Another shot at pawning off pawnshop authority

Take note – story published 9 years ago

The deputies of the Riga City Council Tuesday ruled to again submit to privatization the Riga municipal pawnbrokers’ centralized inventory certification authority Rigas Lombards, reported information agency LETA.

The local government owns all 400,000 shares of the central municipal pawnbrokerage system’s administrative enterprise. It is planned that the entire stock would be auctioned off at one time, with the opening bid to be set according to market value determined by a state-licensed assessor. The acquired income would transfer directly into the local government’s budget.

The council ruling assigns the City’s Property Department the task of assessment and drafting the rules for submission and review within two months’ time.

In August 2011 the City Council decided to try to auction off its pawnbrokers’ house, valued by JSC ‘BDO’ to worth almost €1.5m, however attracted no bidders on its first attempt.

Back in 2008 it declined to put the town lombard up for privatization, ruling instead to take on the job of bringing order to the system and ensure higher standards of quality and service on its own.

Nevertheless, after amendments to the Consumer Protection Law went into effect in 2011, the city government’s good-faith meddling had become moot and the idea of pawning off the pawnshops came back out of hock.

Meanwhile, just a day prior, on Monday the much-disputed Lucavsala undeveloped real estate auction passed without a single bid entered. Its opening bid price-tag was significantly higher than the combined pawnshop business – €26.58m.

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