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The Warsaw Voice » Business » January 21, 2009
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Business in brief
January 21, 2009   
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Privatization Profits

State coffers received zl.2.37 billion from privatization last year, 3.1 percent above target. The budget was given a zl.1.02-billion boost once Restructuring Fund contributions and other amounts to meet various expenses had been deducted, although this only came to 74.5 percent of target, according to the Treasury ministry. Planned privatization revenue this year is around zl.12 billion.


Early Euro Entry Opposed: Poll

Sixty percent of the population believe that Poland should wait until its level of development is nearer the EU average before adopting the euro, according to a public opinion poll conducted by TNS OBOP for the Forum TV program. Thirty percent believed the government's 2012 target entry date was appropriate.


Food Exports Up

Polish food exports increased 7.2 percent over the previous year during 2008 and revenue came to 10.7 billion euros, according to the Institute of Agriculture and Food Economics. The EU is by far the largest single market for Polish food, consuming around three-quarters of what the country exports. This cuts both ways with two-thirds of Poland's food imports coming from elsewhere in the EU.


Czechs to Announce Euro Plans

The Czech Republic has set Nov. 1 as the date for unveiling its plans to enter the eurozone and adopt the single European currency, Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek has said. Commentators are not expecting the country to adopt the euro before 2012. The Czech Republic is feeling the force of the ongoing global crisis, according to the head of the country's central bank, Zdenek Tuma, who says that Czech GDP may fall below 3 percent this year.


Cracow SEZ Lifespan Extended

Cracow's Special Economic Zone (SEZ) will run until 2020, three years longer than previously announced, the government says. The Cracow SEZ is home to a number of financial and accounting centers and automotive industry plants, in addition to several hi-tech facilities.


Russia in the Red

Russia's inflation rate was 13.3 percent last year, the country's central statistical office has announced. This was the highest level in six years and 6 percentage points higher than the government had been forecasting at the beginning of the year.

Russia's foreign debt also increased around 17 percent to $540.5 billion during the first nine months of the year, most of it incurred by banks and private corporations.


Strategic Russian Companies

The Russian government published a list of 295 enterprises that it deemed strategic and therefore entitled to state assistance in the event of a crisis at the end of last year. Gas and petroleum corporations Gazprom, Lukoil and Rosneft are on the list as are the country's public media.


A Disastrous Year

Last year was one of the worst on record in terms of natural disasters. Some 220,000 people around the world perished in hurricanes, floods and earthquakes. German insurer Munich Re has assessed property damage at $200 billion, compared with $82 billion for 2007.


NBP Exchange Rates (January 19, 2009)

1 EUR = zl. 4.3113
1 USD = zl. 3.2473
1 CHF = zl. 2.8976
1 GBP = zl. 4.7670
100 JPY = zl. 3.5889
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