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The Warsaw Voice » Business » July 9, 2008
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Business in brief
July 9, 2008   
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NBP Exchange Rates July 7, 2008

1 EUR = zl. 3.155
1 USD = zl. 2.1193
1 CHF = zl. 2.0554
1 GBP = zl. 4.1778
100 JPY = zl. 1.9713

Fewer Jobless
Unemployment in Poland went down to 10 percent at the end of May, the lowest level since 1991, with just over 1.52 million jobless registered in employment agencies across the country. The number of unemployed went down by nearly 460,000 from the end of May last year.

According to data by the Central Statistical Office (GUS), unemployment in Poland at the end of May was even lower than reported by employment agencies, at 8.1 percent, down from 8.5 percent at the end of April.

EDF Plans Power Plant in Poland
French energy corporation EDF wants to build a new coal-fired power plant with a capacity of around 1,000 MW in Poland. EDF holds shares in Poland's Rybnik power plant and the Wybrzeże combined heat-and-power plant. According to media reports, Sweden's Vattenfall and Belgium's Electrabel are also interested in building power plants in Poland.

Energy Bridge with Lithuania by 2013?
A Polish-Lithuanian "energy bridge" will cost at least 1 billion euros to build and will be completed in 2013 at the earliest, said Władysław Mielczarski, chairman of the supervisory board of LitPol Link, a company that is expected to build the so-called bridge. The length of the bridge will be 154 km, of which 106 km will be in Poland, Mielczarski said.

Eurozone Unemployment Higher Than Expected
Unemployment in the 13 countries using the euro was 7.2 percent in May after adjusting it for seasonal factors, the European Union's statistical office, the Eurostat, reported. Analysts had expected 7.1 percent.

Average unemployment in the EU as a whole was 6.8 percent, up from 6.7 percent in April. Slovakia reported the highest figure among the 27 EU countries, 10.5 percent, while Denmark recorded the lowest level, 2.7 percent.

Russian Oil Giant in Italian Deal
Russian oil company Lukoil has bought shares in an Italian company that runs a refinery in Sicily. Lukoil paid 1.35 billion euros for a 49-percent stake in the company, with an option to buy the remaining stock within five years.

More Millionaires
The number of dollar millionaires around the world increased by 6 percent to 10.1 million last year, according to consulting firm Capgemini and investment bank Merrill Lynch. A total of 103,320 people, 8.8 percent more than in 2006, each had assets worth more than $30 million, according to a report by the companies.

NWR to Invest in Silesia
Czech mining group New World Resources plans to invest 600 to 800 million euros to open a coal mine in Dębieńsko in the Silesia region, southern Poland, a spokesman for NWR told the Polish Press Agency. The mine would create 3,000 new jobs, and the company needs 12 to 18 months to complete a feasibility study for the project, the spokesman said.

Working through its subsidiary OKD, New World Resources is a leading producer of coal in Central Europe and the largest in the Czech Republic. The company sells coal in Austria, Hungary, Germany and Poland, in addition to the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

EU Car Market Down
Due to escalating fuel prices, car sales in the European Union dropped by 7.8 percent to 1.3 billion units in May, following a 9.6-percent increase in April, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA). In Western Europe, the decline, at 8 percent, was steeper than in new EU member countries.

New Drugstore Market Player
A new corporation called Polska Grupa Drogeryjna has entered Poland's cosmetics sector. It was established by the Eko Holding company on the basis of six businesses distributing cosmetics and chemical products in Poland. Eko Holding's non-consolidated 2007 sales revenue exceeded zl.1.2 billion.

EU to Extend Duty-Free Grain Import
In response to high demand for grain and increasing grain prices, the EU will prolong its suspension of import duty on most grains. The duty was originally suspended Jan. 1 until July 1, but now the European Commission wants to extend the period until 2009.

UN Revises Global Growth Forecast
The latest credit crunch in the United States will have a negative impact on global economic growth, according to the United Nations, which has revised downward its forecast for global growth. GDP growth around the world is now forecast at 1.8 percent, while in January the UN predicted 3.4 percent.
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