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Weekly financial market overview 15.02.-21.02.

  Konstantins Goluzins, CFA Head of Asset Management Phone.: (+371) 6700 0456 E-mail: trust@bib.eu LINKEDIN PROFILE   Main events of the previous week   Former Minister of Finance of Nigeria Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala will become the first woman and the first native of Africa to hold the post of Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO). As a Director-General with limited formal powers, 66-year-old Okonjo-Iweala will mediate international trade negotiations, engage in trade rule reforms, and fight protectionism that has intensified during the Covid-19 pandemic. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala studied economics at Harvard after surviving the Nigerian Civil War as a teenager. She also recently received American citizenship. In 2003, Okonjo-Oveala returned to her homeland and twice (in 2003-2006 and in 2011-2015) headed the Ministry of Finance. It was her tenacity and negotiation skills that are believed to have helped secure the 2005 Paris Club of Nigerian debt relief deal with the Paris Club of creditor nations. Okonjo-Iweala also spent 25 years with the World Bank as a development economist, overseeing the bank's $ 81 billion operating portfolio and rising to the position of Managing Director. She also serves on the boards of directors of several large corporations, notably Twitter and Danone. All members of the WTO General Council, in which representatives of all member countries of the organization sit, approved her candidacy unanimously. The WTO, after six months of the Director-General absence, is in a state of partial paralysis, mainly because the Trump administration has blocked appointments to its highest appellate body, which acts as the global arbiter of trade disputes. But even before Trump, deals that need to be negotiated by consensus were often sluggish. At the same time, the United States and other developed WTO members argued that developing countries, especially China, cannot constantly demand exceptions to the rules and that the rules generally need to be revised to take into account the rapid growth of the Chinese economy. The minutes from the January 26-27 meeting of the US central bank showed that with a still weakened economy that may take a long time to fully recover. Federal Reserve officials discussed how to lay the foundation for accepting higher inflation in society, as well as the need for “Stay vigilant” and monitor for signs of stress in vibrant asset markets. Fed officials have discussed, among other things, platforms like Robinhood, which enable private investors to trade in the stock market. The members of the regulator's council said they are ready to maintain a soft monetary policy in order to improve the situation in the labor market, which is still not recovering from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Several meeting participants said they see price increases on the horizon for products that have been or may soon be restricted due to supply chain disruptions; others expected that a possible sharp return to normal activity levels could result in a one-off rise in certain prices. Economic data   Eurozone. According to the second estimate, GDP in the fourth quarter decreased by 0.6% relative to the third quarter of 2020, while the decline in GDP in the fourth quarter on an annualized basis (relative to the fourth quarter of 2020) was 5%. According to the results of the primary assessment of the PMI business activity index in February, the indicator increased by 0.3 points and amounted to 48.1. Of the indicators that make up the index, business activity in the service sector was 0.7 points lower, while the state of the manufacturing sector rose 2.9 points. US. According to the results of the initial assessment of the PMI index of business activity in February, the indicator increased by 1.1 points and amounted to 58.8. Of the indicators that make up the index, business activity in the service sector was 0.6 points higher, and the state of the manufacturing sector fell 0.7 points. The number of initial jobless claims for the week was registered in the amount of 861 thousand, which is 13 thousand more than the week before and 96 thousand more than analysts predicted. Retail sales rose 5.3% in January compared to December 2020, while retail sales were expected to grow by 1%. In turn, excluding data on gasoline and car sales from the indicator, retail sales in January rose by 5.9%. Key events this week On Tuesday, the Eurozone is to publish the final inflation data for January. On Wednesday, the US will report on new home sales in January, as well as changes in oil inventories for the week. On Thursday, the US is to publish a fourth quarter GDP recount, data on durable goods trade, and the number of initial jobless claims for the week. On Friday, the US will publish data on personal income and expenses of the citizens for January. The information provided herewith has an informative nature. This information cannot be regarded as an offer or recommendation for purchase, storage or sale of securities, or as an investment recommendation, an investment survey or a consultation on investments, or a recommendation to entrust management of your assets to the specific investment manager. The Client is fully aware and undertakes all risks involved in the investment. This information is prepared by AS Baltic International Bank.

Weekly financial market overview 08.02.-14.02.

  Konstantins Goluzins, CFA Head of Asset Management Phone.: (+371) 6700 0456 E-mail: trust@bib.eu LINKEDIN PROFILE   Main events of the previous week   The head of the Federal Reserve System (FED) Jerome Powell, speaking at the Economic Club of New York, said that the return of the US labor market to the levels reached before the beginning of the pandemic could take "many years." Jerome Powell explained that from the very beginning of the pandemic, the FED was concerned about its long-term implications for the labor market. Long periods of unemployment can seriously damage a person's life as well as undermine a country's economic potential. Past experience has shown that recovery can take many years. The head of the FED added that at the beginning of the pandemic, in February 2020, the US unemployment rate was 3.5%. In April 2020, it reached a maximum for the entire pandemic period - 14.8%, and by January 2021 the unemployment rate dropped to 6.3%. In 2020, U.S. GDP fell 3.5%, the worst since World War II. The US Senate vote on the impeachment of former President Donald Trump on Saturday, February 13, ended with the ex-head of state's acquittal. 57 out of 100 members of the upper house of the American parliament voted to remove Trump from the presidency. However, for the impeachment to take place, a two-thirds majority was needed, which corresponds to at least 67 congressmen. The impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump were launched by the House of Representatives of the Congress while Trump was serving as president of the United States. However, due to a lack of time, the Senate was forced to consider this issue after the inauguration of the new head of state, Democrat Joe Biden, who won the election. Economic data   US. The number of initial jobless claims for the week was registered in the amount of 793 thousand, which is 19 thousand less than the week before and 43 thousand more than predicted by analysts. The consumer price index in January increased by 0.3% against December, while the annual inflation rate was 1.4%. The growth of the core inflation rate excluding food and energy resources in January was also 1.4% y/y. China. The consumer price index in January increased by 1% versus December, while the annual inflation was negative and amounted to -0.3%. Key events this week On Monday, the Eurozone will publish data on the trade balance and industrial production for December. On Tuesday, the Eurozone is to publish data on the recalculation of GDP for the fourth quarter of 2020. On Wednesday, the US is to publish data on retail trade and industrial production for January, as well as minutes of the last Fed meeting. On Thursday, the US will publish the number of initial jobless claims for the week, as well as the change in oil inventories for the week. On Friday, the state of the business environment in February will be published in the Eurozone and the US. The information provided herewith has an informative nature. This information cannot be regarded as an offer or recommendation for purchase, storage or sale of securities, or as an investment recommendation, an investment survey or a consultation on investments, or a recommendation to entrust management of your assets to the specific investment manager. The Client is fully aware and undertakes all risks involved in the investment. This information is prepared by AS Baltic International Bank.

