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The Warsaw Voice » Business » April 8, 2009
Month in Review
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Stocks Rebound
April 8, 2009 By A.R.    
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After a decline in the first two months of the year, the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) finally rebounded in March.

The WIG broad market index and the WIG-20 blue-chip index each gained more than 10 percent in March, in what was their highest monthly increase since July 2006.

Another reason for optimism is that WSE investors are more active than in previous months. In March, turnover increased to zl.23.9 billion, from just over zl.19 billion in January and zl.21.8 billion in February.

The WIG gained 10.8 percent and WIG20 rose by 10.2 percent, its highest growth in 10 years. In March, the WSE compared favorably with other stock markets around the world, although Russia attracted the most investment worldwide. Russian stocks gained almost 30 percent on average.

Lotos, Poland's second largest fuel producer, performed the best among companies making up the WIG20, gaining 54 percent. Chemical producers and developers were among the fastest growing sectors, with the WIG-Chemia and WIG-Deweloperzy sector indices gaining 37 percent and 21 percent respectively.

In the coming months, WSE indices are unlikely to increase as sharply as they did in March, analysts say. They are especially cautious in their predictions for April, when listed companies are expected to publish their financial data for the first quarter. Judging by the country's unimpressive industrial production figures, companies will report poor results for the first quarter, experts say.

Meanwhile, a weakening zloty has had an adverse impact on the stock market, leading to higher losses for foreign investors, who are badly needed if the WSE is to make up for the losses it suffered last year and in the first two months of this year. For now, investors around the world are eager to buy shares and are only waiting for bargains.

The Treasury ministry launched a formal procedure to privatize the WSE in early April. Four leading European and American stock exchanges-the London Stock Exchange, Deutsche Boerse, Nasdaq OMX, and NYSE Euronext-are interested in buying into the WSE.

The ministry wants to privatize the WSE by the end of the year. It wants to find a core investor who would acquire at least 51 percent of the company's stock.
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