Tax Exemption for Employee Stock Options
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and various related restrictive measures have created an extraordinary human, business, and legal situation in Lithuania. The Energy sector (like all others) has become subject to various restrictions and challenges, including restrictions on the movement of workers, partner liquidity issues, reduced demand for energy resources, etc. As everywhere else in Europe, Lithuanian electricity market participants have faced a significant decrease in wholesale electricity market prices. Moreover, it is already clear that COVID-19 has negatively affected the international supply chain, as the energy market participants experience disruptions and delays in the performance of contracts and project delivery. In these extraordinary circumstances, industry players (including operating power plant operators, project developers, and so on) have a reasonable expectation that the government will take the effect of the ongoing international crisis into account if developers do not bid in time in auctions or miss their project deployment deadlines.
In accordance with statistical data from 2018 and 2019, Latvia’s State Agency of Medicines concluded that there is a high risk of unavailability of state-reimbursed medicines in the Latvian pharmaceutical market, mainly as a consequence of the behavior of the wholesalers. The same conclusion was reached by the Competition Council of the Republic of Latvia which, in late 2018 and 2019, published two reports on the availability of medicines. Accordingly, it was concluded that the existing regulatory framework was unable to provide an effective market protection mechanism to reduce the risk that patients in Latvia might not have access to state-reimbursed medicines, because after these medicines are made available in Latvia by producers or importers, they are exported to third countries or other EU member states by other market participants.
Over many years, the Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian legal markets have been dominated by the same four firms, although the names they operate under have sometimes changed. At the very end of 2018, however, the market in Lithuania, the largest of the Baltic states, shook. when a large team split off from one of those four firms, and several months later merged with a leading independent firm in the country.
In August 2007 crime fiction admirers in Latvia were thrilled to read a book, Kitchen Justice, describing an influential litigation attorney, the trial cases his office handled, and his secret relationship with judges and public figures. The protagonist was immediately recognized by readers, and the legal community was able to identify heroes less known to the public: the judges in the legal proceedings, who were privately communicating with the prominent attorney about the cases they were working on. It was apparent that the disguised author had based his fictional novel on a real-life characters and cases, and without delay, Latvia’s Chief Justice convened an extraordinary session of Supreme Court judges to set up a special panel of five reputable judges with a mandate to investigate the novel’s plot. The commission interviewed dozens of judges who had been identified in Kitchen Justice.
Contributed by Cobalt.
We will start the overview of the transport and logistics sector in Lithuania by showing the key figures of carriage of goods performed by Lithuanian carriers. The amount of goods carried by all means of transport in Q1 and Q2 of 2019 was 35,025 billion tonne-kilometres – over 16% more than over the same period in 2018, when the amount was 30,175 billion tonne-kilometres.
The law on carriage of goods is a well-harmonized area of international law – a streamlined set of rules that allows cargo owners and carriers to save valuable time and resources. While freight forwarders are an important element of every consignment it is surprising that many elements of forwarder’s liability are still regulated by national law.
Estonia’s commercial real estate sector is enjoying steady growth in practically all segments, with the construction of numerous new office buildings, logistics centers, hotels, and industrial buildings. Even though the majority of transactions are still being made by local property funds, there is an increasing inflow of foreign capital looking for decent returns in a stable environment. One critical aspect facilitating foreign investments into Estonia’s property market is the favorable legal environment.
The Baltic real estate and construction markets remain active, with a number of sizeable transactions completed during the first few months of 2019 and investment pouring into the development of infrastructure, commercial, and residential projects. For the past decade, the Estonian and Lithuanian real estate markets have been more active than the Latvian market. Now, however, with Estonian and Lithuanian markets becoming more and more saturated, Latvia is attracting an increased amount of interest from developers and investors.
Earlier this year the Estonian parliament enacted long-awaited dedicated covered bond legislation, finally allowing local banks to enter both regional and European-wide covered bond markets and to gain access to a reasonably priced and stable source of long-term funding for their key banking businesses (most importantly for funding the issuance of mortgage loans). Additionally, under the new legislation, local covered bond issuers able to meet prudential requirements under the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR) will be able to benefit from certain forms of preferential treatment afforded to covered bonds. For the local banking sector that, at the moment, remains dominated by Scandinavian banking groups, the new legislation also creates a viable alternative to the parent funding.
Amazingly, the Lithuanian FinTech ecosystem report of 2018 revealed that there were 170 FinTech companies based in Lithuania – reflecting 45 percent growth over the previous year – with some 2,600 employees working in FinTech companies, more than 700 of which were newly-employed in 2018. The numbers are still growing this year.