Weekly financial market overview 01.02.-07.02.

  Konstantins Goluzins, CFA Head of Asset Management Phone.: (+371) 6700 0456 E-mail: trust@bib.eu LINKEDIN PROFILE   Main events of the previous week   The Bank of England has kept its base interest rate at 0.1% per annum on its February meeting. The limit on funds for the purchase of assets was maintained at 895 billion pounds. The British regulator noted that the Covid-19 pandemic continues to negatively affect income, expenses, and the labor market in the UK. Inflation remains well below the 2% target. Vaccinations should help the UK economy recover quickly by the end of 2021, according to the British Central Bank. Nonetheless, the regulator stands ready to take further action, if necessary, to help the economy recover and keep inflation on target. The Bank of England noted that it will take time for most of the banks to change systems and processes and to implement strategic or tactical decisions. The Bank of England stressed that all this does not mean the inevitability of the introduction of negative rates. Nonetheless, the Bank of England will work with policy development companies to prepare all eligible firms for a negative rate regime in six months. Negative rates actually allow businesses and individuals to borrow money while receiving interest. At the same time, investing in bank deposits and other debt instruments brings losses to their owners equal to the negative rate. Such a monetary regime theoretically encourages investment in other exchange-traded instruments and businesses, as well as active spending, which should promote economic growth. However, negative interest rates have a further downward impact on banks' profitability, negatively affecting their financial performance. Economic data   US. The number of initial jobless claims for the week was registered in the amount of 779 thousand, which is 33 thousand less than the previous week and 51 thousand less than predicted by analysts. The final estimate of the PMI business activity index in January shows that it has risen by 3.4 points to 58.7. Of the indicators, that make up the index, business activity in the service sector was 3.5 points higher, but the state of the manufacturing sector increased by 2.1 points. The unemployment rate in January fell by 0.4 percentage points and amounted to 6.3% and the number of nonfarm payrolls amounted to 49 thousand, which is 1 thousand less than expected and 276 thousand more than a month earlier. Eurozone. The final estimate of the PMI business activity index in January shows that it has decreased by 1.3 points to 47.8. Of the indicators that make up the index, business activity in the service sector was 1 point lower, while the state of the manufacturing sector decreased by 0.4 points. The unemployment rate in December remained at the level of November at 8.3%. The consumer price index in January increased by 0.2% compared to December 2020, while the annual inflation rate was 0.9%. The growth of the core inflation rate excluding food and energy resources in January amounted to 1.4% y/y. According to preliminary calculations, GDP in the fourth quarter decreased by 0.7% compared to the third quarter, while on an annualized basis (compared to the fourth quarter of 2019), the GDP fell by 5.1% y/y. China. According to the Caixin Bank, in January, the PMI in the manufacturing sector fell by 1.5 percentage points to 51.5 p., In turn, according to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, the PMI Manufacturing in January was 51.3 points. Key events this week On Wednesday, data on the rise in prices for January will be published in China and the United States, as well as in the United States will report on the change in oil reserves for the week. On Thursday, the US will publish the number of initial jobless claims for the week. The information provided herewith has an informative nature. This information cannot be regarded as an offer or recommendation for purchase, storage or sale of securities, or as an investment recommendation, an investment survey or a consultation on investments, or a recommendation to entrust management of your assets to the specific investment manager. The Client is fully aware and undertakes all risks involved in the investment. This information is prepared by AS Baltic International Bank.

Weekly financial market overview 25.01.-31.01.

