Page 1

Gdaƒsk’s Euro 2012 stadium is ready, but the contractor could face heavy fines for missing the deadline

Poland’s planned high-speed rail network will cost an estimated z∏.18 billion 4

WWW.WBJ.PL

5

VOLUME 17, NUMBER 29-30 • JULY 25 – AUGUST 8, 2011 . z∏.12.50 (VAT 8% included) . ISSN 1233 7889 INDEX-RUCH-332-127

REAL ESTATE

On the right track?

Lokale Immobilia

COURTESY OF TELEWIZJA POLSAT

Poles are among the most disgruntled rail users in the EU. Privatization could improve service, but that train has only just left the station 12-13

• Financing for foreigners • Marvipol’s big plans • Port Praski revamp 16-19

A guide to Polish business and industry

Since 1994 . Poland’s only business weekly in English

Przewodnik po polskim biznesie i gospodarce

Largest Business Schools

20

In this issue

SHUTTERSTOCK

News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2-4 Industry News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Business Environment . . . . . . . . . .6 Listed Firms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Interview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8-9 Opinion & Analysis . . . . . . . . .10-11 Cover Story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12-13 Company Focus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 WBJ Business Breakfast . . . . . . .15 Lokale Immobilia . . . . . . . . . .16-19 Markets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 The List . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 Arts & Culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Last Word . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23

Greece’s new bailout

The Polish psyche

Polish finance minister Jacek Rostowski has said the Greece problem has now been “solved” following a new agreement to bail out the debt-stricken country 3

Poles are happy with their careers, but less so with their private lives, a new report suggests. Psychology professor Janusz Czapiƒski, explains the findings 8-9


NEWS

www.wbj.pl

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Numbers in the News

€109 billion

Poland’s storms

is the cash injection the EU and IMF’s new bailout program will give Greece

A 65 year-old man who lives in an affluent Kraków neighborhood, was severely injured in a bomb blast in mid-July. This was the fourth such incident in Kraków within a three-week period. Investigators suspect that at least three of the incidents were motivated by hatred towards the rich, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna reports. The most recent bomb was triggered when the man picked up a piece of a plastic pipe that lay on his driveway.

Central Europe’s largest theme park will be built in Grodzisk Mazowiecki, 40 km from Warsaw. Work on the project is set to begin in spring 2012, Rzeczpospolita reported. An international consortium of private investors based in Luxembourg will spend €400 million on the scheme, which will include roller coasters, water slides and wave machines. Adventure World Warsaw will take up 240 hectares.

Israeli PM to visit Poland Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is planning to make a quick stop in Poland on July 27, in an attempt to dissuade the Polish government from supporting the recognition of an independent Palestinian state, Gazeta Wyborcza reported, citing unnamed sources in Israel. ●

Quote of the Week

Figures in focus A closed society Percentage of the population made up of foreign citizens in 2010, selected European countries 50 43 40 *Provisional data 30 22 17.5

20

15.9 10.5

8.7

10

7.0

5.8 1.2

0.1

nd Po la

ia Slo vak

*

nce Fra

UK

ia

rm an y Ge

Au str

Est

on

ia

%

via

Barbara G´dek

Piotr Marczak, a department director at the ministry of finance, expressed his satisfaction after the Polish Treasury sold z∏.3 billion in long-term bonds despite continuing market jitters due to the euro-zone crisis.

Lat

will be financed by the state, regardless of whether the properties were insured. Law and Justice (PiS) party leader Jaros∏aw Kaczyƒski reacted by saying his party would be “very heavily involved” in helping the affected regions. He also appealed to Mr Tusk to take advantage of every opportunity to help the storm’s victims. The Ministry of Interior and Administration has since allocated money to help the two provinces. The Mazowieckie and ¸ódzkie voivodships each received z∏.1 million to help repair damage, while the ¸ódzkie voivodship, which was the most severely affected, received an additional z∏.3.6 million, on July 21.

an d

streets and houses, and even in the capital’s subway stations. Water levels in many rivers rose to dangerously high levels. In four voivodships (DolnoÊlàskie, Ma∏opolskie, Mazowieckie and Lubelskie) the surge of water reached alarm levels, while in three others (Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Wielkopolskie, Âwi´tokrzyskie) there were states of alert. The most recent storms came after a tornado hit Mazowieckie and ¸ódzkie voivodships earlier in July, damaging 790 roofs, felling hundreds of trees and tearing down power lines. Prime Minister Donald Tusk subsequently visited the village of Sady-Kolonia in Mazowieckie and promised to help victims, reassuring them that reconstruction of housing

zer l

Brutal weather continued to batter Poland in July as violent storms left one person dead and five others injured. Torrential rain and gale-force winds damaged hundreds of houses in the most severely affected regions. In the Mazowieckie voivodship, a torn roof crushed a 30year-old woman, who died instantly due to head injuries. Broken and uprooted trees caused further problems, injuring one person in Warsaw and three others in the Gi˝ycko region (Warmiƒsko-Mazurskie voivodship). In total more than 1,000 trees were uprooted. Broken wires and damaged utility poles also caused power failures, leaving certain areas without electricity for days. There was also extensive flooding in many of Poland’s

“Poland is doing very well in this unstable landscape.”

urg

Plans for €400 million theme park

23% is how many Polish companies are planning to hire new employees in H2 of 2011

Lux e

Forty-seven percent of respondents to a recent CBOS opinion poll said that the ruling Civic Platform (PO) party would be re-elected into government after the fall elections, while 11 percent are of the opinion that the opposition party, Law and Justice (PiS), will take the helm. Of those who answered in favor of PO, 28 percent said they believed that the party would rule independently and 19 percent believed they would govern in a coalition.

2% was the year-on-year growth rate of industrial production in Poland recorded for June, much lower than expected

REPORTER

PO leading in survey

€400 million

is the amount a group of investors from Luxembourg are looking to spend on the construction of a massive amusement park in Grodzisk Mazowiecki

Sw it

Kraków bombs target the wealthy

JULY 25 – AUGUST 8, 2011

mb o

2

Source: Eurostat

On WBJ.pl Poland’s Cambridge professor Last week, Polish-born scientist and newly appointed vice-chancellor of Cambridge University, Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, took part in the European Entrepreneurs Forum at the Warsaw School of Economics. He talked to WBJ.pl about science and education in Poland and what Polish universities can do to be able to match a university such as Cambridge.

Company index Alpine Bau....................4 Eviro............................19 PKP Cargo..................12 Apple ..........................23 Expander ....................19 PKP Energetyka ........12 ATEbank ......................7 Gold finance ..............19

PKP Intercity ..............12

Atlas Estates ..............17 Hochtief Polska..........19 PKP PLK ....................13 Atlas Group ................17 Home Broker ............18 Baltis Investment

HP ..............................23

PricewaterhouseCoopers 7

Group..........................17 Hydrobudowa ..............4 Real Finance ..............19

DATELINE CHARITY VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT

Event:

The main aim of the “Together Better” charity volleyball tournament is to raise money for the purchase of special medical beds at the Centrum Zdrowia Dziecka institute and to fulfill some wishes of terminally ill children. Location: La Playa Music Bar, Warsaw Contact: ewelina.karpinska@eu.jll.com

4-7

MARINE BOAT SHOW

Event:

“International exhibition of the water sports and recreation industries.” The exhibition will focus on advanced equipment and technologies related to water sports. Location: Warsaw International Expocentre

Ideum ........................23 Salomon Finance 18, 19

Krajowego ....................7 Itella Group ................14 Samsung ....................23

August 4

Bank Gospodarstwa

Bank Zachodni WBK....6 JEMS

EXPO XXI, Warsaw, Poland

Citigroup Global

5-7

ARABIAN HORSE DAYS

Markets ........................6 Layetana Developments

Event:

The Polish National Show is one of the most competitive displays of superlative quality equines to be found anywhere. Location: Janów Podlaski Stud www.prideofpoland.pl

COVEC ..........................4 Polska ........................18

20

GOLF & COUNTRY BUSINESS MIXER

Efect Doradztwo

Event:

The British Polish Chamber of Commerce is holding a business mixer with a golf tournament, providing an opportunity to promote business interests throughout Poland. Location: Kraków Valley Golf and Country Club, Paczó∏towice

Finansowe ..................19 Volksbanken-AG ..........7

SCALA IRP

Architekci studio ........16 Capital Partners ........16

Dom Kredytowy

SGI Baltis ..................17

Marvipol......................17 Transport Consultant’s

Notus..........................19 Neocity Group ............18 Group..........................13 DWR Finance ............19 Open finance ..............19 Unidevelopment ........19 Österreichische

Warsaw Stock Exchange................7, 17

EFG

PBG ..............................4

Eurobank Ergasias ......7 PGE ..............................4

X-Trade Brokers ..........3

Enea ............................7 PKO Bank Polski..........7 Xelion..........................19 Eurovia Polska ............4 PKP ........................5, 12 ZenithOptimedia ..........5


NEWS

JULY 25 – AUGUST 8, 2011

www.wbj.pl

3

Euro zone crisis

Greek problem ‘solved’? Following weeks of uncertainty and anxiety in financial markets, euro-zone leaders have finally agreed on a new €109 billion bailout program for Greece, as well as measures aimed at preventing the country’s debt crisis from spreading across Europe and doing more damage than it already has. The latest package for Greece means the euro zone (via its bailout fund) and the International Monetary Fund will lend the country roughly €109 billion over the next three years at an interest rate of 3.5 percent. The interest rate on the bailout packages for Portugal and Ireland will also be reduced to 3.5 percent, from around 6 percent previously. The plan will also involve the private sector. French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced that private lenders will contribute a total of €135 billion for Greece by 2019.

