Economy

State investing more in real estate than predicted, at €83 million

15.08.19 ... The coalition government announced its national real estate investment strategy Thursday, with approximately €83 million being spent in that sphere starting next year. Previous forecast had put the figure lower than this, in the €60-70 million range. Significant investment objects include the Academy of Arts (EKA), the National Library, and the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA).

Pensions hike depends on state of budget, says Isamaa leader

14.08.19 ... Isamaa leader Helir-Valdor Seeder confirmed the coalition government's agreement on pension reform, which he was the driving force behind to a large extent, to ERR Wednesday. Echoing comments he made after the agreement was struck on Monday evening, Seeder said that an extraordinary hike in pensions, which some in the government would link directly to savings made by the reforms, was less of a dead cert until budgetary opportunities to do so arose. He did not rule out the increase either, however.

Statistics: Employment of older people at 10-year high

14.08.19 ... The number of people in the 50-74 age group in employment is at a 10-year peak, according to Statistics Estonia.

Government to unveil state real estate purchase strategy Thursday

13.08.19 ... The coalition government agreed on its nationwide real estate investment strategy for the coming year at a meeting on Monday night, and is set to finalize its plans on Thursday.

Benefits restructure sees rise in pension payouts despite fall in claimants

13.08.19 ... The amount paid out in state pensions rose in Q2 2019, compared with the previous quarter, even though the number of pensioners decreased, ERR's online news in Estonian reports.

Last Estonian fur farm company faces economic problems, expects recovery

13.08.19 ... Fur farms in Estonia have been closing their doors, citing economic factors. Only one company remains in operation in the country.

Statistics: Registered unemployment stands at 4.9 percent in July

12.08.19 ... Registered unemployment in Estonia stood at 31,700 at the end of July, constituting just under 5 percent of the workforce and a 0.3 percent year-on-year (y-o-y) rise, Baltic News Service reports.

Competition Authority: Hospitals should be able to import all medicines

12.08.19 ... Hospitals in Estonia should be able to import all types of pharmaceuticals, according to the Estonian Competition Authority (Konkurentsiamet). Currently hospitals are barred from importing certain medicines and pharmaceutical products.

Business chiefs say Mart Helme foreign labor legal amends ineffective

12.08.19 ... Business organizations in Estonia say that, while they support initiatives by interior minister Mart Helme (EKRE) to amend the Aliens Act 2009 in relation to foreign labor, the exact changes proposed will not meet their objectives.

Mining, energy trade unions planning picket in Tallinn

11.08.19 ... The trade unions representing miners and energy workers that are at risk of redundancy due to the current oil shale energy crisis are planning to organize a picket before the joint ministry building in Tallinn on Aug. 28, regional paper Põhjarannik reported.

Prices of alcoholic beverages in Latvian stores not dropping yet

11.08.19 ... Although the Latvian excise duty on strong alcoholic beverages has been cut by 15 percent, retailers haven't yet lowered prices, as they are still selling the products purchased at the previous tax rate, Henriks Danusevics, president of the Latvian Traders Association, told BNS.

Finance minister: Attracting foreign talent to Estonia should be encouraged

09.08.19 ... The temporary employment of foreign top specialists in Estonia should be encouraged as it would help bring world-class know-how to the country and thus also support Estonia's economic growth, Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE) said.

Economist: Slowdown attributable to decline in shale oil product exports

09.08.19 ... The deceleration of export growth to 4 percent in the first half of 2019 is largely attributable to a low result in June, where the outcome was affected first and foremost by a strong decline in the export of shale oil products, Swedbank chief economist Tõnu Mertsina said on Friday.

Paper: Amazon establishes subsidiary in Estonia

09.08.19 ... U.S. retail giant Amazon has established a subsidiary, Amazon Data Services Estonia OÜ, fueling speculation that the company is seeking to establish a data center or start providing cloud services in Estonia, daily Postimees reports.

Irish Estonian Business Network closes its doors

09.08.19 ... The Irish Estonian Business Network, an organization aimed at fostering Estonian-Irish relations in business, culture and other areas, has ceased its operations after five years.

Steel fabrications producer announces €10 million Narva extension project

09.08.19 ... Fortaco Group, a major steel fabrications manufacturer, has announced it is extending its capacity at its plant in the eastern Estonian city of Narva, in a project worth over €10 million.