  Konstantins Goluzins, CFA Head of Asset Management Phone.: (+371) 6700 0456 E-mail: trust@bib.eu LINKEDIN PROFILE   Main events of the previous week   At its first meeting in 2021, the US Federal Reserve kept its base interest rate at 0-0.25%. The regulator said in a statement that the Open Market Committee has decided to maintain its target range for the federal funds rate at 0-0.25% and expects it to be appropriate to maintain that target range until labor market conditions reach levels consistent with the committee's estimates of maximum employment and inflation is approaching 2%. In addition to keeping rates at current levels, the Fed plans to continue buying at least $80 billion in Treasury bonds and at least $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities monthly in the coming months until significant progress is made towards the maximum employment and price stability. The Fed stressed that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to put pressure on economic activity, employment and inflation and also poses significant risks to the economic outlook - both in the US and around the world. US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said at a press conference following the first meeting this year that the US economy is far from fully recovering, and about 9 million people remain unemployed due to the pandemic. He also added that the economy is far from our employment and inflation targets and it will likely take time to make significant further progress. He explained that until these goals are achieved the US intends to pursue adaptive monetary policy. Powell reiterated that the outlook for the US economy remains "highly uncertain." He stressed that he does not expect inflation to rise much higher than the target level of 2%, but if it does the Fed "has the tools to address" the issue. The head of the Central Bank indicated that with a slight increase in this indicator, the authorities will not take any significant measures, but only monitor it. In its January report, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) improved its forecast for global GDP growth this year by 0.3 percentage points from its October estimates. According to analysts of the fund, this year the growth rate of world GDP will be 5.5%, in the October forecast this figure was 5.2%. In 2022, the IMF expects 4.2% growth. Last year, according to the fund's analysts, the world economy contracted by 3.5%, while in the fall, experts expected that by the end of 2020, global GDP would fall by 4.4%. The report says the upward revision of the forecast for 2021 by 0.3 pp reflects additional support measures in several large economies and expectations of stronger economic activity later this year due to vaccinations. According to the forecasts of the fund experts, the volume of world trade will increase by 8.1% this year and by 6.3% in 2022. In most countries, fiscal deficits are also expected to decline, driven by higher government revenues and lower spending as economic activity recovers. At the same time, the document notes that, in general, the approval of the countries' regulators of vaccines against coronavirus "gives hope" to overcome the pandemic, however, new waves of the spread of infection and new variants of the virus raise concerns in terms of economic forecasts. Economic data US. According to initial estimates, fourth-quarter GDP grew 4% year-on-year (compared to the third quarter of 2020), in line with analysts' expectations. The number of initial jobless claims for the week was registered in the amount of 847 thousand, which is 67 thousand less than the week before and 53 thousand less than predicted by analysts. The volume of orders for durable goods in December increased by 0.2% versus the previous month. The growth of the base indicator, which does not include civil aviation, was 0.5% over the same period. In December, the level of personal income increased by 0.6% m/m, while the level of personal expenses in December decreased by 0.2% versus November. Key events this week On Monday, the US, Eurozone and China will know the level of business activity in the industrial sector in January. On Tuesday, the size of the fall in GDP in the fourth quarter will become known in the Eurozone. On Wednesday, the Eurozone will report inflation numbers for January and the US will publish data on changes in oil reserves for the week. On Thursday, the US will know the number of initial jobless claims for the week. On Friday, the US will know the state of the labor market in January as well as the trade balance figures for December.     The information provided herewith has an informative nature. This information cannot be regarded as an offer or recommendation for purchase, storage or sale of securities, or as an investment recommendation, an investment survey or a consultation on investments, or a recommendation to entrust management of your assets to the specific investment manager. The Client is fully aware and undertakes all risks involved in the investment. This information is prepared by AS Baltic International Bank.

Weekly financial market overview 18.01.-24.01.