AFP/EAST NEWS

Euro zone leaders have reached a deal over Greece that seems to have assuaged investor worries, at least for now

Euro zone leaders agreed on a €109 billion bailout program for Greece Moreover, a number of private creditors who hold Greek debt which is due to mature in the coming years will replace their bonds with new ones that will mature further in the future. Several banks, including some of Germany and France’s largest financial institutions, also offered to take new 30year or 15-year Greek bonds. The plan is expected to pro-

vide a total of €50 billion of debt relief to Greece.

Expanded bailout fund “I strongly welcome the voluntary contribution from the banks. I believe that this is the right signal coming at a difficult time,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel. In addition, in a preemptive attempt to prevent further market anxiety, the euro zone

NATO ruled out martial law intervention NATO has declassified a number of documents that show it was not prepared to intervene militarily if the Soviet Union had invaded Poland during the period of martial law in the early 1980s. The authoritarian People’s Republic of Poland introduced martial law on December 13, 1981, in an attempt to quell anti-government protests. Many in the West feared that the Soviets would invade if the Polish government did not manage to subdue the opposition.

NATO, however, had no plans to launch a counterstrike to repel a possible Soviet invasion. Speaking on national television, Polish foreign minister Rados∏aw Sikorski said the documents reveal that NATO “did not want to take risks” for the Poles who fought for freedom. NATO’s rationale, according to Mr Sikorski, would have been that because the organization is merely a defensive alliance, it did not have a mandate to intervene in the Soviet

bloc’s internal affairs. In total, 65 documents concerning NATO policy towards Poland from 1980-1985 were declassified. “The aim was to declassify materials covering the years 1980-1985 about the possible USSR intervention in Poland, the introduction of the martial law in Poland and NATO’s reaction to these developments,” Poland’s foreign ministry wrote in a statement. Martial law was lifted on July 22, 1983. Gareth Price , Basia G´dek

leaders agreed to the expansion of a €440 billion bailout fund established in May of last year. Currently, the fund can only be used as a last resort to rescue a euro-zone country whose plight jeopardizes the stability of the euro project as a whole. Under the new plan, officials would be able to use the fund to intervene on secondary markets to buy up the

bonds of struggling debtor countries. It could also be used by officials to take preemptive or “precautionary” action to nip a debt crisis in the bud, by, for example, agreeing to supply credit to struggling eurozone countries which would then use the money to recapitalize their banks. Poland’s finance minister, Jacek Rostowski, was upbeat after the euro zone announcement, emphasizing Poland’s role in the agreement. “As the country holding the presidency of the Council of the European Union, we suggested the idea of a significant reduction in the interest rates on the aid for Greece, Portugal and Ireland. I am happy the idea was accepted so quickly,” he said, adding that in his opinion, the “Greek problem has been solved.”

Positive assessment Others, however, were more cautious in their reading of the euro-zone agreement. “The Greek problem has not been resolved, but I am tilting towards a positive viewpoint. This time politicians have taken the problem seri-

ously and addressed the core issue, which is not liquidity and the granting of loans, but sustainability,” said Przemys∏aw Kwiecieƒ, chief economist at X-Trade Brokers. “Reducing Greece’s debts and interest rate payments means its debt servicing costs and therefore its budget expenditures will fall, giving it a chance to increase its income and attain better fiscal balance,” he added. Mr Kwiecieƒ also said a lack of time frames and conditions contained in the latest package would extend the period of calm. “If the euro-zone countries had attached, for example, quarterly strings to the aid, then in two months, anxiety would return. But the Greeks have been given a rather long period of comfort to sort out their problems. Of course, investors will be watching Greece’s and other troubled countries’ macroeconomic data and they will be keeping a close eye on Greece’s privatization process to see if they are serious about reforming their country,” he said. Remi Adekoya

Uncertainty reigns over future of Swiss franc As doubts about the future of a number of indebted European economies continued near the end of July, so too did uncertainty about the future direction of the Swiss franc. The Swiss currency has recently become something of a bellwether for the state of the European economy. As economic troubles have continued to flare, risk aversion has increased and investors have sold assets they perceive as risky, such as the z∏oty, flocking to the franc and boosting its value.

Coming from an all-time high against the z∏oty in midJuly, the Swiss currency had cooled down somewhat by the time details of the €109 billion bailout package for Greece emerged on July 22. Nevertheless, many reckon the franc will resume its upward course if the euro zone’s problems are not fully resolved. “Uncertainty still remains,” said Adam Narczewski, a currency expert at X-Trade Brokers. However, if investors view the bailout as a moment of

decisive action taken by European leaders to tackle Europe’s current financial woes then confidence could return to the market. “Risk aversion would decline and investors would move away from the ‘safe’ Swiss franc to invest in more risky assets,” Mr Narczewski said. If this proves to be the case, the CHF/PLN would decline steadily over the coming months to the z∏.3.2-3.3 mark, Mr Narczewski added. As WBJ went to press, the Swiss franc was valued Tara Taylor at z∏.3.35.


4

NEWS

www.wbj.pl

JULY 25 – AUGUST 8, 2011

Euro 2012

A2 highway

Gdaƒsk’s Euro 2012 stadium completed

Eurovia increases its demands for completion of key highway section

Gdaƒsk’s stadium for the Euro 2012 soccer championships, the PGE Arena, is finally complete after building inspectors hired by the city authority gave the stadium the green light on July 19. Its delivery came 18 days after the most recent deadline, with the stadium now set to

lion for the Polish-Austrian consortium of Alpine Bau, PBG and Hydrobudowa that was charged with completing the project. However, if the City of Gdaƒsk manages to prove that the delays in construction were the contractor’s fault, the penalties could add up to more than z∏.200,000 for each day that the project was late. The stadium’s operator will have to pay the city a fixed sum of z∏.10 million a year, as well as 5 percent of all income earned from operating the stadium.

have its grand opening on August 6. The first match will take place on August 12, when Lechia Gdaƒsk will take on Cracovia Kraków. “We are very satisfied that it went according to plan, of course we expected to take it over earlier, but the important thing now is that the stadium has started working properly,” said Wojciech Rokicki, national coordinator for stadiums at PL.2012, the Euro 2012 soccer tournament’s organizing body. The contract to build the stadium was worth z∏.427.7 mil-

COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Two more to go The PGE Arena is the second Euro 2012 facility to be completed, following the Municipal Stadium in Poznaƒ. The National Stadium in Warsaw is currently scheduled for completion in November, while Wroc∏aw’s Municipal Stadium faces a race against time to be ready for the heavyweight boxing showdown between Tomasz Adamek and Vitali Klitschko, set for September 10.

The contract to build PGE arena was worth z∏.427.7 million

David Ingham

2012 ADVERTISE IN INVESTING IN POLAND 2012! Investing in Poland 2012 • the latest edition of Warsaw Business Journal Group's popular series of busines guides • a handbook to all of the essential information investors need to make a decision about why, where and how to invest in Poland • a perfect vehicle for businesses, regions, and cities to promote themselves to foreign investors The publication will include a special supplement: Trendbook Poland • a comprehensive view of the business trends shaping Poland's market • looks forward, predicting how the market will change • crucial insight and analysis for investors and businesspeople Distribution (24, 500 copies) • in bookstores and kiosks around Poland • to Warsaw Business Journal subsribers • through embassies and chambers of commerce • at Polish commercial end economic centers abroad • at conferences and trade fairs (e.g. The Econimic Forum in Krynica, Expo Real, Real Vienna, Imex) The launch of the publication will be accompanied by conferences and seminars on investment in Poland and the Polish economy.

