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The Warsaw Voice » Business » December 19, 2007
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Business in brief
December 19, 2007   
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Eat Your Meat

Polish meat producers and meat industry employers will receive 1.16 million euros from the European Commission to promote Polish meat outside the European Union. Brussels will finance half of the 2.3-million-euro promotion budget.

Czech Inflation Not in Check

Year-on-year inflation in the Czech Republic was 5 percent in November, the highest level since 2001. Experts expect the country's central bank to raise interest rates, which are now the lowest in Europe, with the key rate at 3.5 percent.

Drugs in Demand

Poland's pharmaceutical market expanded 8.6 percent in the first 10 months of this year and was worth zl.13.4 billion at the end of October, according to market research company IMS Health Polska. In the whole of 2007, the market is expected to grow by 7.5 percent over 2006.

More Cash Up in Smoke

The finance ministry is seeking to slap a higher excise tax on tobacco to generate an extra zl.2.3 billion in revenue for the government. The ministry plans to increase the tax by 23.3 percent as of Jan. 14.

PGNiG to Drill for Oil in Libya

Polish oil and gas company Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo (PGNiG) was among the winners of a Dec. 9 bidding in Libya for access to some of the country's oil and natural gas deposits. Other winners were Russian corporation Gazprom, Algeria's Sonatrach, and multinational corporation Shell. PGNiG will drill for oil and gas in a 5,500-square-kilometer field near the town of Marzuq in southwestern Libya. It is not known when the project will begin.

Rail Carrier Readies for Euro 2012

The Polish State Railways (PKP) is preparing to modernize its stations and rolling stock and revamp its image before the Euro 2012 European soccer championships that Poland will host jointly with Ukraine. The company plans to modernize a total of 1,200 km of rail lines, including the entire length of the Warsaw-Gdańsk line and connections between the southeastern city of Rzeszów and the state border with Ukraine. Modernization work will start with lines connecting the cities that are expected to host the tournament's matches, including Warsaw, Gdańsk, Poznań and Wrocław as well as standby cities such as Cracow and Szczecin. Fifteen train stations will be modernized, including Sopot, Gdynia, Szczecin, ŁódĽ, Chorzów and Zabrze.

World Bank Loan for Ukrainian Rail

With Euro 2012 in mind, Ukrainian railway carrier UZ has taken out a $1-billion loan from the World Bank, to be paid back over 15-20 years. The company will receive the first installment in early 2008. The carrier plans to invest some zl.600 million from foreign sources next year.

Billions for Airports

Euro 2012-related investment in Polish airports will exceed zl.7 billion by 2013, with the biggest spending planned in cities that will host championship matches, says the PRM research company. New airports will be built in Modlin, Lublin and Białystok, with the EU expected to co-finance the projects.

WSE Wannabe Buys Hotel

Europejski Fundusz Hipoteczny, a financial services company that will soon hit the Warsaw Stock Exchange, has paid zl.71 million to buy the Król Kazimierz, a luxury hotel in the popular tourist town of Kazimierz Dolny nad Wisł±, some 100 km southeast of Warsaw.

EFH said it planned to buy more hotels in other tourist resorts in Poland.

NBP Exchange Rates December 17, 2007

1 EUR = zl. 3.6235
1 USD = zl. 2.5237
1 CHF = zl. 2.1837
1 GBP = zl. 5.0831
100 JPY = zl. 2.2290
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