11. December 2007
Smartlink Terminal OÜ, whose main areas of activity are provision of the service of terminal workplaces to customers, creation of special solutions and development of strategies and visions in the field of IT, expanded the offering of services...
29. October 2007
The applications that were currently left out of the grant lists of September 17th are not returned by KredEx at present. Currently the negotiations are being conducted with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications to find additional financing for these grants. The decision concerning their return will be made within a short period of time. As soon as there is some more specific information on the subject, it will be published on KredEx website.
The acceptance of applications for grants for reconstruction of apartment buildings restituted during the ownership reform is continually open. The list of receivers of the grants for reconstruction of apartment buildings belonging to other target groups can be found here.
18. October 2007
Today, on October 18th, the Government of the Republic approved the application plan for the years 2008-2011 of the development plan "Estonian business policy 2007-2013", which specifies the use of almost 2.1 billion kroons during the next four years.
Most of the state budget funds for that will be granted by the Structural Funds of the European Union.
In 2008 the different branches of business policy will be financed in the following volume:
- development of knowledge and skills: 61 mln kroons;
- supporting business investments and improving access to capital: 172 mln kroons;
- supporting the globalization of businesses: 94 mln kroons;
- development of legal environment: 15 mln kroons.
According to Piret Koobas, the head of the business division of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications (MKM), the biggest priority for the next year will be the development and implementation of business support programmes for the incipient period. "As a completely new action, an investment aid programme will be available, with the aim of promoting the application of modern technologies. Also an programme directed towards business organizations will be launched next year, with a purpose of increasing their administrative capacity - improve the skills of business organizations to participate and have their say in the process of policy development," said Koobas.
The application plan is directed towards execution of the general goals of the development plan "Estonian business policy 2007-2013", and thereby helps indirectly to increase the prosperity of the Estonian society.
The application plan was drafted by MKM and the main promoters of the actions are the Estonian Agency of Enterprise and KredEx Foundation. The actions directed towards the development of legal environment are co-ordinated by the Ministry of Justice and State Chancellery.
Press release by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications
Date: October 18th, 2007
12. October 2007
On Saturday, October 13th, the issue of energy efficient renovation of an apartment building will be touched upon in TV-programme "Nurgakivi". The same topic will be covered from different angles in 5 consecutive programmes.
"Nurgakivi" is broadcasted on TV 3 on Saturdays at 11:30. Reruns on Sundays, on channel TV3+ at 09:30 (in Russian).
20. September 2007
On KredEx website a list of those, who applied for reconstruction grants on September 17th, and who will receive the grants from budget funds, is available. The applicants were lined up according to the times of mailing obtained from Eesti Post. There was a common budget for the target group that consisted of apartment buildings built before the year 1940 (incl.) or located in the areas of cultural and environmental value, and for the target group that consisted of apartment buildings built during 1941-1990. The lists have been compiled separately for applicants from Tallinn and from elsewhere Estonia. In case part of the finances will not be distributed in the course of processing the support applications, additions will be made to the lists of applicants and the next applications, according to the time of posting, will be satisfied.
The applications that were currently left out of the grant lists, are not returned by KredEx at present. The decision concerning their return will be made within a couple of weeks. As soon as there is some more specific information on the subject, it will be published on KredEx website.
The acceptance of applications for grant for reconstruction of apartment buildings restituted during the ownership reform has begun. The list of receivers of the grant for reconstruction of apartment buildings belonging to other target groups can be found here.
The applications that were currently left out of the grant lists, are not returned by KredEx at present. The decision concerning their return will be made within a couple of weeks
27. August 2007
KredEx opens on September 17th its regular receipt of applications for support for reconstruction of apartment buildings. This time new recipients have been added, the conditions have been changed and therefore also the form of application has been altered. The applications are accepted only by registered letters sent via Eesti Post. Altogether in 2007 KredEx will have 56,7 million kroons of allocated funds to distribute in the form of grants to apartment buildings.
New support target groups have been added. They include apartment buildings built before the year 1940 or located in the areas of cultural and environmental value, also the apartment buildings restituted during the ownership reform. Grants will be allocated to those target groups in the extent of 20% for reconstruction works carried out in 2007. There is also a new grant for expert opinions concerning the buildings located in the areas of cultural and environmental value.
„As the volume of submitted applications has recently exceeded the support budget in a couple of hours, we recommend all the applicants to post their applications already in the morning of September 17th. The grant resources for evaluation of construction works and for energy audit are continuously available and would apparently suffice for a longer period,“ said Mirja Adler, the head of the KredEx division of housing products. „The applications are only accepted by registered letters sent via Eesti Post, so we ask you not to bring them to our office. The applications sent before September 17th are not accepted," she added.