For advertising and promotion opportunities contact: Ms Agnieszka Brejwo abrejwo@wbj.pl (+48) 504 201 007

French-controlled contractor Eurovia Polska has reversed its position in what is now the second week of negotiations with Poland’s GDDKiA concerning the completion of the troubled A2 highway between ¸ódê and Warsaw. Despite having previously accepted all of the government’s conditions, Eurovia is now demanding a change to the completion deadlines, which were drawn up by Polish authorities for the various segments of the highway. While the company maintains its readiness to complete the A2 as a whole and in time for Euro 2012, in reality the proposed changes to work schedules make opening the road to drivers by the current target date of May 30 next year unlikely, reported Dziennik Gazeta Prawna. Eurovia is also reportedly demanding an extra z∏.1.5 billion for the project. This is double the amount the previ-

COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

However, the contractor could be charged more than z∏.200,000 a day for missing the deadline for completion

After initially agreeing to the government’s terms, the company now wants more money and more time

Completion of the A2 by the May 30, 2012 deadline now looks less likely ous consortium, COVEC, had bid. While Eurovia denies the reports, it refuses to specify its fees. Neither GDDKiA nor Eurovia are prepared to suggest how long it may be until talks are concluded and there are worries that the latter’s latest demands will significantly delay completion of the A2 highway, which is already behind schedule. There are approximately 11 months left to complete the work by the original deadline. This latest turn of events follows the National Chamber of Appeal’s, rejection of

COVEC’s appeal against GDDKiA for choosing new contractors without a tender. The COVEC appeal was put forth after the Chinese consortium was dismissed from the project for failing to meet construction deadlines. COVEC argued that the decision was illegal since it limited competition. COVEC’s appeal was rejected on the grounds that the company could not lodge an appeal alone, since it was working in a consortium with three other entities, reported Rzeczpospolita. Tara Taylor


INDUSTRY NEWS

JULY 25 – AUGUST 8, 2011

www.wbj.pl

Food exports

Russia lifts ban on Polish fruit and vegetables As of July 20, Polish fruit and vegetable produce was allowed back into Russia, the Interfax news agency reported, citing a decision made by Gennady Onishchenko, the head of Russia’s state consumer protection group, to lift a ban that had been in place for nearly two months. The embargo on Polish produce was part of a wider Russian ban on European Union fruit and vegetable imports that followed the widespread outbreak of E. coli poisoning

COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The value of Polish vegetable exports to Russia amounted to €114 million last year

The embargo was part of a wider Russian ban following the E.coli outbreak in May cases across Europe. During an EU-Russia sum-

mit on June 9-10, the Kremlin agreed to lift the ban on vegeta-

bles from the bloc, providing it received security guarantees.

On June 22 an agreement was signed to end the ban, although Russia has only lifted it on a country-by-country basis. So far, in addition to Poland, the embargo has been lifted on fruit and vegetable imports from the Czech Republic, Greece, Belgium, Holland, Spain and Denmark. Exporters from Germany, where the outbreak began, are still not permitted to send their produce to Russia. In 2010, Poland exported fresh and frozen vegetables worth €114.3 million to the Russian market, up from €72.5 million the year before. Barbara G´dek

High-speed rail system could cost z∏.18 billion link Wroc∏aw with Poznaƒ. The network will be built between 2018-2020. Mr Grabarczyk said the project will complement the existing network, adding that a company has already been chosen to carry out a feasibility study for the scheme. “By the end of the year, the company will present the first part of the feasibility study. This study will indicate the [precise]

location for the project. Then, within around 18 months, the second part of the study will be

COURTESY OF BOMBARDIER

Polish Infrastructure Minister Cezary Grabarczyk estimates that the cost of building a series of planned interconnected high-speed rail links between some of the country’s major cities will amount to z∏.18 billion. One of the rail links will join Warsaw with the city of ¸ódê, from where a second connection will stretch to the western city of Wroc∏aw. A third line will

presented. This will show the real costs of constructing and maintaining the system,” Mr Grabarczyk said. He added that the cost of rolling stock will amount to around z∏.4-6 billion. However, Mr Grabarczyk stressed that the real cost of the whole project will only be known after the feasibility study has been completed. When asked about the price

of tickets for the high-speed rail network, the head of PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe, Zbigniew Szafraƒski, said that he would like the pricing system to be similar to the one used by airlines. “This means that during the busiest times of day and the most attractive days of the year tickets will be more expensive,” Mr Szafraƒski was quoted by BG PAP as saying.

5

Ad market outlook gloomy According to forecasts by analysts from media house ZenithOptimedia, Polish companies’ advertising expenses in 2011 will be a mere 2.4% higher than in the previous year, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna reported. Prior forecasts were for an increase of around 5%. Zenith expects that a significant improvement in the advertising sector will be seen no sooner than next year, when the Euro 2012 soccer championships will take place in Poland. The value of the whole market should increase by some 5.6% in 2012, they say.

Smuggled smokes cause sales decline In the first half of this year, tobacco companies sold some 28 billion cigarettes in Poland, Rzeczpospolita reported. That’s 800 million fewer than in 2010. Many Poles have started buying cheaper cigarettes from illegal sources ●


6

BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT

www.wbj.pl

Industry

Private sector wages and employment rise

Global economic troubles weigh on Poland’s industrial production Economists are divided on the impact the slowdown will have on GDP growth

was felt by firms that are geared towards export. The export-oriented manufacturing sector saw growth of just 1.9 percent y/y. “A … slowdown in industry is visible, which is due to waning economic activity abroad,” Bank Zachodni WBK analysts wrote in a research note. Citigroup Global Markets analysts wrote in a report that the result stems in part from weaker global activity in the wake of the Japan earthquake. They also wrote that a difference in the number of working days in June last year and this year had an impact. Nevertheless, on the plus

In June Polish industrial output grew at its lowest rate since October 2009, due to weakening economic activity across the rest of the world. Output rose by a belowforecast 2 percent year-onyear in June, compared to growth of 7.7 percent the month before. Economists say lackluster growth abroad is the main cause of the slowdown, as a breakdown of the results shows the biggest slowdown

side, the Polish construction sector is still buoyant due to large-scale infrastructure investments, including those for the Euro 2012 soccer championships. Moreover, output in mining and utilities rose faster than in May. Prices in industry, meanwhile, are still strong (5.6 percent growth y/y), although they have slowed from the 6.3 percent growth seen in May.

The repercussions Some experts don’t think the slowdown in output will last for long. “We believe the current weakness of industrial data is temporary and the out-

JULY 25 – AUGUST 8, 2011

The private sector employment rate rose by an above-forecast 3.6 percent year-on-year in June, according to data from the Central Statistical Office (GUS). The average salary in the Polish private sector, meanwhile, rose by 5.8 percent from the same period in 2010. The average wage now stands at z∏.3,600. The result surprised analysts, who had predicted lower growth, as it was significantly better than the 4.1 percent increase reported in May. Bank Zachodni WBK analysts wrote in a reserch note that “acceleration in wage

put is likely to accelerate later this year,” Citigroup wrote. The bank’s analysts say that industrial production could return to 7-9 percent y/y growth by the end of 2011. Analysts are split on the impact the industrial output letdown will have on the GDP growth rate for the second quarter. “In Q2 2011, economic growth probably decelerated to 4.2 percent y/y from 4.4 percent in Q1,” Citi wrote. BZ WBK analyst, however, think there won’t be much, if any, difference between Q1 and Q2 GDP growth.

growth in June means that on average it was not much lower than in Q1, which supports our estimate that the slowdown in private consumption growth in Q2 was not significant.” The bank’s analysts added that the data did not affect the outlook for possible further interest rate hikes this year. “From the Monetary Policy Council’s (RPP) point of view, the data did not change the picture of Poland’s economic situation. Continued improvement in labor market conditions speak in favor of keeping the door open to further hikes,” the note read. David Ingham

Fluctuating wages

Gareth Price

Average gross wage in the private sector, June 2010-June 2011, in z∏oty

Industrial-scale disappointment Industrial production y/y growth, in %

4,000

15 12 9

3,500 6

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

January 2011

December 2010

October 2010

November 2010

August 2010

The construction sector bucked the disappointing trend, remaining strong due to Euro 2012 investment

September 2010

Source: GUS

3,000 July 2010

May 2011

June 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

January 2011

December 2010

November 2010

October 2010

August 2010

September 2010

July 2010

June 2010

0

June 2010

SHUTTERSTOCK

3

Source: GUS

Media patronage

July 14 ball: tradition and glamor

DAILY EXECUTIVE DIGEST Poland A.M. gives you the biggest Polish stories of the day. Have the most valuable news delivered to your inbox each weekday morning.

Guests enjoyed the entertainment in the garden of Endorfina restaurant

S i g n u p f o r a 2 - w e e k f r e e - t r i a l ! w w w. p o l a n d a m . p l G e r m a n v e r s i o n : w w w. p o l e n a m m o r g e n . p l

Even the rain could not spoil the flamboyant atmosphere at the July 14 Ball, organized for the seventh year in a row by the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Poland in honor of the French Bastille Day holiday. The annual celebration brought together the capital’s francophiles with members of the French community living in Poland, including representatives from the worlds of business, media and culture. The guests regaled themselves with traditional French cuisine, enjoyed a recital from Goshka Banka – a Polish artist living in Paris – and had a chance to win several lottery prizes, including a car. The entire event was held in the sumptu-

ous gardens and interiors of Endorfina restaurant, located on Warsaw’s historic ul.Foksal. ●


LISTED FIRMS

JULY 25 – AUGUST 8, 2011

www.wbj.pl

Privatization

Huge WSE tax windfall

COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Poland could earn z∏.7.5 billion from sale of PKO stake

Poland’s treasury ministry has announced that up to 15 percent of state-controlled PKO Bank Polski will be put up for sale during a secondary public

offering due to be held on the Warsaw Stock Exchange at the end of the third quarter. The lender filed its issue prospectus with the country’s financial regulator, the KNF, in the middle of July, the treasury said in a statement. The treasury itself plans to sell up to 5 percent in PKO. This will be in addition to the sale of some or all of state-

fetch such a high price. “Warsaw is not Wall Street. We want to be careful. Even though the bank is perceived well by foreign investors, the financial crisis in Europe keeps escalating,” Rzeczpospolita quoted a ministry source as saying. The treasury currently holds a 40.99 percent stake in PKO, while state-owned BGK is the second-largest shareholder with 10.25 percent. The state plans to raise z∏.15 billion from privatizations this year with around half expected to come from the PKO BP sale. David Ingham, Gareth Price

