Polish Business Survey

Alan Heath
30-08-2000, 00:00

Polish Business Survey

On the tiles

The new ceramics line that has been installed in the Tomaszów Mazowiecki factory of Ceramiki Paradyż will come on line next month and increase production by around 30 percent to around 10.5m sqm of tiles. This investment of several million złoty was financed from the company s own resources. Last year the company sold 6.5m sqm of ceiling and floor tiles. Nonetheless Polish producers still have a long way to go to satisfy domestic demand. The market leaser is Opoczno which sold in 1999 some 15.4m sqm. Polish domestic consumption is around 80m sqm, half of which comes from import, chiefly Italy and Spain.

Cabinet to consider steel plan

A programme for the restructuring of the iron and steel industries will be presented to the cabinet tomorrow. Restructuring to the year 2005 will cost around PLN8bn and cost the jobs of 20,000 people.

Credit goes to installments

AIG Credit, the third largest credit agency on the Polish market will become a multi-product company following its merger with AIG CFG. In the next three to five years installment plans will replace cash lending.

No chance for electricity bill

Following a serious of embarrassing incidents when electricity companies have cut off rail operator PKP for non payment, the carrier has started negotiations on a way to pay its PLN180m debt to the energy producers. Analysts say the talks do not have a chance.

Driving the internet

TP Internet and automotive consultants Samar have opened a joint internet service providing information on the car market.

Life investment

Shareholders of life assurers Gerling Życie have announced that they will invest around PLN200m up to the end of next year.

Learning investment

The next acquisition of internet investment fund red-stars. com will be in the sector of e-learning. The company is also interested in finding companies involved in developing on line payment and marketing systems.

A lot of cash for energy

A 25 percent share in energy distributor GZE will cost almost PLN650m and will be given to the best offer which, as reported yesterday, will probably be the Swedish Vattenfall. Nonetheless the two companies also on the short list are requesting a play-off which could delay privatisation.

Trucking in first

In the first seven months of this year 2,000 HGVs were sold, an increase of 5.3 percent over last year. Market leader is still Volvo Trucks although once results are announced for August Scania could take the number one slot.

Banks get juices going

In the next few days BGŻ could well decided to sell its 30 percent share of fruit and vegetable products supplier Hortex. Bank Handlowy has been trying to obtain these shares for some time in order to increase its 16.3 percent holding. A further 22.9 percent of the company is owned by the EBRD and Bank of America. If Bank Handlowy could get ahold of these shares, and there is no reason to suppose that it will not, the bank will have two thirds of Hortex. In the last financial year Hortex lost PLN42.4m up from PLN25m in the previous year. Its market share fell this year from 19 percent to 17 percent and its large debts are growing. The only good news is that experts consider its logo to be worth at least USD100m.

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Podpis: Alan Heath

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