KredEx lines the applications up according to the time of posting, obtained from Eesti Post. The final order will become evident within 10 days (minimum), after which the preliminary list of those who will receive the support from budget funds will be made public on the KredEx home page. Applications that do not fit in the budget or will not be processed are returned to the applicants. As soon as the funds have been used up, KredEx will inform the public through its home page and media.
KredEx and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications signed an agreement on amendment of 2007 grants contract, on the basis of which 56,7 million kroons will be allocated to KredEx for distribution in the form of support for apartment buildings. Out of that sum 2,55 mln kroons will be spent on the grants for evaluation of construction works and for energy audit, 2 mln have been allocated for expert opinion grants on apartment buildings located in the areas of cultural and environmental value, 15 mln for reconstruction of apartment buildings restituted during the ownership reform and 37,165 mln for reconstructing apartment building belonging to other target groups, out of which 22 mln kroons are intended to gratify the applications accepted on 10.01.2007.
During the last receipt of applications that was carried out on January 10th this year, the apartment buildings submitted to KredEx 831 applications for reconstruction grants in the total sum of 44 million kroons. At the moment, the above-mentioned applications are being processed and presumably all the applicants will receive the decisions by the end of November at the latest. The next funds to support the apartment buildings will be allocated from the EU Structural Funds and the conditions of these grants are currently being prepared.
The particular conditions and new application forms of the grants are available on the home page of KredEx Energy Efficiency Consulting Centre - www.kredex.ee/esk
04. July 2007
On July 4th in Berlin the General Manager of KredEx Andrus Treier signed a declaration of common interests in a cooperation meeting on energy saving issues with development banks of other countries. According to the declaration its parties shall continue cooperation in development and offering of financial products connected with energy saving of dwelling houses, and increasing of awareness regarding energy saving. Also KfW Banken Gruppe from Germany, Hipoteku Banka from Latvia and Bank Gospadarstwa Krajowego from Poland joined in the declaration.
"I believe that in cooperation with the development banks of other countries we can provide efficient help to increase awareness regarding energy saving in Estonia, and offer specific solutions for financing of reconstruction work of apartment buildings. Exchange of experience makes it possible to learn from one another, including the exchange of information for efficient use of the European structure funds," Andrus Treier said.
Energy saving has become a more and more important topic within the European Union in connection with environmental protection, changes of climate, increasing energy prices and high dependence on energy. Sustainable use of energy yield opportunities is the key phrase of the energy policy of Europe. The housing sector of the Eastern Europe has a high potential of energy saving and that especially in connection with apartment buildings. Pilot projects have proven that by investing into renovation of buildings it is possible to achieve remarkable energy savings, whereas payments connected with loan can be covered from the amounts of saved energy costs. Due to constant increase of energy prices the saving will be even more remarkable in the future.
28. June 2007
On Tuesday, June 26th, the Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Juhan Parts visited KredEx. The main purpose of the visit was to get acquainted with the activity of KredEx. At the meeting also a discussion was held regarding the role of KredEx in the development of the areas of export, entrepreneurship and housing, and ideas were exchanged regarding the possible additional services, which KredEx might start to offer in the areas of housing and export. In regard to the latter, cooperation with the Ministry and other parties shall be continued already in the nearest future.
24. May 2007
Velotaxo does business in Estonia already for the fourth year, providing in Tallinn city center the transportation, advertising and entertainment service by eye-catching and environmentally friendly velotaxi that is operated by muscular and electric power.
At the moment about 40 self-employed individuals, providing first hand service, are employed as velotaxi drivers. Besides the taxi services the primary source of income of the company is the advertising space at velotaxis.
The company is doing well in Estonia and in order to extend the operation a search for additional possibilities was launched to provide the services abroad. While there is no provider of such service in Finland, though its advertising market is several times bigger, a decision in favour of Helsinki was passed. An agreement to bring the velotaxis to the Finnish market has been obtained from the Helsinki Municipality, in joint cooperation with the Transportation Office of the city useful routes and velotaxi stops have been developed. The initial plan involves the purchase of 5 velotaxis.
According to the company manager Herdis Ojasu one of the Velotaxo board members, Erko Valk (also known as the leader of the Prussakov Bicycle Union) got an idea to provide the velotaxi service years ago when he was visiting the European major cities where the service was already at the market. The sight charmed him by its novelty and positivity, as it had to do with environmentally sustainable and comfortable vehicles to move around specifically in Old Town. The banks displayed an initial doubtful attitude regarding the fresh idea, but it was still possible to obtain the velotaxis by the agency of KredEx and Sampo Bank. A good cooperation of both parties continues up to the present day, including also the financing of future expansion. At the beginning of the activities also the opposition of the Tallinn Municipality was met, but the differences of opinion found still a solution that satisfied both parties and the activities continued. The business has proven to be economically cost effective and in 3 seasons (1.5 calendar years) it has become possible to return about a million-kroon debt to the bank and earn a small profit.