PKO BP passes stress-test

The PKO sale could be one of the largest in the WSE’s history

Up to 15 percent of PKO will be offered – significantly less than the 20 percent expected

with relief to the news that the stake put up for sale was significantly smaller than the 20 percent expected. Treasury Ministry Aleksander Grad said earlier this year that Poland could sell up to 26 percent. It would, he said, keep hold of a 25 percent controlling stake. The stake up for sale is worth at least z∏.6.75 billion, based on the company’s share price the day after the issue prospectus was filed. The stake has, however, been valued as high as z∏.7.5 billion, which would make it one of the biggest offers in the history of the WSE. But not everyone is convinced that the stake will

controlled Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego’s (BGK) 10.25 percent stake. At first, up to 13 percent will be offererd. If the full 13 percent is made available for sale, the treasury will then decide whether to offer an additional 2 percent. The day after it issued its prospectus, PKO’s share price rose as investors responded

PKO BP recently passed a stress test conducted by the European Banking Authority (EBA). It was the only Polish lender surveyed. The test, designed to evaluate lenders’ resistance to financial shocks, was carried out on several financial institutions, each of which was considered large enough

to affect the wider economy if it ran into trouble. Of the 91 financial institutions tested, eight European banks – Österreichische Volksbanken-AG from Austria, Greece’s EFG Eurobank Ergasias and ATEbank and five regional Spanish banks – failed to GP pass.

Enea to spend z∏.3.8 billion on network investments Poland’s energy regulator has given the country’s thirdlargest utility, Enea, the goahead to invest z∏.3.8 billion between 2012-15 to expand and develop its distribution network. The money will be spent in different phases, Danuta Tabaka, a spokesperson for Enea

Operator, Enea’s network arm, said. In 2012, capital expenditures will reach z∏.899.9 million; in 2013, z∏.971.76 million; in 2014, z∏ 973.67 million and in 2015, z∏ 953.2 million. According to the utility’s development plans, the money will be invested in the exten-

sion and modernization of its distribution network. The company will allocate between 30 to 35 percent of the total funds to a program aimed at connecting new customers with new sources of energy. Meanwhile, between 52 percent and 56 percent of the total will be spent on mod-

ernizing and reconstructing existing assets, with a view to improving service quality and increasing market demand for power sourced from Enea. The remaining funds will be earmarked for investments related to communications, fiber optics and information technology.

7

The regulator has also green-lit the development plans of a number of other Polish utilities, which are planning to spend billions of z∏oty over the next few years to bring their communist-era infrastructure up to date. Gareth Price, Barbara G´dek

Taxes paid on earnings from the Warsaw Stock Exchange were likely two-thirds higher in 2010 than in the previous year, reported daily Parkiet. Poland was expecting z∏.1 billion in taxes from income collected on 2010 stock market profits, but Parkiet’s calculations indicate the treasury could receive more than z∏.1.3 billion. Clearly, the treasury has cause to celebrate, suggest some analysts. “After a less than spectacular 2009, 2010 offered a number of chances for significant gains,” Maciej Reluga, chief economist at BZ WBK, told the daily.

IPF to join WSE? An increasing number of credit companies are listing on stock markets, including SMS Kredyt Holding, a Wroc∏aw-based company that specializes in microcredit. Next year however, the markets may welcome one of the field’s big international players, International Personal Finance (IPF), which specializes in sales of home credit and owns Poland’s largest lending firm, Provident, reported Puls Biznesu. The company is currently evaluating the possibility of entering the WSE and so-called secondary listings, said IPF president John Harnett. ●

Media patronage Corporate credit

Risk aversion dominates in the Polish economy Despite the overall positive economic climate in Poland and indications that Polish banks are in good shape, lenders are still proving reluctant to lend, while businesses are hesitant to borrow. State-owned PKO Bank Polski recently passed a stress test conducted by the European Banking Authority (EBA). It was the only Polish bank tested, but most of the other major Polish lenders have reported drastically improved financial results in recent quarters, often on the back of reduced provisions for bad loans. “One could have expected increased financial activity in the last year or so but actually, corporate credit has dropped by around z∏.9.7 billion since 2009,” Jaros∏aw Dàbrowski, an expert in international banking, said at a recent

conference on the Polish economy organized by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

Exaggerated claims? During a panel discussion at the conference, Witold Or∏owski, chief economist at PricewaterhouseCoopers, was asked if Polish entrepreneurs were not being excessively risk-averse. “No, I don’t see anything different in Poland when compared to other countries right now. We simply live in unpredictable times and such [risk-aversion] is the dominating behavior all over the world. Although assets are currently undervalued and it is a good time to buy, firms are afraid that if through an acquisition they limit their cash flow, then if things go wrong, they may be in serious trouble,” he said.

“It’s an exaggerated fear of course, there used to be an exaggerated optimism and that has changed to an exaggerated pessimism. I am not saying that one should cease to consider risk, but much won’t happen if everybody remains in such a mood. No risk, no development,” he added. Mr Or∏owski suggested that the government could implement measures such as shrinking public debt, to reduce risk factors.

Uncertainty Jaros∏aw Pietraszkiewicz, president of the Union of Polish Banks (ZBP), pointed to other factors apart from risk-aversion which have led to the current situation. He cited surveys conducted by the Ministry of Economy that asked investors what stopped

them from investing. Some of the results proved surprising. Even though the last survey was conducted before the crisis, the issues raised are still far from being resolved. “Entrepreneurs pointed to the fact that they are not sure of the direction of our economic development as the main reason for them not investing. The second reason was that Poland is not in the euro zone and they don’t know on what conditions it will join if it does,” Mr Pietraszkiewicz said. “The third reason was that entrepreneurs said they had no strategy for the development of their firm and no trusted financial advisor to help them with that,” he added. Access to finance was listed as the fourth major problem. Remi Adekoya


8

INTERVIEW

www.wbj.pl

JULY 25 – AUGUST 8, 2011

Society

Individualist Poles happy with their careers, dissatisfied with their relationships

Remi Adekoya: Was there anything in particular that surprised you about the findings of your report? Janusz Czapiƒski: What was extremely surprising for me were Poles’ opinions about the causes of the 2010 Smolensk plane crash in which President Lech Kaczyƒski and 95 others died. The survey was carried out around the time of the one-year anniversary of the catastrophe, emotions were high, conspiracy theories abounded and yet only twelve percent of Poles believed that the crash was in some way engineered or was the result of a conspiracy to assassinate the late president. I have always believed that Poles are very susceptible to conspiracy theories and I was

sure that at least 20 percent would buy into the assassination narrative. What’s more, even among supporters of Law and Justice (PiS), the party headed by Lech Kaczyƒski’s twin brother, Jaros∏aw, which has continuously stoked the conspiracy flames, only 38 percent of their electorate believe Smolensk was an assassination. This was an absolute shock for me and showed that Poles are a much more rational and level-headed people than many may think. Your survey shows that 80 percent of Poles are happy with their lives. It also highlights that while they are generally happy with their careers or their level of edu-

cation they are at the same time increasingly dissatisfied with their personal relations regarding family, friends and their sex lives. Why do you think this is? Poles still see their status as defined by what they own and they feel the need to impress others with what they have. This of course does not help in building good relations with people and is a common reason for domestic conflict. Some values have also started to diminish in significance. Marriage in Poland is no longer the sacred institution it was 20 years ago. In addition, women are becoming more demanding of their male partners. They now want to codecide many issues in their relationships and are increasingly less inclined to play the role of second-fiddle. This can be difficult for some men to handle and can also create frustrations for women who feel they are not being treated as they should be.

“The Polish economy is simply not at the stage where it can create jobs for so many graduates. This is why the number who want to leave is so high” Regarding relationships with friends, a problem with Poles is that they are not tolerant. They demand a lot of others and when those expectations are not met they often react negatively. They also often have a problem understanding that conflicts can be temporary, you can have a disagreement or even a tense exchange of words with somebody but then later on you put that behind you and move on. Poles instead tend to bitterly hold on to negative emotions

COURTESY OF WARSAW UNIVERSITY

Janusz Czapiƒski, psychology professor at the University of Warsaw and chief author of Social Diagnosis 2011, an analysis of Polish society today, sat down with WBJ to talk about the surprising results of the study

Janusz Czapiƒski

Legal Forum

A new tax on your trash Rados∏aw Biedecki Partner Did you know that you will soon lose ownership over your waste? Beginning January 1, 2012 all waste in Poland will be managed by local municipalities and a new “waste tax” will be introduced. Poland has already failed to meet the obligations of the European Commission’s waste storage directive, according to which, by December 31, 2010, Poland should have reduced the amount of stored biodegradable waste to a maximum of 75 percent of the amount produced in 1995. Currently, the country is not complying with the allowable volume and could face more fines from the European Commission. By December 31, 2013, Poland is supposed to decrease the storage of biodegradable waste to 50 percent and by December 2020 to 35 percent of the waste volume produced in 1995, according to the EC’s directive. However, in 2011 Poles produced 12 million metric tons of waste while Warsaw alone created 800,000 metric tons. Most of this ended up in landfill sites.