June exports, imports down 8 percent on year

09.08.19 ... According to information released by Statistics Estonia, the exports and imports of goods in June decreased by 8 percent on year. In the first half of 2019, exports increased by 5 and imports by 2 percent on year.

Estonia seeking to make e-residency more efficient for entrepreneurs

08.08.19 ... The Estonian government approved the e-Residency 2.0 action plan at a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, with the objective of making the e-Residency program more secure, more beneficial for Estonian entrepreneurs, and more convenient for the e-residency community.

Government affirms record €1.86 billion revenue of state-owned companies

08.08.19 ... The Estonian government approved at its Thursday meeting an annual summary report on the management of state holdings, according to which the total revenue of companies with state participation reached an all-time high in 2018.

2019 half-year tax receipts up 5 percent on year

08.08.19 ... A total of €707.5 million in tax revenues was paid to the Tax and Customs Board (MTA) in June, 7.5 percent more than in June 2018. Tax receipts for the first half of 2019 increased 4.9 percent on year, the Ministry of Finance said.

Foreign tourists spend €420 million in Estonia in second quarter

08.08.19 ... Some 1.7 million foreign tourists visited Estonia in the second quarter of 2019, 2 percent fewer than in the second quarter of 2018, the Bank of Estonia said on Thursday.

Finance minister: Alcohol excise duty receipts up, cross-border trade down

07.08.19 ... Following the reduction of the alcohol excise duty rate in Estonia on July 1, alcohol excise duty receipts grew 40 percent on year last month and cross-border trade with Latvia had fallen, Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE) said on Wednesday.

Bank of Estonia: July alcohol excise duty cut slowed inflation

07.08.19 ... The consumer price index (CPI) in July fell 0.1 percent compared to June but increased 2.1 percent on year. According to the Bank of Estonia, the cut in the excise duty rate on alcohol which entered into effect on July 1 had a substantial impact on this.

July consumer price index up 2.1 percent on year

07.08.19 ... According to information released by Statistics Estonia on Wednesday, the consumer price index (CPI) in July fell 0.1 percent compared to the previous month but increased 2.1 percent on year.

Tax Board: Second quarter intragroup lending from Estonia up

06.08.19 ... The lending of international businesses operating in Estonia to parent and sister companies abroad during the second quarter of 2019 increased both on year as well as on quarter.

Preliminary hearing in Lember benefit fraud case to be held next Monday

06.08.19 ... Tartu County Court ruled in April that a preliminary hearing in the case of construction entrepreneur Jaago Roosmann, Tartu ex-deputy mayor Kajar Lember and six other individuals and eight companies accused of committing benefit fraud will be held on Aug. 12.

Developer promising odorless, zero-waste production at planned Ahtme plant

06.08.19 ... Keith-Neal Saluveer, the owner of OÜ Corestone Production, a company developing an oil plant in Ahtme, is promising to establish odorless, zero-waste production at the future facility, regional Põhjarannik reports.

Russia hopes free visas will promote St. Petersburg tourism, improve image

06.08.19 ... This October, Russia is introducing a free electronic visa to St. Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast with which it hopes to promote the region's tourism industry as well as improve the country's image.

June accommodated tourist numbers up 9 percent on year

06.08.19 ... According to information released by Statistics Estonia on Tuesday, a total of 407,000 tourists stayed at accommodation establishments in June, up 9 percent on year. Both domestic and foreign tourist numbers saw an increase.

Superalko, Cityalko parent company 2018 profits up nearly ninefold

05.08.19 ... The 2018 consolidated net profit of Aldar Eesti OÜ, the parent company of Superalko and Cityalko alcohol stores, increased 8.7-fold on year to €4.3 million.

Tallink transports record 1.24 million passengers in July

05.08.19 ... The number of passengers carried by listed Estonian shipper Tallink Grupp rose 1.2 percent on year to 1.24 million in July, setting a new company record for the highest number of passenger ever carried in one month.

Possible Narva city fines add to bus operator woes

05.08.19 ... Bus line Atko may be facing fines for breach of service, mainly related to its buses skipping stops in the eastern Estonian town of Narva, Baltic News Service reports. This follows reports last week that Atko is losing its contract to operate in Harju County, as well as a recent inspection revealing an Atko driver had been working a 17-hour shift, in violation of regulations. In July, 26 people were injured in an accident involving an Atko bus, again in Harju County.

Eesti Energia selling Mustamäe properties for €5 million

05.08.19 ... State owned energy group Eesti Energia is selling its former offices and other properties in Tallinn, via auction.