  Konstantins Goluzins, CFA Head of Asset Management Phone.: (+371) 6700 0456 E-mail: trust@bib.eu LINKEDIN PROFILE   Main events of the previous week The European Central Bank (ECB), as expected, kept the base interest rate on loans at zero level, the rate on deposits at minus 0.5%. The rate on margin loans remained at the level of 0.25%. The ECB's Governing Council expects key rates to remain at or below current levels until inflation “confidently” approaches its target of just below 2%. The ECB also did not change the scope of the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program (PEPP), leaving it at 1.85 trillion euros, as experts expected. The central bank will continue to buy back assets under this program, at least until the end of March 2022, and in any case until it considers that the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic is over. The ECB also intends to reinvest the proceeds from redeemable bonds under the PEPP at least until the end of 2023. ECB President Christine Lagarde said at a press conference after the ECB meeting that the coronavirus pandemic is likely to cause the economy to contract at the end of 2020 and put pressure on economic activity early this year, but this is in line with the ECB's forecasts. Lagarde noted that risks to economic growth are biased downward, but less pronounced. She also believes that the introduction of vaccines, which began in late December, provides more confidence in resolving the health crisis. However, it will take time to achieve herd immunity and further adverse events associated with the pandemic cannot be ruled out. In the first day at the office, the new US President Joseph Biden signed 15 decrees and orders canceling the decisions of his predecessor Donald Trump, as well as introducing new measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Biden overturned Trump's decree barring several predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States and suspended construction of the wall on the border with Mexico, which under Trump was built around the clock until the January 20. Even during the election campaign, the Democrat promised to restore the country's membership in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which Trump announced his withdrawal from in 2017. The president also signed a decree ordering the migration authorities to stop trying to expel people who arrived in the United States as children with illegal immigrant parents from the country. The Trump administration spent four years trying to shake off this Barack Obama initiative known as the DACA program, though it ultimately failed in the courts. Biden also suspended the country's withdrawal from the World Health Organization, begun by his predecessor, and made the wearing of masks and physical distancing measures mandatory in all federal agencies and for government employees. The European Central Bank (ECB), as expected, kept the base interest rate on loans at zero level, the rate on deposits at minus 0.5%. The rate on margin loans remained at the level of 0.25%. The ECB's Governing Council expects key rates to remain at or below current levels until inflation “confidently” approaches its target of just below 2%. The ECB also did not change the scope of the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program (PEPP), leaving it at 1.85 trillion euros, as experts expected. The central bank will continue to buy back assets under this program, at least until the end of March 2022, and in any case until it considers that the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic is over. The ECB also intends to reinvest the proceeds from redeemable bonds under the PEPP at least until the end of 2023. ECB President Christine Lagarde said at a press conference after the ECB meeting that the coronavirus pandemic is likely to cause the economy to contract at the end of 2020 and put pressure on economic activity early this year, but this is in line with the ECB's forecasts. Lagarde noted that risks to economic growth are biased downward, but less pronounced. She also believes that the introduction of vaccines, which began in late December, provides more confidence in resolving the health crisis. However, it will take time to achieve herd immunity and further adverse events associated with the pandemic cannot be ruled out. In the first day at the office, the new US President Joseph Biden signed 15 decrees and orders canceling the decisions of his predecessor Donald Trump, as well as introducing new measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Biden overturned Trump's decree barring several predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States and suspended construction of the wall on the border with Mexico, which under Trump was built around the clock until the January 20. Even during the election campaign, the Democrat promised to restore the country's membership in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which Trump announced his withdrawal from in 2017. The president also signed a decree ordering the migration authorities to stop trying to expel people who arrived in the United States as children with illegal immigrant parents from the country. The Trump administration spent four years trying to shake off this Barack Obama initiative known as the DACA program, though it ultimately failed in the courts. Biden also suspended the country's withdrawal from the World Health Organization, begun by his predecessor, and made the wearing of masks and physical distancing measures mandatory in all federal agencies and for government employees.     Economic data US. The number of initial jobless claims for the week was registered in the amount of 900 thousand, which is 26 thousand less than the week before and 10 thousand less than predicted by analysts. According to the results of the primary assessment of the PMI business activity index in January, the indicator increased by 2.7 points and amounted to 58.0. Of the indicators that make up the index, business activity in the service sector was 2.7 points higher, and the state of the manufacturing sector increased by 2 points. Eurozone. According to the results of the primary assessment of the PMI business activity index in January, the indicator decreased by 1.6 points and amounted to 47.5. Of the indicators that make up the index, business activity in the service sector was 1.4 points lower, and the state of the manufacturing sector fell 0.5 points. The consumer price index in December rose by 0.3% versus November, while the annual inflation was -0.3%. The growth of the core inflation rate excluding food and energy in December amounted to 0.2% y/y. China. GDP in the fourth quarter grew by 2.6% relative to the third quarter, while yearly GDP growth (relative to the fourth quarter of 2019) amounted to 6.5%. Retail sales in December increased by 4.6% compared to December 2019, while the growth rate of retail trade was expected to be 5.5%. Industrial production in December increased by 7.3% compared to December 2019. The unemployment rate in December remained at the level of November, amounting to 5.2%. Key events this week The Davos Economic Forum will take place this week, this time in an online format. On Wednesday, the US will publish data on orders of durable goods in December, as well as changes in oil reserves for the week, in turn, the Fed will publish its decision on the key interest rate. On Thursday, the US will give a primary estimate of GDP growth in the fourth quarter, as well as publish the number of initial jobless claims for the week. On Friday, data on personal income and expenses of Americans will become known.   The information provided herewith has an informative nature. This information cannot be regarded as an offer or recommendation for purchase, storage or sale of securities, or as an investment recommendation, an investment survey or a consultation on investments, or a recommendation to entrust management of your assets to the specific investment manager. The Client is fully aware and undertakes all risks involved in the investment. This information is prepared by AS Baltic International Bank.

Weekly financial market overview 11.01.-17.01.

  Konstantins Goluzins, CFA Head of Asset Management Phone.: (+371) 6700 0456 E-mail: trust@bib.eu LINKEDIN PROFILE   Main events of the previous week US President-elect Joe Biden presented a draft of measures to stimulate the American economy for $1.9 trillion. The plan has already been backed by Democrats in Congress. The president-elect's proposal includes a number of measures to stimulate the economy. About $400 billion of this amount is supposed to be allocated to the fight against the virus and for the vaccination campaign, $1 trillion - to provide assistance to the population, the rest - to help businesses especially hard hit during the pandemic. The package includes direct payments to Americans of $1.4 thousand per taxpayer. Payouts will reach $2,000 per person (along with a $600 check approved by Congress in December). Biden also proposes raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour and increasing the amount of weekly unemployment benefits. In accordance with the document, $350 billion is planned to be allocated to support local authorities at the state level. $170 billion should go to higher education institutions. The plan also includes measures to support small businesses. In addition, Biden proposes to allocate $50 billion for the COVID-19 infection testing program, and $20 billion for the national vaccination program. The head of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia Armin Laschet was elected as the leader of the Christian Democratic Union. The head of the ruling party is a potential candidate for the post of German chancellor, elections to the Bundestag will be held in September. The majority of the delegates at the meeting of the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party voted for the head of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia Armin Laschet to become the new party leader. 521 people voted for his candidacy, another 466 delegates supported the former leader of the faction Friedrich Merz. Four people abstained. In total, three people applied for this post, the chairman of the Bundestag Foreign Policy Committee Norbert Röttgen dropped out of the race in the first round. The results must be officially confirmed by mail voting. Until 2018, the party was led by Angela Merkel, after her - by Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, but the latter in February 2020 announced her decision to resign and refuse to fight for the post of German chancellor.     Economic data US. Consumer price index in December rose by 0.4% versus November, while the annual inflation rate was 1.4%. The growth of the core inflation rate excluding food and energy in December amounted to 1.6% y/y. The number of initial jobless claims for the week was registered in the amount of 965 thousand, which is 181 thousand more than the week before and 170 thousand more than predicted by analysts. Retail sales fell 0.7% in December versus November, while retail sales were expected to remain at the November level. In turn, excluding data on gasoline and car sales from the indicator, retail sales in December decreased by 2.9%. China. The consumer price index in December rose by 0.2% versus November, while the annual inflation was 0.7%. The trade surplus in December reached a record high of $78.14 billion. Exports in December increased by 18.1% compared to December 2019, while imports grew by 6.5% over the same period. Key events this week On Monday, China is to publish data on GDP growth in the fourth quarter, as well as industrial production, retail trade and unemployment in December. The inauguration of the new US President Joe Biden will take place on Wednesday. On Thursday, the US will report on the number of initial jobless claims for the week and the ECB will publish its decision on the key rate. On Friday, the level of business activity in January will be published in the Eurozone and the United States, where the change in oil reserves for the week will also become known.     The information provided herewith has an informative nature. This information cannot be regarded as an offer or recommendation for purchase, storage or sale of securities, or as an investment recommendation, an investment survey or a consultation on investments, or a recommendation to entrust management of your assets to the specific investment manager. The Client is fully aware and undertakes all risks involved in the investment. This information is prepared by AS Baltic International Bank.