Facing time pressures and the possibility that the EU will impose further fines, the Polish parliament finally adopted an amendment on July 1, 2011 that aims to involve all municipalities in achieving their waste management targets. The amendment is currently awaiting the signature of President Bronis∏aw Komorowski. Currently, foreign companies control almost 60 percent of the waste-related market and have entered into millions of agreements with waste producers, such as individual real estate owners or production facilities. The new rules are set to have a direct impact on their business.

How will it work? Under the new law, municipalities will become the owners of waste produced by households and in turn, will have to control the waste management on their territory. In practice, this means that the collection of waste will now become the responsibility of the municipalities. As such, a potential redistribution of business among private

companies will likely take place in the waste-collection sector. Using a public tender process, municipalities will have to appoint a waste-collection and treatment company to be in charge of disposing and managing their waste. If a municipality chooses to participate in such a tender they will need to transform their waste-collection department into a commercial company.

The new tax Owners of real estate will be charged a waste-management fee by the municipality. This will cover collection, transportation, recovery and recycling costs. The municipalities will determine if businesses within their borders will be subject to such services against the waste-management fee or whether they can enter directly into agreements with waste-management companies. The provisions of Poland’s tax ordinance will apply to the waste fee, meaning municipalities will benefit from strong legal instruments to collect the new tax.

The amount of the “waste tax” will be fixed by each municipality taking into consideration: (i) the number of inhabitants or (ii) the house/apartment living space or (iii) the volume of water used. The idea is to pay for the actual amount of the waste produced in a household, rather than for some theoretical or declared volume. But what happens if the service of waste collection is performed improperly or not at all? Should the real estate owner claim compensation from the municipality or waste-collection company? These questions remain unanswered.

Infrastructure issues A municipality or group of municipalities listed in the voivodship waste management plan (yet to be drafted) will build and maintain waste-treatment plants. The same plan will also contain the location of new waste treatment plants. Municipalities, waste-collection companies and the marshall of a particular voivodship will be required to deliver reports describing the performed responsibilities

Legal Forum is a paid-for module which gives law firms in Poland an opportunity to discuss and inform readers about important developments in the market. The content is created in consultation with Warsaw Business Journal's editorial staff.

which should help eliminate illegal dumping. The municipalities, as the owners of the waste, will be able to secure enough raw materials for waste-treatment plants combined for example with heating facilities. This isn’t currently the case and it is considered by experts as one of the key reasons why public-private partnership (PPP) projects in the waste-management industry are unpopular. Again, the municipalities will choose, by way of a public tender, the investor for the waste-management facility. But there is an obligation to organize only one tender procedure. If it is unsuccessful, the municipalities will be free to invest in such a facility. This leaves us with another unanswered question: Will the appeal of structuring waste treatment plants under the PPP model significantly increase or will the municipalities prefer to keep this activity with a potential “privatization” option in the future? In any case, there is no more time to waste.●


INTERVIEW

JULY 25 – AUGUST 8, 2011

“The problem is that no society can go from the stage of being an industrial economy to being a knowledge-based economy without social capital. But how can we build social capital with such attitudes?” they felt while arguing with somebody in the past and that prevents them from continuing the relationship with a positive mindset. They are also very prone to taking an uncompromising stance on many issues. Does your research say that Poles are individualists? Oh yes. Poles are radical materialists and individualists. But so are Americans, the British and probably many other nations, isn’t that correct? That’s true, but the Americans and the British are different from the Poles. When the time calls for it they are able to see the common interest of the group and can, at least for some time, put aside unnecessary egoistic attitudes. If a road or a bridge needs to be built, then everybody comes together and builds it. Poles are not capable of this. Where does this attitude stem from? It is an attitude deeply rooted in Polish history and culture. Let me give you an example. No other society has ever thought up an institution like the Liberum Veto, which began in the 16th century, and allowed any member of the legislature to force an immediate end to the current session and nullify any legislation that had already been passed at the session by shouting “I do not allow.” This reveals the individualistic and egoistical tendency of Poles and the inability to see or care about the common good. Unity in Poland happens only when there is a common enemy, but this is also individualistic because it is in everybody’s personal interest to fight a common enemy who is a threat to all. But today we don’t need that kind of unity, we need the ability for positive collective thinking and the setting of collective goals. Right now, we haven’t been able to learn this and you see proof of this every day, even at the lowest possible levels of government. Do you really believe that when Polish parents bring up their children they tell them to be individualistic and to not care about the common good? And if not, where does the younger generation learn this from? Their parents do not need to tell them that. Children observe how their parents treat conflicts and quarrels with their neighbors, how they do not want to negotiate but are relentless in pursuing their own individual goals. Children

observe much more than adults realize and often adopt certain behaviors subconsciously. The problem is that society can go from the stage of being an industrial economy to being a knowledge-based economy without social capital. But how can we build social capital with such attitudes? It is a big obstacle holding us back. I’ll give you two concrete examples of how this kind of attitude hinders Polish development. The first is the blue laser. It was invented by a Pole but it was never patented in Poland. Why is that? Because he couldn’t come to terms with the Polish administration. They said, among other things, it would be too expensive to patent it worldwide, and that it would be too complicated. The second example is [technology to mass produce] graphene [which was developed by Poles]. A wonderful invention, but I have to say one I am sure will never be patented in Poland because of the same reasons the blue laser was never patented here. This is because it is such a long journey from idea to industry. Your research shows that one in six students plans to leave Poland after studies. Why is it that so many young graduates don’t see prospects for themselves in Poland despite all the positive economic indicators? They don’t see prospects which would suit their expectations or their skills. Like I said earlier, Poland is an industrial economy. When big capital came to Poland, they built factories to assemble washing machines, DVD players and televisions. What do they need university graduates for? The same can be said for huge Polish firms like copper miner KGHM. The Polish economy is simply not at the stage where it can create jobs for so many graduates. This is why the number who want to leave is so high. For those who stay, many will spend a frustrating six months looking for the kind of job they expect, then they will lower their expectations and take what they can get. And thus you can find a university graduate working at the counter in a discount store. That must arouse a lot of frustration among graduates. It does. Moreover, it is money thrown down the drain, since most Polish students have to pay for their education. In general, I think Poles have

over-invested in education. Do you know that after Australia, Poland has the highest [percentage] of 19-year-olds about to start studying at university? The figure for this age group is 80 percent. But the economy simply doesn’t need them right now because it has not yet developed into a knowledge-based economy. The problem is that we will not reach the stage of being a knowledge-based economy without those educated people and human capital. So here we have a catch22 situation. I predict that in eight years’ time, we will run out of fuel for development in Poland and then there will be a major problem. Your report shows that poverty is increasing in Poland but only in two groups, those on welfare and those on disability pensions. So considering this and all the negative news coming from the euro zone, including the possibility of another major economic crisis, do you see any real possibility of massive social unrest occurring in Poland, as we have witnessed in other countries such as Greece? Not at all. There might be protests of hundreds, even thousands, of people but I have found no evidence of the possibility of tens or hundreds of thousands of people organizing protests and being able to bring radical populists to power. Poles are not in that kind of mood right now. They are really very sensible and rational when approaching these issues. They do not allow themselves to get hysterical over the negative news they hear on TV. You say 80 percent of Poles have “egalitarian” views, could you be more specific about this point? When it comes to the social structure of society, Poles have a very hierarchical mentality. They believe some people should talk while others should listen. They believe not everybody deserves the same respect, that you shouldn’t treat a university professor the same way you do a plumber. On the other hand, Poles are also firmly convinced that the prime minister should not earn more money than they. Neither should their employer earn more than they do. Instead, they believe everybody’s salary should be at a similar level. It is in this respect that Poles are very egalitarian. ●

www.wbj.pl

9


10

OPINION & ANALYSIS

www.wbj.pl

JULY 25 – AUGUST 8, 2011

Foreign policy focus

We are in for less America in the world Bartosz WiÊniewski

B

efore stepping down as the US Secretary of Defense in late June, Robert Gates once again lashed out at the inability of America’s European allies to muster enough firepower and resources, this time to prevail in the military operation against Libya. Mr Gates identified two reasons for the military weakness – cuts in European defense budgets (administered sometimes too hastily against the backdrop of the economic crisis), and a recurring lack of will to back policy decisions with the appropriate force and capabilities. He indicated that Americans are taken aback by the course of events in Libya, where Europeans were expected to spearhead the fighting, as well as by the inadequacies of the allied performance in Afghanistan. America has therefore grown reluctant to “carry most of the burden in the Alliance,” he said, adding that unless Europeans find a way to become “serious and capable partners in their own defense,” US leaders “may not consider the return on America’s investment in NATO worth the cost.”

Calling Gates’ bluff

nizing on the need to avoid a “twotiered alliance” of those who fight and those who don’t, and the imbalance in defense spending has grown nonetheless. In short, it seems safe to call this bluff.

