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The Warsaw Voice » Business » September 17, 2008
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Euro 2012: All That Glisters Is Not Gold?
September 17, 2008 By A.R.    
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The Euro 2012 soccer championships to be hosted by Poland and Ukraine may have less impact on the Polish economy than hoped, according to a report by Polish financial consulting company Finamo SA.

The report analyzes selected economic data recorded in Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal and Germany, countries that organized European soccer championships in previous years. All these countries, except the Netherlands, recorded higher GDP in the year of the championships compared with the year before. But this growth was mainly driven by business-cycle-related factors, Finamo says. "While some sectors are likely to pick up during the championships, this growth will not be very strong for the whole economy," said Jarosław Kanclerz, a manager at Finamo.

Finamo experts predict that the construction, advertising, hotel and retail sectors will benefit the most from the championships. Growth in the construction sector will be driven by planned infrastructure projects, whose combined value is estimated at nearly 23 billion euros. The advertising, hotel and retail sectors will report a temporary surge in sales, Finamo says, but this trend will last no longer than two or three weeks and will be negligible in annual terms.

The Euro 2012 tournament may have a favorable impact on the stock market quotations of Polish companies operating in industries that will benefit the most from the championships. But these increases will only apply to selected companies rather than whole sectors and will be temporary-spurred by, for example, construction contracts landed by specific companies, Finamo says.

Overall, the Euro 2012 tournament will be an important event for the Polish economy and the country's image abroad, says Finamo chairman Waldemar Mierzejewski. "It will certainly give a boost to the development of transportation and sports infrastructure in Poland, and may bring about an increase in the share prices of companies organizing the championships and involved in projects related to the tournament," he says. "But the experience of other countries shows that one should be cautious in assessing economic benefits from organizing large sporting events."
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