As the Finnish tourists are one of the most active users of the service in Tallinn and there is no such service in Finland, the decision to enter the Helsinki taxi market was made. Based upon thus far obtained experience Ojasu considers the Finns as good and stable clients. But Finland is not the only market to be conquered. Next year already a new market is targetted, but as the idea is still under development there is so far no desire to make the plans public before taking any action.
27. February 2007
In order to obtain maximum energy efficiency in any house or building, an energy audit has to be carried out there. To get the most accurate overview, the use of energy in a building during different periods has to be compared. Degree days can be used to compare the heat consumption irrespective of outdoor temperature fluctuations.
As a big amount of heat consumption is in direct correlation with outside climate that changes in different years, it is possible to use the degree days to eliminate the differences and obtain the most accurate result. The degree days are necessary to determine the thermal need of a building, but also for the comparative analysis of actually consumed heat or fuel during years with different outside climate. First of all the energy auditors, certifiers of energy efficiency, designers, experts, owners of buildings, real estate companies and other interested parties use the degree days. It is possible to find out more about the Estonian degree days at the web site of KredEx Energy Efficiency Consulting Centre www.kredex.ee/esk.
According to Madis Laaneste, the Manager of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Service of the Ministry of Economy and Communication, the degree day data that can be freely obtained from one source contribute to the further calculations of profitability of energy efficiency measures and quality of reconstruction decisions.
The data of climate that were earlier used to determine the thermal need are from a period of more than 50 years ago and do not consider the noticeable climate warming of the past decades. The research made by the Institute of Environmental Engineering of Tallinn Technical University, ordered by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, on Estonian Degree Days provides an overview on degree days of 6 locations within a regular year and degree days at different temperatures according to months and the actual degree days of the past 5 years. The favourable attitude of the Estonian Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology to the initiated effort contributed to the realization of a degree day research.
In the process of energy audit of buildings one of the essential tasks is to make an energy plan, determining the prioritized measures of efficiency, to the audited object. The alignment of efficiency measures or the result of audit depends directly on the quality of the collected initial data, including the background information. It is very convenient to use the degree days in the process of energy audits and making the efficiency calculations
13. February 2007
Ever-increasing heating costs and severe colds continue to increase the heating cost of apartment building dwellers. However, the dwellers do not have to give in to inevitability – the renovation of a building makes it possible to save 45% of energy.
The apartment union of Sütiste tee 45 in Tallinn is the best example of complex renovation resulting in proper energy efficiency. According to Ragnar Kuuse, the apartment union manager, over 6.2 million kroons (out of this sum 4.5 million by the aid of bank loan) has been invested since 1999 in the maintenance of the house and 43% of savings have been achieved by now already from heating cost. In future additional savings are expected. When in 2001 the heating cost were in average 5.7 kroons per square metre, in 2005 it had decreased already to 4.1 kroons and by 2007 only 3.5 kroons per month are predicted as a cost of heating per square meter. Considering also the fact that the heating cost has increased in these years more than 20%, the dwellers pay for heating a half compared to 2001.
Out of more extensive repair works according to Kuuse, the insulation of the whole house, renewal of electric system, building the gable roof to the house, replacing the windows and repair of staircases can be highlighted. Also the heating system was renewed and every apartment got a thermal regulator for its radiators that the dwellers can use to adjust their indoor heat. In addition to the steps made so far there are future plans to renovate also the elevators, set up an underground garage, and build a paid car parking lot and greenery with playground and garbage collection point.
According to Mirja Adler, the Head of KredEx Housing Division, winter is namely a good time to make the repair plans for the following year. “The quicker the repair will be launched, the bigger the probability that the achieved energy efficiency and heating cost savings can be enjoyed already at the following heating period,” told Adler. In winter it is simply easier to find the necessary repair men compared to the summer season and it is also easier to summon the people necessary to hold the union meetings. According to KredEx assessment the renovation of energy system (depending on the size of investments the payout period may be for a few years) provides efficiency the fastest. In order to find out which repair works provide the biggest efficiency in the house and what is their pay-back time, a specialist should be invited to inspect the house and carry out an energy audit.
