Polish Business Survey
Polish Business Survey
Auto expansion in SEZ
Aluminium auto-part producer Stahlschmidt and Maiworm Polska has announced that it is to invest PLN53m up to the end of 2004. The company would like to extend its factory in the Special Economic Zone in Stalowa Wola in which it has invested PLN80m since 1998 although it still has not received permission from the Ministry of the Interior to buy a 19,000sqm plot next to its existing plant. The extension is necessary as it has won a contract to produce engine parts for Opel from next year. The Polish WSK Gorzyce is likely to oppose this investment within a special economic zone as its own market would be threatened at the same time as it is aiming at privatisation. To make the matter more complicated Stahlschmidt and Maiworm Polska is part of the ATS/TSW group which has also been working with Gorzyce for five years. ATS/TSW has been supplying the Polish companies with machinery and aluminium. Its production profile is identical to that of Stahlschmidt and Maiworm Polska. A long term agreement with ATS/TSW was discontinued by the Poles and now Gorzyce works on a per contract basis. Orders have been coming on a regular basis but this could end if Stahlschmidt and Maiworm Polska starts production in the zone. The main clients of Stahlschmidt & Maiworm Polska are Volvo, Porsche, Opel and Daimler Chrysler. Currently the entire production is exported, mainly to Germany. The company employs 290 people and in 1999 income was PLN88m.
IT star of stock market
The first six months of 2000 can be divided into two phases as far as the stock market is concerned. The first part was a period of record breaking which then led to stagnation, the second was characterised by political uncertainty which undoubtedly caused greater investment risk. The big star of the first six months of the year was IT and the Internet fever which hit every market also made a big splash here. The budget and both presidential and parliamentary elections due in the second part of the year will now pose a big question mark on how investors behave. Many companies have avoided going public for this reason and the economy is also a great unknown which will cause people to be careful before spending their money.
Web ratings companies enter Poland
Two of the world s largest Internet monitoring companies, Media Metrix and Net Ratings, have announced that they are about to enter the Polish market. The former is searching a Polish partner such as GfK Polonia whereas the second may open its own branch in this country. Media Metrix has been examining the possibility of opening in Poland for some time, it recently joined with the US Jupiter Communications. GfK Polonia has been involved in Internet ratings since the beginning of the year. There are those, however, who consider that market studies in this field could well be too costly as the number of Internet users in Poland is too small to make it worthwhile.
EU aids unemployed
A commission made up amongst others of representatives of the Economy Ministry and small and medium sized business groupings has chosen ten organisation for its short list to retrain redundant miners and steelworkers for other professions. The EU through the PHARE programme has set aside EUR31m for this project. Other aid in this project will include refunds of social security payments and cheap credits.
Metalexport likely to be sold
The State is likely to sell more than half of the shares in Metalexport. The sale will probably take place in the third quarter and two unnamed investors have registered their interest. One of these is likely to be MEX-Invest which has already got a 33.25 percent share of the company.
The matter is now in the hands of privatisation advisors Business Management and Finance from Warsaw.
The workforce, which for legal reasons cannot block the sale is worried about its future. It tried to arrange a buy-out of the company but was unable to do so because it could not raise the necessary funds.
New e-solution company formed
Liberty, one of the largest retailers of cellular telephones has joined with Logotec Engineering to form a company called L 2 Mobil.com. Both sides have an equal share in the company which will project and sell e-banking and e-commerce applications. Mysłowice based Logotech Engineering specialises in programming and is supplying the know-how whilst Liberty has the cash. The headquarters of L 2 Mobil.com will be in Warsaw. The company is claiming to have already signed its first contract with a major bank and that pension funds are particularly interested in it. Information about the state of oneŐs account could be made available through WAP Ôphones. Whereas the programming is completed in Poland, the hardware is imported from Germany.
Power stations want to distribute
The newly formed electricity concern PKE is reported to be considering consolidating with distribution companies in the south of Poland.
Podpis: Alan Heath
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