Initially, the speech sent shock waves throughout Europe. But as the confusion over possible implications for the operation in Libya subsided, the media quickly placed Mr Gates’ comments into context. After all, unequal burden-sharing in NATO, with America putting more on the line, is nothing new. After the air campaign over Kosovo, in which America did the heavy lifting, the US government reportedly began to reconsider whether to grant political leverage to the militarily superfluous Europeans in the future. That showed during the US response to the 9/11 attacks, when NATO was initially sidelined at the expense of a “coalition of the willing.” Fast forward to 2011, and NATO remains arguably the most potent of America’s alliances worldwide. Only recently, the Pentagon announced the postponement of the withdrawal of US troops stationed in Europe, citing the need to maintain interoperability with allies and to ensure a credible level of assurance. Mr Gates has made his name as the proverbial bad cop, repeatedly sermo-

Intervention fatigue Yet it would be a mistake to dismiss his outburst of candor. As America tightens its belt, its involvement in Europe’s security equation will increasingly be met with more cost-effective measures, better attuned to US threat perceptions, such as missile defense. The US military presence around the world will therefore likely decrease, though gradually. However, as long as the risk of a large-scale military conflict in Europe remains scant, this prospect seems less problematic than another trend that has already become visible in public opinion polls. According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, the percentage of Americans who believe that the US should “mind its own business” internationally is among the highest since the end of American engagement in Vietnam. The survey found that one

in two Americans favors a reduction in US military commitments overseas, a two-fold increase since 2001. When President Obama announced his decision to wind down the Afghan surge, he also clearly set forth his administration’s priorities: “America, it is time to focus on nation building here at home,” he said.

Remaining relevant All this speaks to a greater awareness of the limits on US power and influence as a result of war-weariness and recession. Yet equating it with a specter of “isolationism” would be inaccurate. Rather, the US seems intent on striking a new bargain with the world that is best described as selective engagement. The terms of its use of military power will be the centerpiece of this approach, but similar recipes may be applied to other efforts such as development aid, for example. In hindsight then, the intervention in Libya may turn out to be the closing act of the kind of activism that the US has exercised during most of the postCold War period, either out of necessity or out of choice. From now on,

necessity – that is, advancing narrowly defined US national interests – will drive US strategic thinking. Some might greet this with relief. After all, less power implies greater restraint, thus lowering the risk of committing hubris-driven mistakes. But there is a flipside. If and when a pragmatic America decides to fix whatever needs fixing (being careful not to invite unnecessary challenges or problems), it will be looking for capable, resolute and reliable partners. Indeed, a more modest US role means that others will have to step up as mediators, stabilizers, or enforcers, or risk a less predictable international order. For Europeans to become “more serious partners,” then, is not really about staying relevant to the United States. It is about remaining relevant in the world where America will be less keen to lead. Rather than count on the reversibility of this process, it is high time to acknowledge its consequences. ● Bartosz WiÊniewski is a research fellow at the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM). www.pism.pl

Opinion

The silly season in politics

I

would like to reassure all those who expect this fall’s parliamentary election campaign to be fiercely fought and engaging, that in reality it will likely be insipid, bland and uneventful.

A brief campaign Polish President Bronis∏aw Komorowski has already stated that he will soon officially announce the date of the parliamentary elections for October 9. In practice, this means that the election campaign will be relatively brief, lasting for around a month. It is also unlikely to fascinate most Poles, as they will have other things on their minds. First and foremost – vacations. The start of September is when big political issues are put on the back burner. Polish families will be returning from holidays and will be busy preparing for the new school year; single people will no doubt be heading off on cheap September vacations and students will be either relaxing or taking exams for the fall semester. Yet already among the typical “silly season” summer tabloid stories about the birth of a two-headed

python or the amazing night-time visit of a UFO to a village in Podlasie, ads for Jaros∏aw Kaczyƒski’s opposition Law & Justice (PiS) party have begun to appear. They are so boring and out of touch that spin doctors advising the ruling Civic Platform (PO) do not even want to comment on them. Similarly, PiS spin doctors do not wish to attack the intellectually sophisticated brochure featuring the achievements of Donald Tusk’s government. The voters who are readers of popular tabloids would not even read half a page of this type of publication, just as PO voters are unlikely to be in a rush to see PiS campaign slogans in the tabloids.

Preaching to the converted PR specialists had predicted that the election campaign would take place according to the American model: on the internet. But in the Polish “virtual” world, the campaign has begun to resemble something of a caricature of any serious political contest. Supporters have shut themselves off in their social networking, Facebook, and blogging groups where

they preach to the converted, trying to convince those who are already convinced of their positions about the merits of their party. On one PiS supporter’s page there is an “independent” poll which suggests Jaros∏aw Kaczyƒski’s party will

“Supporters have shut themselves off in their social networking, Facebook, and blogging groups where they preach to the converted” obtain 76 percent of the vote, and that the ruling PO can count on only 9 percent at most. On PO’s social media pages no one even raises questions about the election results. There is a conviction that the next four years of a Donald Tusk-led government will bring Poland wealth, prestige and development. On the other hand, the Polish Peasants Party (PSL) – the minority party in government – is almost

absent from the internet, and traditionally motivates its supporters through the voluntary fire brigades that are active in the countryside and are closely associated to the party. All of this means that each party is talking to its own supporters; there is no cross-party debate except for the vulgar mud-slinging matches which take place on specific web pages and chatrooms.

A victory for Civic Platform? Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s ruling Civic Platform is all but certain to win this fall’s parliamentary elections. The only real question left is how much of a distance there will be between PO and its main opposition rival, PiS, come election night. Indeed, even if there is a significant gap and PO wins over half of the seats in parliament, party leaders are sure to try to form a coalition anyway, since any government would, somewhat paradoxically, be much more likely to succeed in a coalition. PO is hoping for PSL to do well in the elections. Together with PO, PSL sits in the European Parliament as part of the largest political grouping –

Joanna Wóycicka

the European People’s Party. If PSL fails to cross the necessary threshold of 5 percent of the vote to enter parliament, the situation in Polish politics could become rather more complicated. PO would have two strong opponents – PiS on the right and the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) on the left. Civic Platform would then face major difficulties because Mr Tusk’s government, faced with a strong parliamentary opposition, would have problems implementing its policies. It could, of course, try to form a coalition with either of these two parties – which for the past two years have been opposed to almost any measure the government has tried to implement. If that happens, late autumn might turn into an altogether different type of silly season. ● Joanna Wóycicka is the former head of the foreign sections of the ˚ycie Warszawy and ˚ycie newspapers and the former head of the foreign department at the Polish Press Agency (PAP). j.woycicka@hotmail.com

Editorials are the opinions of WBJ’s editorial board. Other opinions are those of the authors alone. Comments, opinions and letters should be sent to editor@wbj.pl. Please include a name and contact information and clearly indicate if they are to be considered for publication.

PUBLISHER VALKEA MEDIA SA CO-MANAGING EDITOR

REAL ESTATE EDITOR

CONTRIBUTORS

GARETH PRICE (GPRICE@WBJ.PL)

ADAM ZDRODOWSKI (AZDRODOWSKI@WBJ.PL)

E. BLAKE BERRY EWA BONIECKA BRENDAN MELCK RICHARD WERNICK JOANNA WÓYCICKA

COPY EDITORS

ALICE TRUDELLE

DAVID INGHAM ELLA PALKA

(ATRUDELLE@WBJ.PL)

JOURNALIST

CO-MANAGING EDITOR

REMI ADEKOYA (RADEKOYA@WBJ.PL)

INTERNS

BARBARA G¢DEK TARA TAYLOR

ADAM NARCZEWSKI ANDREW NAWROCKI

MARKETING &SALES

PRODUCTION MANAGER

MARKETING &SALES DIRECTOR

PIOTR WYSKOK GRAPHIC DESIGNER

KATARZYNA PIASECKA POLITICS EDITOR

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ANDREW KURETH (AKURETH@WBJ.PL)

(ABREJWO@WBJ.PL)

¸UKASZ MAZUREK CARTOONS

JOWITA MALICH (JMALICH@WBJ.PL)

PIOTR WYSKOK

MAGDALENA KARPI¡SKA (MKARPINSKA@WBJ.PL)

PRINT & DISTRIBUTION COORDINATOR

KRZYSZTOF WILI¡SKI (DYSTRYBUCJA@VALKEA.COM)

PR & MARKETING SPECIALIST

NATALIA ROGACZEWSKA (NROGACZEWSKA@WBJ.PL) KATARZYNA PINKIEWICZ (KPINKIEWICZ@WBJ.PL)

COLUMNISTS

PAUL FOGO JUDITH GLINIECKI

AGNIESZKA BREJWO

MANAGING DIRECTOR MONIKA STAWICKA

SUBSCRIPTIONS MANAGER

AGNIESZKA MICHALIK (AMICHALIK@VALKEA.COM)

BOOK OF LISTS SPECIALIST

JOANNA RASZKA (JRASZKA@VALKEA.COM)


OPINION & ANALYSIS

JULY 25 – AUGUST 8, 2011

www.wbj.pl

11

Editorial

A welcome focus on journalistic integrity

T

he recent hacking scandal at the News of the World has shed light on some of journalism’s worst practices and has prompted a lively – and necessary – public debate about the state of ethics in journalism. During this difficult period in history for newspapers (who in their struggle to make ends meet are looking for easy ways to turn a buck, to sell papers, or to get the story) this renewed focus on news organizations’ ethical conduct is welcome. There is no doubt that the methods used by the News of the World are not limited to that newspaper alone, nor to the tabloid sector or the UK. News organizations all over the world use shady tactics to get their stories and we in the media ought to be vigilant to ensure that they don’t happen in our own organizations. We must

also expose such practices when we find they have occured. And while one of the key aspects of maintaining journalistic integrity is having a healthy respect for people’s privacy, news organizations need to make sure they are focused on keeping all of their ethical standards high.