Weekly financial market overview 04.01.-10.01.

  Konstantins Goluzins, CFA Head of Asset Management Phone.: (+371) 6700 0456 E-mail: trust@bib.eu LINKEDIN PROFILE   Main events of the previous week Debate on the results of the US presidential election, held at the Congress building in Washington on January 6, was interrupted by riots near the Capitol. Supporters of the current President Donald Trump, after his speech at a rally in the United States capital, broke through the barriers to the Capitol and clashed with police and guards. The demonstrators managed to enter the building. The congressmen were evacuated. A few hours after the riots, the building of the US Congress again came under the control of the authorities. Debate of the election results resumed. Senate Democratic and Republican leaders Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell condemned the storming of the Capitol. Schumer called the incident a stain on the country that will not be easy to wash off and McConnell added that the Senate will not be intimidated. After the storming of the Capitol by supporters of US President Donald Trump, the Democratic congressmen intend to initiate a second procedure for impeachment of the president. Democrats will submit a corresponding initiative in the House of Representatives of the US Congress on January 11. Lieu, who is pushing for the resolution, said a plenary vote is expected next week, but he and his associates prefer Trump to resign voluntarily or that US Vice President Mike Pence takes steps in this direction. The draft resolution accuses Trump of incitement to riot and describes him as a threat to national security, democracy and the constitution.     Economic data US. The number of initial jobless claims for the week was registered in the amount of 787 thousand, which is 3 thousand less than the week before and 13 thousand less than predicted by analysts. The unemployment rate in December remained at the same level at 6.7%, and the number of the non-farm payrolls fell by 140 thousand, contrary to expectations of an increase of 71 thousand jobs. Eurozone. The consumer price index in December rose by 0.3% against November, while the annual inflation rate was -0.3%. The growth of the core inflation rate, excluding food and energy, amounted to 0.2% y/y in December. The unemployment rate in November fell by 0.1 percentage points and amounted to 8.3%. Key events this week On Monday, December inflation figures will be published in China. On Wednesday, data on the growth of prices, as well as changes in oil reserves for the week will be published in the United States. On Thursday, China will publish figures on the trade balance for December, and the US will know the number of initial jobless claims for the week. On Friday, the US will release data on retail trade and industrial production for December.   The information provided herewith has an informative nature. This information cannot be regarded as an offer or recommendation for purchase, storage or sale of securities, or as an investment recommendation, an investment survey or a consultation on investments, or a recommendation to entrust management of your assets to the specific investment manager. The Client is fully aware and undertakes all risks involved in the investment. This information is prepared by AS Baltic International Bank.

Baltic International Bank becomes a European Company (Societas Europaea).

Conversion of Baltic International Bank (hereinafter referred to as the Company) from a Joint Stock Company (JSC) into a European Company (SE) was registered in the Commercial Register of the Republic of Latvia on December 21 of this year with a view to reinforcing the international dimension of the Company and promoting its international recognition in the European Union among existing and potential clients of the Company as well as among other international providers of banking and financial services. The name of the Company after the conversion is Baltic International Bank SE; in addition, the current corporate structure and governance have been preserved. The registered office of the Company after the conversion remains unchanged: 43 Kaleju Street, Riga, LV-1050, Latvia; its head office address is 6 Grecinieku Street, Riga, LV-1050, Latvia. The composition of the members of the Supervisory Board and the Management Board of the Company has not changed. The members of the Management Board and the Supervisory Board of the Company will continue to work under the same conditions as before, in compliance with the Charter of the Company, the Regulations of the Management Board of the Company and the Regulations of the Supervisory Board of the Company currently in force as well as other regulatory documents. The conversion does not affect the share capital of the Company and the rights of shareholders: the shareholders retain the same number of shares as prior to the conversion as well as all the rights vested in shareholders in accordance with law. The Company continues to conduct business as before.

Visitation Guidelines

Dear Clients, Please note that entry to Bank for our visitors by pre-arranged appointment only. You must wear face coverings (medical or non-medical masks), just like in any other indoor settings. We therefore encourage you to use remote banking services to the extent possible. Please consider whether there is a need for your physical presence.

