Poland: Warsaw gears up for new privatization round
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Poland: Warsaw gears up for new privatization round

Banks mandated for BGZ listing; ‘Pension changes won’t impact demand’

Poland is pushing ahead with plans for a new round of privatizations as bankers dismiss suggestions that changes to the state pension system could put a dampener on Warsaw’s booming equity market.

On January 17 the treasury ministry awarded mandates for the first of three listings due in the first half of this year. Citi and UBS will act as global coordinators for the sale of the government’s 37% stake in Bank Gospodarki Zywnosciowej (BGZ), the lender majority owned by Rabobank.

The BGZ deal could raise up to Z2 billion ($695 million) but is likely to be overshadowed for international investors by the Z3.5 billion to Z5 billion IPO of coal producer JSW. The government also plans to sell up to 100% of a newly created real estate fund, PHN, that will combine state holdings in commercial, residential and hospitality property, while dealers say that secondary offerings in recently privatized companies such as PKO, PZU and Tauron could be on the cards.

Pension doubts

"Last year we did deals in the worst of times, yet investors tended to stay with us"

Krzysztof Walenczak, Polish treasury

Krzysztof Walenczak, under-secretary of the Polish treasury

Doubts have been raised, however, about Poland’s ability to replicate the success of previous years’ privatizations after the government announced plans to reduce workers’ contribution to private pension funds from 7.3%

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