Selling their souls In Poland, there is tremendous pressure on news organizations to violate journalistic integrity in a particularly insidious way: by selling content that is, in reality, advertorial, but is presented to the reader as journalistic. While such practices are in no way limited to Poland, they are especially prevalent in the region, partly because of a limited experience with free media and also because of the misunderstanding on the part of advertisers as to what

amounts to effective advertising. The practice comes in many forms, ranging from the subtle to the overt, from the simple inordinate coverage of a particular client’s products or services to the outright sale of space for a company to promote itself under the guise of an “expert’s opinion.” In any form, it is a violation of the readers’ trust. Most organizations do their best to avoid such breaches, but with advertising dollars dwindling it is increasingly tempting to give in to a client’s tit-fortat proposition of “sure, I’ll buy an ad, as long as you write about my company / interview our president / give our product a good review.” It is first and foremost the responsibility of news organizations to resist such temptations. It is also their responsibility to educate their clients

and advertisers that such deals rarely work to anyone’s benefit. Readers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and can easily spot such underhandedness. Often, the reader’s disgust will result in a loss of respect for the news organization as a whole, as well as for the company doing the advertising, not to mention the loss of a customer for both.

Businesses can help It is here where business executives can help make a difference by emphasizing to their marketing departments that such methods are not to be tolerated. If advertising isn’t enough (and these days most companies expect addedvalue for their advertising investment) then other solutions need to be found. News organizations are usually willing to help their partners gain value

through many of the different channels they have at their disposal.

“In Poland, there is tremendous pressure on news organizations to violate journalistic integrity” In the end, trust is at the heart of journalism ethics. To maintain their readers’ trust, news organizations must protect their journalistic integrity, whether this means resisting the temptation to violate privacy laws or keeping the lines between advertising and journalism clear. Hopefully, the recent focus on journalistic standards will remind news organizations everywhere to put integrity first. ●

Analysis

Poland looks for security alternatives

N

ATO has been the main institutional security guarantor for the European continent since the end of World War II, but recently it has experienced a steady loss of strategic identity and instilled doubts among its peripheral members about its true commitment to their defense. Poland, a NATO member since 1999, has grown frustrated in recent months with the alliance’s reluctance to make permanent security commitments to Warsaw on a number of issues.

“A major point of concern for Poland is the increasingly close relationship between Russia and Germany” With Russia’s resurgence into its periphery showing no signs of slowing, Poland has begun looking for alternative security arrangements. First, on May 12, Poland committed itself to the formation and leadership of a battle-group with fellow Visegrad

Group (V4) members, which include Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. More recently on July 5, Poland also signed an agreement with Germany and France – the two other members of the so-called Weimar Triangle – to create a joint military force. While these and other options currently under consideration by the Polish government are only in their preliminary stages, they illustrate that Poland is increasingly worried that NATO will be unable, or unwilling, to ensure its security in the future. In response, Warsaw is exploring and trying to develop every potential avenue of cooperation in the region in the short term – without fully committing to any particular one.

The V4 The first alternative is the creation of the V4 group. In theory, this alliance would be able to geographically contain Russia and its periphery by forming a bloc across Central Europe. The V4, however, suffers from political weaknesses that cast doubt on its ability to ensure the region’s security. The members lack consensus on the

threat posed by Russia: Hungary, for example, feels secure behind the Carpathian Mountains. Furthermore, political tensions between some members of the V4 could threaten the stability of an alliance.

The EU The second avenue that Poland is pursuing is centered on the European Union. After recently assuming the EU presidency, Warsaw is getting ready to push for the creation of an EU-wide security framework. Poland is counting on the inefficiencies highlighted during the Libyan campaign to encourage EU members to develop an institutional military framework that will share costs and distribute responsibilities. The main problem with this plan is that it aggregates widely divergent interests into a single institution. Another major point of concern for Poland is the increasingly close relationship between Russia and Germany, the consequences of which are still unknown. Despite its apparent flaws, Poland remains determined in pursuing a joint avenue of cooperation, in this case by creating

a battle-group with France and Germany.

The US The third option Poland is actively pursuing is increasing its strategic partnership with the US. As NATO’s leading power, Washington has been a key ally of Poland since the fall of the Soviet Union. Recently, the US has placed Poland at the heart of its Central European policy. While the US would be the most effective deterrent to Russia, its commitment to Poland has always seemed to fall short of its promises especially in Warsaw’s view. Furthermore, the US is still deeply involved with military operations in the Middle East, delaying any potential increases in its commitment to Central Europe. Nevertheless, Poland will continue to push for a heavier American military presence on its territory.

Nordic alliance Finally, Poland has the option of joining a Nordic security alliance, centered in particular on Sweden and the Baltic states. Warsaw and Stockholm have established strong political ties

lately, particularly during the establishment of the Eastern Partnership program. While no formal military commitment has been made, a Polish alliance with Sweden would prove more manageable in scale than an EU military force; it would also be less prone to internal divisions such as those expected with the V4. One can expect Warsaw to pursue this option in parallel with the others highlighted above. Poland has no obvious replacement for NATO’s security provisions in the mid- to long-term and is therefore developing a set of cooperative relationships by way of a hedged security investment. The four options are not necessarily isolated and Poland has the time and the room to maneuver and combine them in order to best satisfy its needs. In fact, pursuing these potential security cooperation avenues in parallel is a low-cost strategy that will not involve any exclusive commitments from Warsaw in the short-term. ● This edited version of “Poland looks for security alternatives” is reprinted with permission of STRATFOR.


12

COVER STORY

www.wbj.pl

JULY 25 – AUGUST 8, 2011

Rail network

Off the tracks

Brendan Melck

Following a series of high-profile rail-related fiascos, including a power outage at Warszawa Centralna (Warsaw Central Station) in June, it should come as little surprise that a European Commission survey on passenger satisfaction indicates that Poles are the most disgruntled rail users in Europe. Anyone who spends enough time traveling in Poland is bound to feel some level of dissatisfaction with the country’s railway network, which is run by the sprawling state-owned rail operator Polish State Railways (PKP). Once the country’s largest employer, PKP has in recent years seen its public image deteriorate as frustration among Poles about the condition of the railway system has continued to grow. Although 2010 brought a strong financial result for PKP, some of its many constituent parts have also seen their losses mount in recent years: PKP Intercity, for example, has set itself the goal of ending the current year with losses of no more than z∏.45 million, following some hefty losses in previous years. Privatization of PKP’s myriad parts, including freight operator PKP Cargo, is underway, but what prospects are there for improvement? WBJ looks into the problems facing Poland’s railways and asks whether the privatization process is on track.

Train of woes On June 22, Warsaw Central Station was affected by a largescale power cut between 10 am

and 1 pm, resulting in 40 train delays, as well as the evacuation of passengers from the station. The cause of the problem is currently being investigated, but some local media sources have already pointed the finger at PKP Energetyka, the arm of the PKP rail group that is responsible for electricity supplies at rail stations. The blackout at Warsaw Central Station was the latest in a long line of problems that have dogged the Polish rail network in recent months. In December of last year, following changes to PKP’s timetable, train operators did not give passengers proper information concerning the new schedules. This caused confusion and frustration for passengers, many of whom missed important journeys or were left stranded due to the miscommunication. Even worse, in the depths of this past winter there was an untimely breakdown of several worn-out overhead cables, which left a large number of passengers awaiting rescue in freezing conditions. These incidents led to the dismissal of both Andrzej Wach, the CEO of PKP, the company charged with overseeing the restructuring and privatization of various companies within the PKP group, and Deputy Infrastructure Minister Juliusz Engelhardt.

Regional context However, a number of Polish rail experts are keen to put criticism of PKP into context, saying that a lot of it is simply hyperbole.

COURTESY OF PKP

A number of recent incidents have exacerbated Polish rail passenger discontent. Privatization is seen as a panacea to the rail industry’s woes, but just how well is it progressing?

PKP Intercity is attempting to end the year with losses of no more than z∏.45 million “Criticism of the railways in Poland is justified, but it is often too strong, and too emotional,” said Marcin Kamola, an analyst at TOR – Transport Consultant’s Group. Karol Wach, managing editor of public transport portal transinfo.pl, agreed, saying that most of the problems facing the rail network are related to local lines. “I wouldn’t generalize overly about the opinion Poles have of their rail services,” he said “Connections between some major cities, like Kraków to Warsaw or Poznaƒ to Warsaw, are fast and inexpensive. The real problem is with the

PKP profits and losses for selected companies in the group, for 2009 and 2010 (z∏. millions) Company name

2009

2010

PKP group

-z∏.674

z∏.45

PKP SA

z∏.150

z∏.194

PKP Energetyka

z∏.34.8

z∏.131.6

-z∏.497.5

z∏.62

PKP Cargo

local lines, where the situation is considerably worse.”