Most Estonian inhabitants dwell in apartment buildings constructed during the Soviet period that are in need of serious renovation and constant regular maintenance to stand the test of time. In addition to improving the outer look, the renovation of apartment building provides also proper energy saving that will pay off with constantly increasing heating costs. KredEx Energy Efficiency Consulting Centre www.kredex.ee/esk provides free advice to everyone interested in energy efficiency.
23. January 2007
When up to the present day the Estonian companies have been using the KredEx loan guarantee first of all for conducting their investments, e.g. procuring new devices or buildings, then at present the guarantee has been used increasingly more to buy the businesses or trade marks.
According to Jako Kruuse, the Head of KredEx Export and Enterprise Division, several Estonian companies have reached to the second phase of their development cycle where new possibilities for future quick growth are being looked for. “One has gained an understanding that in order to grow the market share the replacement of equipment and construction of new buildings is often sufficient enough. Increasingly more opportunities to buy up the competitors and companies working at the same field or merge with them whether in Estonia or abroad are sought to provide the sustainability of the company," noted Kruuse.
Express Pesulad LCC that works under the trade mark of Jazz Kiirpesulad can be brought as one of the recent examples. If in spring of 2006 the company used KredEx loan guarantee with an aim to build a new car wash to Suur-Sõjamäe, at the end of a year a decision was passed to extend its activity already by purchasing the whole Petra Wash Street and Spectra Car Wash Chain, creating a separate company for this purpose - Jazz Pesulad LCC. According to the statement of Ando Mellikov, the major owner of Express Pesulad LCC and Jazz Pesulad LCC the company wanted to increase its market share considerably and the purchase of two competitive car wash chains provided the best possibility for it. “The expansion plans were first made difficult by the lack of guarantees required for obtaining the investment loan from bank, but the surety of KredEx provided a solution to this issue,” mentioned Mellikov.
Also Viking Motors Co. that purchased recently a 100% share in a Latvian company SIA E&S Auto with a goal to expand its activity also at the quickly growing Latvian car market can be highlighted from among the KredEx clients.
According to Kristiina Kruus, the Business Loan Development Manager of SEB Eesti Ühispank, there is a clear growing demand for financing solutions to buy up companies and make merger transactions. “The structure of such financing is more complicated compared to the average, as a rule, as a merger changes the speed of the company growth and its organization considerably. In cooperation with KredEx we have been able to manage the risks of projects and realize a financing solution, suitable for such multifaceted needs of the client."
The Government created KredEx to help develop the businesses and enhance their competitive ability at international market. KredEx provides loan guarantee and export guarantees to Estonian companies. In 2006 companies took a total of 687 million kroons of loan from banks by the aid of KredEx to expand their activities.
03. January 2007
In 2006 KredEx paid to Estonian exporters 13 million kroons for indemnifications due to problems with foreign partners. During the period of its activity KredEx has paid 27 million kroons of export guarantee indemnifications to entrepreneurs.
According to Andrus Treier, the Head of KredEx, the indemnification is a natural part of guaranteeing activity and continues to prove the necessity of export guarantees to entrepreneurs. “One should surely be cautious with new enterprises with a short history of business activity, but at the same time the practice of KredEx displays that often problems may also emerge with long-term foreign partners. There have been cases where well functioning companies of long history have quickly become bankrupt due to the concurrence of negative factors. One should surely consider the guarantee in case the sums of transactions are big and the lack of payment of a purchaser can create serious problems to the company," remarked Treier.
In 2006 the export turnover guaranteed by KredEx amounted to 595 million kroons and 15 indemnifications were paid out, totalling 13 million kroons. The biggest disbursements were made at the German and Russian direction, totalling respectively 5.4 million and 3.7 million kroons. Additionally indemnifications were recompensed to companies who exported the products to UK, Finland, Denmark, Italy and Greece.
Also according to Külli Paap, the Head of Trade Financing Department of the Sampo Bank, the background of the purchaser is often examined at the beginning of cooperation and no later constant monitoring will be carried out. “We have noticed that major damage is caused namely by long term partners. They are trusted and the fiscal situation of the company is checked less, but also such long term partners tend to end up being bankrupt or develop payment difficulties. We had most problems last year namely with German and Lithuanian companies. I would advise the exporters to check the background of long term partners from time to time and surely also think how to manage the possible payment risk,” Paap said.
KredEx has been securing the export of Estonian companies already since 2001. The annual increase of indemnifications has been first of all caused by the increase of guaranteed export turnover. If in 2003 KredEx guaranteed 167 million kroons of business export transactions, in 2004 it amounted already to 684 million and in 2005 to 779 million kroons. During the period of its activity KredEx has guaranteed the export transactions of Estonian entrepreneurs approximately for 2.3 million kroons.
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