LIBOR Benchmark Interest Rate Replaced in Agreements

By the end of 2021, Latvian bank contracts which use the LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) short-term interest rate index as a benchmark will be changed and replaced with alternative indices (benchmark rates) such as EURIBOR. In a loan agreement, the bank lends and the client borrows money. An interest rate is set for the use of the loan, because the bank borrows this money for a set fee from investors, the financial market or interbank loans. Therefore, loan agreements have a benchmark rate which reflects the price of the money loaned to the bank, and the bank’s added interest rate, which reflects the bank’s expenses and risk. Historically, the benchmark rates have been linked to indices whose names include IBOR (Interbank Offered Rate). A European Union regulation on indices used as benchmarks in financial instruments and financial agreements, or for measuring the results of investment funds, the Benchmarks Regulation, was published in 2016 and applied in 2018. This regulation sets the requirements with which a benchmark rate must comply in order for it to apply to a loan agreement, including after the regulation comes into force. Meanwhile, a transition period was set for replacing those benchmark rates which do not comply with the requirements set out in the regulation. The regulation was set to avoid the risk of manipulation of benchmark rate setting methods in international financial markets, which negatively impacts both significant market participants and financial institutions in general, as well as all households. Latvian banks are developing solutions for their clients to successfully replace LIBOR in loan contracts where the aforementioned rate is used as the benchmark rate. Solutions developed and offered by the bank may vary, which is why Finance Latvia and its members will continue to explain the replacement of LIBOR with other benchmark rates to borrowers. Most frequently, the LIBOR EUR rate will be replaced with the EURIBOR EUR rate, but with regards to loans in US dollars, banks will most likely offer to refinance loans from USD to EUR, thus applying the EURIBOR EUR rate as the benchmark rate. For clients who receive their income in Euro, this will reduce the currency risk resulting from a difference in the currencies of the client’s income and loan agreement. We ask clients to be understanding, and to contact their bank’s financial consultant if they have any questions.

Baltic International Bank joins the Latvian Startup Association Startin.LV

Having regard to the role of startups in the overall development of the national economy, the importance of providing support to this sector and the prospects offered by joint work in the development of the startup culture, Baltic International Bank has become a member of the Association. “As a partner and mentor, the Bank is interested in the development of startups, and this also fits within the priorities of the Bank’s strategy: to be a financial partner for small and medium-sized Latvian companies, to use and support innovative financial solutions and to promote capital market development,” says Dace Dūklava – Kokina, Head of Strategic and Business Development. Commenting on the accession of Baltic International Bank to the Association, Jānis Rozenblats, Chairman of the Board of the Association, points out: “The Latvian Startup Association represents over 70 startups, investors and other industry players. Our goal is to strengthen the local ecosystem, help existing companies and promote the formation of new startups in Latvia. We have already established successful cooperation with banks in Latvia and we are glad that Baltic International Bank has joined the list!” The Latvian Startup Association brings together startups and their associations based on common values, with the aim of representing joint interests, speaking with one voice and educating the public about startups in Latvia.

Baltic International Bank closes the first half of the year with a profit of 274 thousand euro

Baltic International Bank has closed the first half of this year with a profit of 274 thousand euro. In Q2 2020, the Bank continued to be active, strengthening its position as a local capital bank, improving its operational performance and resuming lending. Viktors Bolbats, Chairman of the Management Board of the Bank, points out: “I am pleased that, despite the time full of challenges in the global economy, Baltic International Bank has closed the first half of the year with a profit. It is important that in Q2 we achieved the goal set for the Bank at the beginning of the year, and that is to resume lending. In the first half of the year, we approved loans totalling 5 million euro, and we see that lending to small and medium-sized enterprises, which is in the focus of Baltic International Bank, is significant for stabilising the national economy as a whole. The capacity of local capital banks allows them to understand the needs of domestic entrepreneurs and respond quickly, providing the necessary business support mechanisms for domestic entrepreneurs.” In the reporting period, the Bank strengthened its capital adequacy ratio, which reached 17.37%, and also maintained a high liquidity coverage ratio at 145%. The Bank closed the first half of 2020 with the following financial results (data on the Group is given in brackets): Profit: EUR 274 thousand (EUR 217 thousand); Total capital ratio (TCR): 17.37% (17.09%); Liquidity coverage ratio (LCR): 145%; Assets: EUR 201.05 million (EUR 200.72 million). As of 30 June 2020, the total customer funds in the Bank amounted to EUR 367 million (Annex 1) and assets under management reached EUR 70 million (EUR 70 million). The value of financial instruments in brokerage service was EUR 132 million (EUR 132 million). In Q2 2020, the net fee and commission income grew by 0.6% (0.6%) on a year-on-year basis and totalled EUR 4.22 million (EUR 4.22 million). In percentage terms, the increase was up to 64.6% (64.7%). The Bank’s high-quality liquid assets (assets carrying investment-grade credit rating and claims on the Bank of Latvia) totalled EUR 108 million (EUR 108 million) or 54% (54%) of the total assets. Investments in government bonds amounted to EUR 15.26 million (EUR 15.26 million) or 8% (8%) of the total assets. The Bank maintains a well-diversified structure of liquid assets represented by bonds (14%), claims on credit institutions (6%), claims on the Bank of Latvia (77%) and cash (3%). The liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) was 145%. The net stable funding ratio (NSFR), characterising the availability of a stable funding profile in relation to the composition of assets and off-balance sheet activities, reached 160%. As the Bank continued to implement its asset quality improvement and capital strengthening programme, as of 30 June 2020, the Bank’s Tier 1 capital ratio reached 14.66% (14.33%), while the total capital ratio (TCR) was 17.37% (17.09%), which substantially exceeds the overall capital requirement ratio of 13.50%. As of 30 June 2020, the Bank’s own funds totalled EUR 21.33 million (EUR 20.68 million). In the reporting period, for the second consecutive year, the Bank was awarded the highest scoring category – Platinum Category – on the annual Sustainability Index, confirming the compliance of the company’s activities with the principles of sustainability. The Platinum Category is awarded to companies that have fully integrated corporate governance into their operations and in which responsible persons have been appointed at both the managerial and executive levels. “It is an honour to become a winner in the Platinum Category for the second time, and simultaneously it is a confirmation that the concept of sustainability in the Bank’s operations is not merely a short-term phenomenon, but also a carefully thought-out and implemented strategy in accordance with the principles of ESG. Environmental sustainability, good governance and social issues are the issues that we have worked on persistently for a long time, transforming Baltic International Bank into a modern investment bank and introducing ESG principles at all levels of activity,” says Viktors Bolbats, Chairman of the Management Board the Bank. This year again, the Bank traditionally supported the ceremony of presenting the Annual Latvian Literary Award (LALIGABA) in the first half of the year and also continued work within the project Bibliotēka (Library) aimed at promoting reading. In the first half of the year, the Bank also carried on with the reconstruction of the Kalēju Quarter, renovating the complex of buildings between Kalēju and Vecpilsētas Streets. The financial report of Baltic International Bank for the 1st half-year is available here.

