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The Warsaw Voice » Business » November 18, 2009
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Business in brief
November 18, 2009   
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NBP Exchange Rates (November 16, 2009)
1 EUR = zl. 4.1008
1 USD = zl. 2.7400
1 CHF = zl. 2.7166
1 GBP = zl. 4.5732
100 JPY = zl. 3,0622

Forecasts Upgraded
Economists from Bank of America Corp.-Merrill Lynch & Co. have raised the economic growth forecast for Poland to 1.8 percent this year and 3.5 percent next year. They earlier predicted that the rate of economic growth would reach 1.1 percent in 2009, and 2 percent in 2010. According to the BoA-Merrill Lynch report, "Poland is the only large economy in Europe to avoid recession. Apart from a higher GDP, the country is also enjoying increasing economic growth."

Poland Makes Top 30
Poland came 29th in a global league table drawn up by the Legatum Institute, a London think-tank, that assessed 104 countries in terms of economic progress and quality of life. Slovenia, which came 20th in the institute's 2009 Prosperity Index, was highest among the post-communist countries. The Czech Republic ranked 25th, ahead of Hungary which came 27th. Finland came first and Zimbabwe came at the bottom of the table.

Bank Merger
A formal merger between Bank BPH and GE Money Bank is expected this quarter, and the first quarter of 2010 is to bring an operational one. The merger is awaiting approval by the Polish Financial Supervision Authority. America's GE is a chief investor in both banks. After the merger, the bank will rank ninth in the sector in terms of assets (zl.38.2 billion), sixth in terms of credits and 14th in terms of deposits.

Suwałki Wind Farm On-Stream
A wind farm with 18 40-megawatt turbines that cost 60 million euros has been opened in Biała Woda near Suwałki, northeast Poland. Developed by Germany's RWE, it is the company's first major investment in wind energy in Poland. The wind farm has been connected to the power grid and is already generating electricity. It will provide power to at least 40,000 households. "We are planning to build another wind farm in Tychowo near Szczecin," Janusz Moroz, a member of the management board of RWE Polska, told the Polish Press Agency. "Our goal is to install turbines generating 300 megawatts of wind power by 2015."

Bumar, Nammo in Ammo Deal
Poland's biggest armaments corporation, Bumar, and Norwegian ammunition giant Nammo signed a Strategic Cooperation Agreement Oct. 22. The agreement will allow the development of state-of-the-art technology for manufacturing ammunition, missiles and rocket engines.

Netmedia Tops Fast 50
Netmedia, a Polish computer-system company listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, topped the annual Deloitte Technology Fast 50 list of the fastest-growing Central European tech companies. The winner's revenue has grown by 7,210 percent over the last five years. Four Polish companies ranked among the top 10.

Russia to Hike Oil Tax
Russia will raise its export tax for oil by 21 percent to $333.8 per ton from Feb. 1. Customs duty on oil products such as gasoline will rise by 20 percent to $237.20, and the duty on diesel oil will rise from $106.60 to $127.80. The Russian government sets the customs duty every two months. The rate depends on average prices on the global market.

Rosneft Eyes Expansion
Russian state-controlled oil corporation Rosneft wants to buy refineries in Europe, according to company president Sergei Bogdanchykov. He also said that the Russian company intends to invest $6 billion in coming years in a search for offshore deposits.
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