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Latvian Report Latvian Report
by Euro Reporter
2008-12-28 11:04:57
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Brussels Approves German, Latvian Bank Rescue Packages

The EU's executive on Tuesday approved a raft of member-state plans to prop up their ailing financial institutions, including Germany’s IKB and NordLB, two of the country’s banks worst hit by the financial crisis. The German plan to guarantee the two banks' business is "necessary to avoid a serious disturbance in the German economy," the European Commission said in a statement. The plan will attempt to ensure that neither IKB nor NordLB can benefit from an unfair commercial advantage gained through the assistance package, the commission added.

Under the German scheme, IKB will receive a state guarantee covering up to 5 billion Euros ($7 billion) worth of debt in a bid to guarantee the bank's ability to refinance its business in the midst of the global credit crunch. NordLB, which was also hit hard by the worldwide freezing up of credit markets, is to receive a state guarantee which is to run for up to five years and is backed by a "very good, diversified guarantee pool of assets," the commission statement said. The commission is tasked with making sure that member states do not break the bloc's strict rules on fair competition when they move to prop up key businesses or industries.

Is this package going to save anything or going to make states relay on borrowing money?

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World-class car thief busted

A world class car thief has been arrested in Riga while trying to steal a 2007 Porsche Cayenne, Riga Criminal Police Chief Ints Kuzis told the press.  The 27-year-old man is a Latvian citizen that has primarily been operating in Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe.

The search of the suspect's car turned up a number of devices he used in his trade, such as a GPS signal jammer, a mobile phone jammer with a 50-meter range to prevent any accidental witnesses from reporting the theft to the police, a device for removing locks from car doors and several jars with metal spikes for blowing the tires of the police vehicle in case of a chase.

The man specialized in stealing expensive luxury cars from guarded parking lots or garages of private houses. Because of his skills, he was much in demand among various gangs of car thieves.

Scary import or Latvian …exports!

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SAS agrees to unload stakes in airBaltic, Spanair

AirBaltic, in which SAS holds 47.2%, will be sold to the airline's management for LAT14 million ($27.5 million) in cash by Jan. 31, SAS announced, resulting in a SEK175 million ($22.5 million) capital gain for the Scandinavian company. "This divestment is in line with our strategy not to maintain minority holdings in our airlines. We are pleased to have built airBaltic to a strong Baltic airline . . . and we are confident that the new owners will continue to develop the company in a positive direction," SAS President and CEO Mats Jansson said. It announced its intention to divest airBaltic over the summer.

The Latvian government turned down the opportunity to pay LAT47 million for the stake, a Transport Ministry official told reporters this week. Latvia owns the other 52.8% of the carrier. AirBaltic will continue to cooperate with SAS on flights to/from Riga, CEO Bertold Flick said.

Another national airline in trouble!


    
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