Baltic International Bank becomes a partner in a real estate development project in Old Riga

Baltic International Bank has become a partner and investor in an ambitious real estate project at 16 Smilšu Street, Old Riga. The project will be implemented in cooperation with partners, the brand A&B Apartment Inn Balticum of the company A Consulting SIA. Both small and larger apartments will be available for rent and purchase, depending on the interests and needs of the clients, after the renovation in the complex of three buildings, located on one of the main streets of the Old Town. In the words of Viktors Bolbats, Chairman of the Management Board of Baltic International Bank: “The real estate segment, especially the development of Old Riga, is a close concern of the Bank, since our office buildings are located here, and we are also working on the reconstruction of Kalēju Quarter. At the same time, the project at 16 Smilšu Street will become another step in the Bank’s operations aimed at developing this part of the Old Town and real estate together with partners, while providing construction specialists with new jobs, as well as expanding and supplementing the real estate market with a quality offer. This is a very beautiful complex of buildings, and after the completion of construction work, we will be able to offer a renovated, tasteful residence near a park, with all necessary urban infrastructure to anyone interested”. During the implementation of the project, Baltic International Bank will work in partnership with the entrepreneur Aleksandrs Zindmans, owner of the A&B Apartment Inn Balticum brand: “Riga and Old Riga play a special role in my life, and I am glad that Baltic International Bank has become a partner with which we will be able to carry out work on the renovation and reconstruction of this property. We estimate that after the completion of the work, the market will be supplemented with apartments ranging from ​​27 square metres, which are more suitable for young and ambitious people, for whom this is likely to be their first home, to spacious apartments of up to 100 square metres.” After reconstruction, the building will be available to those interested at the end of 2021. Baltic International Bank is currently actively implementing renovation works in Old Riga between Kalēju Street and Vecpilsētas Square – in Kalēju Quarter, where it is planned to invest EUR 12 million over five years. [gallery columns="8" link="file" size="large" ids="36871,36880,36868,36874,36865,36862"]

Global Finance names Baltic International Bank as the Best Digital Bank in Latvia

Baltic International Bank has been announced a winner of World’s Best Digital Bank Awards 2020 by Global Finance and recognised as the Best Digital Bank in Latvia. “We are pleased and honoured that our work has been appreciated at the international level! This victory is yet another indication that the development strategy chosen by the Bank was correct and that we have created the product our clients need. The title of the Best Digital Bank in Latvia is additional encouragement to continue along the path of active work on improving digital services, thinking about the interests and needs of our customers,” says Jānis Osis, Head of Digital Channel Development of Baltic International Bank. Winning Round One of World’s Best Digital Bank Awards 2020 and receiving recognition as the Best Digital Bank in the country makes it possible to continue participating in Round Two of the competition in which Baltic International Bank aims for the title of the Best Digital Bank in Central and Eastern Europe. In April this year, Baltic International Bank introduced the new Internet Banking, offering improved functionality, increased user friendliness as well as updated security solutions. The Internet Banking of Baltic International Bank provides for multilevel signing of payments and multilevel approval of applications as well as for using the function of instant payments, which can be selected from the list of beneficiaries. A smart payment form that adapts itself depending on the information entered by the customer has also been introduced. To process several payments in a quick and easy manner, the Bank has implemented payment import and payment summaries export, a search function and simultaneous approval of several payments.  Over the twenty-one years of its existence, World’s Best Digital Bank Awards has become one of the most prestigious competitions, and receiving an award in any segment of the competition is considered one of the highest recognitions in the industry, demonstrating excellence in digital financial services.

