coronavirus pandemic and associated labor shortage, constitutes about 60-70 percent of the harvest.

SEB sees 40 percent fall in loan grace periods issued since early summer

15.09.20 ... SEB has seen a 40 percent fall in the number of grace periods it has granted to loan clients since early summer, largely as a result of a fall in applications as economic part-recovery began through summer, after the coronavirus emergency situation ended. Clients can still apply for grace periods, through to late September.

Ministry submits bill aimed at boosting rural pharmacy service provision

15.09.20 ... Amendments to the law governing the operation of pharmacies have been submitted, aimed at boosting provision of services in rural areas, including financially, after the current regime was found to be lacking.

Tallinn city government drafts bill defining what constitutes a nightclub

15.09.20 ... Tallinn city government is to discuss Thursday the definition of nightclubs, addressing a long-standing issues with noise pollution in city center areas in particular, and also the issue of late-night alcohol sales.

Social affairs ministry to investigate Linnamäes' position in pharma market

14.09.20 ... Maris Jesse, undersecretary at the Ministry of Social Affairs, has asked the Competition Authority (Konkurentsiamet) to investigate the dealings of businessmen Margus and Aivar Linnamäe in the Estonian pharmaceutical wholesale market to assess if they have an unproportional dominant position in the market place, daily newspaper Õhtuleht writes.

Olukorrast riigis: Government moving toward state bank by lending to firms

13.09.20 ... The government is going down the path of creating a state bank by lending to struggling companies and projects, while it would not be out of alignment with the ideologies of two government partners, hosts of the "Olukorrast riigis" talk show found.

Tallinn deputy mayor: No mass remote learning to be in place in capital

12.09.20 ... Remote learning on a large-scale basis is not to be put in place in Tallinn, deputy mayor Vadim Belobrovtsev (Center). Distance learning on a part-basis is already in place in the capital, following the start of the new school year at the beginning of the month and as a coronvirus curb.

Diesel prices at pump reach four-year low

12.09.20 ... Diesel pump price at larger fuel retailer chains has fallen to a four-and-a-half-year low, at €0.929 per liter, daily Postimees reports, making Estonian prices the cheapest in the Baltic states at present.

Comarket stores to become Selver outlets starting October

11.09.20 ... No-frills supermarket chain Comarket is to be rebranded Selver, following this year's acquisition by the latter.

Statistics: Public transport by all types fell 60 percent y-o-y to Q2 2020

11.09.20 ... Public transport on land, sea and air saw a 60 percent fall on year to the second quarter of 2020 (Q2 2020), the result of the coronavirus pandemic. The fall on the previous quarter was nearly as high, according to state agency Statistics Estonia.

Alcohol sales restrictions continue in Harju, Ida-Viru counties

11.09.20 ... Alcohol restrictions in Harju and Ida-Viru County will continue for another week to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) said on Friday.

Coop bank customers and deposit grow, profits fall 14 percent in August

11.09.20 ... Estonian bank Coop Pank saw a 13.8 percent fall in profit between July and August, to €584,000. At the same time, the bank saw both its customer base and deposit volumes increase either over the same period, or over the year to date.

Ratas: State budget will run deficit rather than go down austerity route

11.09.20 ... The 2021 state budget will run a deficit and contain no major cuts, the government has announced after two days' discussion, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Thursday evening. The talks have not yet led to anything concrete yet, however, though the state is projected to be running a deficit at least to 2024.

Developer of €100 million Patarei sea fortress turns to KredEx for loan

10.09.20 ... Businessman Urmas Sõõrumaa has turned to state credit agency KredEx for a loan of €30-40 million for his development at Patarei sea fortress in Tallinn, Sõõrumaa told daily Äripäev's radio show on Thursday.

Government endorses €10 million loan for Magnetic MRO

10.09.20 ... The government at its sitting on Thursday approved the main terms of a working capital loan of €10 million to be issued to Magnetic MRO, a Tallinn-based provider of aircraft repair and maintenance.

Railway between Haapsalu and Rohuküla could be completed by 2026

10.09.20 ... Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aasa (Center) said the railway line from Haapsalu to Rohuküla in western Estonia could be completed by 2026. The completed line from Tallinn to Rohuküla will cost an estimated €100 million.

Central bank governor on state fiscal policy: Can't live above our means

10.09.20 ... Governor of the Bank of Estonia Madis Müller says the state's strategy to cover fixed costs by increasing debt burden is not a responsible one, and if the state were to consistently live beyond its means, everyone would be poorer in the end.

Tallink majority shareholder firm entering pharmaceuticals market

10.09.20 ... Majority shareholder in shipping line Tallink, AS Infortar, is entering the pharmaceuticals market, business daily Äripäev writes. The move comes after the sector saw a market liberalization in spring time.
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