Police stop damaged Atko bus, discover driver on 17-hour shift

04.08.19 ... During an inspection on Tuesday, police in Estonia stopped a vehicle belonging to bus operator Atko, the driver of which had been scheduled by their employer to work a 16-hour and 55-minute shift, daily Postimees writes.

Tax Board: Too soon to estimate tobaccoless snus tax receipts

03.08.19 ... An Estonian importer of tobacco-free snus said that over 20,000 boxes of the nicotine product have been sold in Estonia in recent weeks, on which the state has likely earned some €100,000 in excise duties. The Tax and Customs Board (MTA), however, said that it is too early yet to provide an estimate of the tax revenue earned.

State to track electric vehicles bought with state support via GPS

02.08.19 ... The state is reintroducing grants for the purchase of electric vehicles, but this time with the requirement that an electric vehicle bought with the help of a state grant drive at least 80,000 kilometers over four years, at least 80 percent of which must be in Estonia. In order to ensure compliance, the state intends to install GPS trackers on all such vehicles.

Beer producers: July beer sales more than doubled on northern border

02.08.19 ... Beer sales on Estonia's northern border increased 2.2-fold on year in July, according to the Estonian Breweries Association.

North-Estonia Public Transport Centre to terminate contract with Atko

02.08.19 ... North-Estonia Public Transport Centre decided on Thursday that it will be terminating its public transport contract with bus operator Atko, beginning the process of replacing the carrier in Harju County's Harku Municipality, daily Postimees writes.

Total state-owned company revenue reaches record high of €1.8 billion

02.08.19 ... The total revenue of Estonian state-owned companies reached a record high of €1.8 billion in 2018.

Minister: Excise duty reduction has increased alcohol sales to north

01.08.19 ... Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE) said on Thursday that as a result of lowering excise duty rates on alcohol, sales on Estonia's northern border have increased, indicating that Finnish tourists are once again buying more alcohol to take back with them from Estonia.

Eesti Post to continue providing universal postal service

01.08.19 ... The Competition Authority has declared state-owned postal company AS Eesti Post, which operates under the Omniva brand, winner of the competition for the license to operate Estonia's universal postal service for the next five years.

Vähi: Sillamäe port interested in refinery

01.08.19 ... Port of Sillamäe supervisory board chairman Tiit Vähi said that the Northeastern Estonian port is interested in establishing a shale oil pre-refinery on site, regional paper Põhjarannik reports.

Elron ticket prices increase on Thursday

01.08.19 ... Eesti Liinirongid AS, the Estonian state-owned passenger train operator that operates under the Elron brand, increased its ticket prices on Thursday. In the future, ticket prices on express trains will depend on demand.

Ministry of Finance opens account for payments at LHV

01.08.19 ... People in Estonia can now make payments and pay taxes, state fees and other money to the state via a Ministry of Finance and Tax and Customs Board (MTA) account at LHV Pank, the Ministry of Finance announced Thursday.

Economist: Industrial sector growth prospects deteriorated

31.07.19 ... The near-term growth prospects of Estonia's industrial sector have deteriorated, Swedbank chief economist Tõnu Mertsina said on Wednesday.

Latvia to lower excise duty rate on strong liquor Thursday

31.07.19 ... A 15 percent lower excise duty rate on strong liquor is to enter into effect in Latvia on Thursday. The reduced excise duty rate will apply through Feb. 29, 2020.

Elering earns €22 million profit in first half of 2019

31.07.19 ... In the first half of 2019, transmission system operator (TSO) Elering earned an operating income of €85.1 million, an operating profit of €29.9 million and a net profit of €22 million.

June industrial production down 4 percent on year

31.07.19 ... According to information released by Statistics Estonia on Wednesday, in June 2019, the production of industrial enterprises decreased by 4 percent compared to June 2018. Production increased in manufacturing, but decreased in energy as well as in mining.

Yle: July strong liquor sales in Estonia up 20 percent

31.07.19 ... Following the reduction of the alcohol excise duty, strong liquor sales in Estonia increased 20-25 percent at various retail chains. According to stores, part of this increase can also be attributed to cooler summer weather.

Ministry: Estonia not to take out any loans for Rail Baltica construction

30.07.19 ... Estonia has the necessary funding for Rail Baltica planned into its budget and will not need to take out any loans for its construction, the Ministry of Finance said on Tuesday.
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