04 April 2013 13:56 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Poland's expanded Zaklady Azoty Tarnow (ZAT) group is a ‘top pick’ when it comes to selecting central and eastern European companies that stand to benefit from a world economic recovery in the second half of this year, Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) said on Thursday.
“Sales revenues are expected to show a positive trend in the years to come, above all due to rising EU subsidies for Polish farmers, [while] the group’s ammonia installations are among the most efficient facilities in the world,” it added.
The ZAT group has become Europe's second-largest fertilizer producer behind Norway's Yara International since gaining a majority stake in largest Polish nitrogen fertilizer producer, Zaklady Azotowe Pulawy (ZAP), in January. ZAP is also a manufacturer of melamine and caprolactam (capro).
Thanks to a state-sponsored consolidation drive in the Polish chemical industry, the past two years have also seen ZAT take over two other Polish chemical players – multi-component fertilizer and titanium dioxide (TiO2) producer Zaklady Chemiczne Police (ZChP) and nitrogen fertilizer and oxo-alcohols company Zaklady Azotowe Kedzierzyn (ZAK).
ZAT, also a capro and polyamide 6 (nylon 6) manufacturer, and all of its subsidiaries apart from ZAP have begun trading under the brand Grupa Azoty – the name the entire ZAT group is set to switch to once the merger and consolidation process has further progressed.
RBI, citing “robust crude price expectations”, also selected Hungarian oil, gas and petrochemicals group MOL and Russian oil company Lukoil as stock favourites that stand to gain from a second-half economic recovery.
Peter Brezinschek, head of RBI's Raiffeisen Research unit, said that although economic activity in Europe and the US remained sluggish, he was confident that even before mid-year net export figures should herald the first signs of economic growth, and subsequently stimulate investments.
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