Baltic International Bank issued a loan of EUR 1.2 million for a real estate renovation project

Continuing the development of the lending segment, Baltic International Bank issued a loan in the amount of EUR 1.2 million for a real estate development project at 63 Dzirnavu Street, Riga. The project provides for the renovation of residential buildings and further income-generating activities through the sales and rental of modern apartments. The Bank’s funding will be used to renovate the building’s façade and interior decoration, resulting in the development of 59 apartments. This project involves the shaping of apartments for which the developer and the Bank see potential in terms of sales or rental under the current real estate market conditions. “The financing provided will not only enable the creation of jobs for the employees involved in the development of the project and the reconstruction of the building, but also contribute to the improvement of the urban environment as well as increase the supply of the rental market in the capital. Crediting support for the segment of small and medium-sized enterprises is one of the priorities of Baltic International Bank’s operating strategy, and 5 million euro was approved for the issuing of loans in the first half of the year,” Viktors Bolbats, Chairman of the Management Board of Baltic International Bank, points out. Commenting on the transaction, Mārcis Dobrājs, real estate developer and representative of D63 SIA, emphasises: “It is gratifying that even under the current market conditions there are banks that see the opportunity of implementing promising projects and are ready for strategic cooperation with entrepreneurs”. As previously reported, Baltic International Bank closed the first half of this year with a profit of 273 thousand euro.

Small and medium-sized enterprises can receive support to access capital markets

Baltic International Bank invites small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to apply for the attraction of financing via stock exchange as part of the European Union funds support program “Support for attraction of financing for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in capital markets”. Aim of the program is to help SMEs in Latvia to attract financing for their development via capital markets, allowing the enterprises to boost their international competitiveness and promote capital markets development of Latvia. This is the first program of this type in Baltic region. Bank offers to provide emission organizer services – develop debt securities provisions, prepare emission prospectus – documents required for the registry of emission in the authorised institutions, organize cooperation of the issuer with the stock exchange, as well as secure technical base for the performance of debt securities transactions. We are offering analytical and informative materials for the attraction of financing as well as maintaining of relations with investors both during the emission preparation period and also after the issuance of bonds in the secondary market. Baltic International Bank, Head of Corporate Finance Oto Davidovs explains: “Capital market development and bond issue of the enterprise is one of the sources of receiving external financing and for many years already it is used all around the world as an efficient and beneficial alternative to attract financing. It is very good solution for the companies with the growth ambitions exceeding the financing attraction possibilities banks can offer.” In comparison to Western Europe capital market of the Baltic countries is in its early development stage, although I have to emphasize that lately market can be characterized with rapid growth and bond issue as a tool for the receiving of the development financing for the company is growing in popularity.Oto Davidovs   In the frame of the European Union funds development period support program will be implemented as the pilot project and the total initially available financing is planned in the amount of EUR 1’ 000’ 000, meaning, EUR 800’ 000 EUR for the support of issuing of shares and EUR 200’ 000 EUR for the support of debt securities (bond issue). It is planned that open tender for the attraction of financing will be organized quarterly. Administrator of the program is Central Finance and Contracting Agency (CFLA). Support will be provided for the covering of the following preparation costs: Service costs of the organizer of emission (investment bank); Costs of preparing the emission prospectus or the securities registration documents; Costs of Due Diligence; Consulting costs of legal, financial, taxes, auditors, certified consultants. Support of SMEs is issued as a form of grants covering 50% from the eligible costs but not more than EUR 100’ 000 EUR for one applicant in the event of issuing of shares and not more than EUR 20’ 000 in the event of issuing the debt securities (bonds).

Valeri Belokon: The existence of our nation in 200 years depends on literature

Valeri Belokon, the main shareholder of Baltic International Bank and the long-standing patron of Latvian literature, who also supports the current project ‘Library’ aimed at promoting reading, believes that the existence of the literary industry is of great importance for our entire nation. Preserving literature, we preserve the Latvian culture and language. What do we leave behind, apart from language? We leave the thoughts of our people. If we lose the word, we lose the thought. Books should be published to enable us to keep a big, complete, philosophical thought.Valeri Belokon   In the seventh interview in a series of video stories within the framework of the ‘Library’ project, Valeri Belokon gives a peek into his private library and tells about his personal motivation prompting him to provide support. The books have everything that we need for our life and for the life of our soul,’ he says. ‘Support to literature is my vocation and the voice of my heart. A person can support literature only if he or she understands it and needs it. It is not that literature goes with hat in hand.Valeri Belokon   The patron also expresses his views on the role of literature in the preservation of the Latvian language. ‘We are in a situation where we need to maintain our language and culture. I believe that this is what we are doing at the moment and what definitely have to keep doing.’ In an interview with Baltic International Bank, the main shareholder points out, through laughter and, at the same time, very seriously, that all the answers to questions can be found in books. ‘Nowadays, people think that Google has all the answers, but I have to disappoint them by saying that this is actually not true. Books provide all the answers,’ he says. Watch full interview The full interview with Valeri Belokon is available on the home page of the ‘Library’ project at www.manabiblioteka.lv. There you can also find six other interviews published before: with writers Nora Ikstena and Māris Bērziņš, Zbigņevs Stankēvičs, metropolitan archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church, Andris Vilks, director of the National Library of Latvia (NLL), Kārina Pētersone, director of the Latvian National Library Support Society, and Vaira Vike-Freiberga, former president of Latvia. In the coming months, it is also planned to publish an interview with Uldis Bērziņš, poet and translator, Imants Lancmanis, Latvian art historian and heraldry specialist, and Sanita Stinkule, head of the Department of Ethnography of the National History Museum of Latvia. The project ‘Library’ has been created by Baltic International Bank, a long-standing patron of Latvian literature. The ‘Library’ initiative proposes to tell stories about the importance of literature in people’s lives, stories about personal libraries, their content, emotional and professional value. The development of Latvian literature is one of the long-term public support endeavours of Baltic International Bank. Believing that knowledge of culture and history of one's country is the basis of the national identity of each nation, Baltic International Bank financially supports the publishing of books of national importance and implementation of literary projects.

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