Poland increases scope of privatisation plans

22 July 2009 17:11  [Source: ICIS news]

PRAGUE (ICIS news)--Poland has expanded its 2009-2010 national privatisation programme, with major stakes in fertilizer, titanium dioxide (TiO2) and biofuel producers a key element of the plan, the Polish treasury ministry said on Wednesday.

Analysts said the extent of the programme, with ministers now targeting receipts of up to zloty (Zl) 30bn ($9.9bn, €7.0bn) for 2009-2010, instead of Zl15-20bn, surprised the markets. Trade union leaders at big privatisation target, copper group KGHM, said they would push for strike action.

A minority stake in the second-largest Polish refiner and biofuels producer, Grupa Lotos, was among the assets newly announced as available to investors. 

The treasury ministry also reiterated its determination to see Poland’s largest fertilizer maker, Zaklady Azotowe Pulawy (ZAP), as well as the country’s second-largest fertilizer producer, Zaklady Chemiczne Police (ZChP), sold off during next year.

Initial bids for the flagship package of the process - Ciech, Zaklady Azotowe Kedzierzyn (ZAK) and Zaklady Azotowe Tarnow (ZAT) – need to be lodged by 10 September.

Bank Pekao said the Warsaw stock market had fallen in the wake of the latest privatisation announcement due to fears that the government would be forced to sell off assets cheaply to shore up public finances.

($1 = Zl3.02, €1 = Zl4.28)

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By: Will Conroy
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