MPC decision sends mixed signals, economists say
Monetary Policy Council has left its main interest rates unchanged yesterday, surprising analysts and investors and prompting a barrage of criticism from some market participants who said the decision undermines central bank?s credibility. The council has raised rates three times in a row after its previous meetings and most people expected another interest rate hike of 25 basis points because of last month?s central bank inflation forecast.
Agora may start paying dividends
Polish newspaper publisher Agora SA may start paying dividends for the first time ever after asking for shareholders? approval to change its articles of association. Agora, which publishes ?Gazeta Wyborcza? daily and runs various other media businesses, has called a special meeting to vote on possible dividends and a buyback scheme on Oct. 20. ?The fact that we are proposing these changes doesn?t mean that our management has already decided to pay dividends for the fiscal 2004?, Marcin Gędziorowski from Agora warned yesterday.
Merrill Lynch, which has a ?neutral? rating on the stock, estimates Agora will have 155 million zloty in cash at the year?s end. At least one Polish analyst following the stock says Agora?s shareholders would be better off if the company used its cash hoard to buy back stock. Tomasz Bardziłowski from Dom Maklerski BZ WBK says Agora could buy over 3.5 million shares, or 6 percent of the total. Possible buyback would help the stock in the event of open market sale of Agora?s 5.6 million shares now held by Cox Poland Investments.
Polimex to buy road building company
Polimex Mostostal Siedlce building contractor has announced plans to buy an unnamed road building company soon. Possible acquisition targets include NCC subsidiary PRInż from Silesia region and PBDiM from Mińsk Mazowiecki near Warsaw.
Bmp eyes new investments in Poland
Polish subsidiary of Internet venture capital fund bmp AG of Germany plans new investments here after three years of inactivity. ?We?d like to have five to eight companies in our portfolio?, Jens Spyrka from bmp AG said. The fund now has equity stakes in just two Polish firms -Internet marketer k2 Internet and personal finance website Bankier.pl. Both may be sold sometime in 2006, Spyrka said. Since 1999 publicly traded venture capital fund took stakes in ten Polish e-commerce and technology-related start-ups.
Apexim to sell headquarters
Former Warsaw headquarters of Apexim SA, once one of Poland?s top Polish IT firms, was put on sale by the company?s bankruptcy administrator yesterday. The price for unfinished office building, located in Służewiec district, was reduced to PLN 18 million.
Interferie to pick IPO manager soon
Interferie Sp. z.o.o., a small hotel and resort operator that is part of KGHM Polish Copper group, has postponed selection of the stockbroker that will handle company?s IPO sometime next year, senior KGHM official told PARKIET yesterday. ?We?ve asked KGHM for another month. Turns out we need more time?, Andrzej Wibrow, chief executive of DSI, copper mine?s investment arm said. Interferie, which had revenues of PLN 20 million in the seven months to August and was marginally profitable, said earlier it needs about 30 million zloty to upgrade its facilities.
KGHM union activists demand higher wages
Solidarity trade unions at KGHM Polish Copper mine are asking for another wage hike despite the 7 percent increase in wages so far this year. National Copper Mine Section of NSZZ ?Solidarność? wants more money to offset ?higher living expenses caused by inflation?. Monthly wages and bonuses at KGHM, which has about 17.000 workers, now total about 4900 zloty ($1350), more than double the natiPolish Finance Ministry has issued an official warning asking people to ignore fake letters demanding back taxes for 2002. A number of taxpayers have reportedly received official-looking letters from the non-existent General Tax Audit Inspection, sent via Polish Post Office, demanding immediate payment of 1347 zloty in taxes, along with a bank account number for back tax payments. Finance Ministry officials have asked General Attorney?s Office to investigate the scam and seize the account.