Slow coaches The government’s plans to privatize the rail system were aimed partly to improve the situation on the network. Nevertheless, the journey hasn’t been an easy one. In 2001, PKP was split into a number of different companies, many of which the government hoped it would be able to restructure and privatize. While the company responsible for the country’s rail infrastructure, PKP PLK, was not intended for privatization, most of the other companies were. Freight operator PKP Cargo and PKP Intercity, for example, were both to be sold off under the government’s privatization plan. It is fair to say, however, that in the 10 years since the process was started, little visible progress has been made, with the privatizations of major PKP units being delayed time and time again. TOR’s Mr Kamola argues

that this is largely because efforts to modernize Poland’s rail network have not been effective enough. “For more than 20 years, the modernization of the railway network, replacement of rolling stock or renovation of stations has practically been abandoned,” he said. “There have been some small signals that things are changing, but in terms of the whole rail system, it’s been too little. Today we can see a slow change for the better, but there is a policy of very slow and small steps in place, and it is difficult to see its effect in an everyday sense,” he added.

Rays of hope The Euro 2012 soccer championship is proving to be something of a catalyst for the development of the country’s rail network, although many of the projects currently underway are unlikely to be completed prior to the start of the tournament. A contract signed for the construction of a new Warsza-

wa Zachodnia (Warsaw West) station building with developer HB Reavis is the latest in a series of deals that have been signed by PKP with private investors. Similar contracts are in place for stations in Katowice and Poznaƒ, where work is already under way. The new Warsaw West station building, which was initially due to be completed by 2012, is now scheduled for delivery in 2014. In addition, the recent purchase of 20 high-speed Pendolino trains by PKP Intercity for €665 million has also given rise to the hope that services between many Polish cities will improve. This announcement should also give PKP an advantage in the competition against domestic road and air travel service providers, experts say. “There really are many positive changes being made, the effects of which we will feel in the coming years,” ¸ukasz Kurpiewski, press spokesperson for the PKP group, told WBJ. “However, the long-term lack of investment in the rail


COVER STORY

JULY 25 – AUGUST 8, 2011

www.wbj.pl

On the wrong track for satisfied customers

13

Legal Eye

Selected results of the European Commission's Survey on Passengers' Satisfaction with Rail Services, June 2011

Frequent complaints

Too little, too late

Percentage of respondents’ very or rather satisfied with frequency of trains

Percentage of respondents’ very or rather satisfied with punctuality and reliability of trains

100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

Progress, at a snail’s pace

100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Luxembourg Finland

UK

Denmark Hungary Latvia Romania Bulgaria Estonia Poland

Judith Gliniecki is a Partner with Wierzbowski Eversheds judith.gliniecki@eversheds.pl

Ireland Lithuania Latvia

UK

Greece Poland France Germany Finland

Easy, secure and well-connected

Dirty, dilapidated and nowhere to park

In Poland, travelers were most likely to be satisfied with: (% of very satisfied or rather satisfied)

In Poland, travelers were most likely to be dissatisfied with: (% sum of very dissatisfied and rather dissatisfied)

Ease of buying tickets

Cleanliness of station facilities Quality of station facilities

Personal security

Facilities for car parking

Public transport connections 0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

Source: European Commission

system is such that it is not possible to change everything with the wave of a magic wand – if only for financial and logistical reasons,” he said.

“A drop in the ocean” While some investment has been made to improve the standard of Poland’s rail network, a number of experts argue that the amount spent is still woefully inadequate. “At a local level, the infrastructure company PKP PLK’s modernization work seems like a drop in the ocean in terms of what is needed. Moreover, the purchase of new modern passenger carriages or railbuses is not anywhere near sufficient,” said Mr Wach of transportinfo.pl. “The local passenger rail operator, Przewozy Regionalne, which runs most local services, is limited to what it gets [financially] to use from local governments,” he added. Local services, which were transferred to the control of local governments at the end of 2008, must now compete for limited local government money. This has translated into employee dissatisfaction. A July 5 strike by employees of Przewozy Regionalne could, some experts have said, be a precursor of worse disruptions to come. Workers involved in that particular strike were protesting not only against low wages but also against what they perceived to be the indifference of the infrastructure ministry towards the issues that face the rail network at the local level. In particular, the strikers said that the ministry is proving unresponsive to the impending demographic problems that will face local railway operators: the average age of employees at PKP companies

is between 45-50 and the company’s low wages are not attractive for young Poles. According to PKP union information quoted by local media, the average basic monthly salary of a train driver is only around z∏.1,400-1,600.

Is privatization the answer? In the freight sector, the longawaited privatization of PKP Cargo may soon finally come to pass. PKP Cargo is one of the largest rail-freight operators in the European Union and has traditionally been involved in the transport of heavy goods, such as coal and ore. However, economic realities have forced the company to follow a difficult path to modernization. Recently, the company’s management board took a number of unpopular steps to improve the company’s financial situation. After making significant cuts to its payroll and reducing its activities, the company finally reported a return to profit in 2010. The short-list of potential bidders for PKP Cargo is expected to include both sector and financial investors, including Russia’s national rail operator RZD. However, there are contrasting views as to whether privatization is the right strategy at the present time. “PKP Cargo is developing in the right direction now,” Mr Kamola said. “It is following the pattern of German and French freight operators, being transformed into a logistics operator, and not just a rail company.” Mr Wach’s views are somewhat different: “I don’t think PKP Cargo is properly prepared for privatization today – and it should not be privatized

Can't get no... In June, the European Commission published a report that indicates the level of satisfaction EU citizens have with their respective countries’ rail services. The survey showed that Poland has the lowest proportion of rail passengers who reported being either “very” or “rather” satisfied with the services they receive. The only exception to this was found in the “ease of buying train tickets” category. Surveyed Poles also expressed with relatively high frequency that they now; maybe in a year or two it will be ready,” he said. Mr Kamola did also admit that PKP Cargo’s privatization would not be a straightforward process. “There is a definite barrier to its development, and that is money for investment – this money needs to come from outside, but not from another railway undertaking – rather it should be a financial investor,” he said.

Commitment problems PKP says that while the privatization of a number of its arms is making good progress, that of PKP Intercity, which operates long-distance and international passenger trains, is going to have to be delayed. “The process of privatizing PKP Cargo and the rail infrastructure repair company PNI are well advanced, as is that of PKP Energetyka,” PKP spokesperson ¸ukasz Kurpiewski said. “The privatization plans of PKP Intercity, however, have been delayed until the situation on the passenger rail market is sufficiently stable that potential investors will be sure that it will be worth investing in the company,” he added.

were “very dissatisfied” with the services on offer: Poland had the highest number of respondents (17.1 percent) who claimed they were “very dissatisfied”with the provision of information about train schedules and platforms. Greece was next with 10.9 percent. Poles were particularly disgruntled with the frequency of trains, the cleanliness and maintenance of station facilities, and with regards to how secure they felt on PKP property. ● Nevertheless, questions remain over the government’s commitment to this goal. As a state-owned enterprise PKP depends on support from the government, which determines the level of resources that are committed to the railway sector. But successive governments have been more reactive than proactive. “Personally, I do not see any political will in the Polish government to improve the rail system,” Mr Wach said. “It seems to me that the government remembers that the railways exist only after some media scandals about paralysis on the network, or a serious accident. This is too little; there is no proper plan for development,” he said. While the process of privatizing the railways is slowly taking shape, it is not clear when, or if, it will finally be completed. Nevertheless, even a fully-privatized rail system provides no guarantee that services will be improved. The only thing that appears set in stone is that another winter of discontent beckons for Polish rail passengers. ●

If you’re one of those people who think it takes an inordinate amount of time to travel by train in Poland, the only consolation I can offer is to say that you are not alone. Unfortunately, not only are travel times slow, but so is progress. The restructuring and privatization process of Polish railways is creeping along at a snail’s pace. The fact is, however, that a special law on commercialization, restructuring and privatization of the Polish State Railways (PKP) has been in existence now for over 10 years.

Component parts The special law set out parameters designed to reorganize and strengthen the clay-footed behemoth that was (and still is) PKP. Now, 10 years later, the continuing problems with PKP indicate that the purpose behind the law’s introduction are still, unfortunately, relevant. One of the goals of the law was to rationalize PKP. Instead of having all operations grouped in one large entity, the law permitted various subsidiaries to be created, including a passenger service, a cargo transportation and a railway administration. Only this last subsidiary, PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe S.A. (“PLK”), must remain a state-controlled company. The law also attempted to deal with the financial woes of PKP. It anticipated various means of handling overdue taxes and other debts, including debt restructuring, writeoffs and sales of assets. While much of the law addressed debt that was incurred before 2003, it still remains an issue. For example, the law allows PKP to pay its corporate taxes for 2011-2015 by transferring shares in PLK to the state treasury.

Employee matters As is the case with the Law on Commercialization and Privatization (“Privatization Law”), which dates back to 1996 and is the general law on privatization, this special law contains a large section on employee entitlements. The sum of all these statutory entitlements is such that it could be disadvantageous for a long-term employee to leave the relative job security

of PKP and its subsidiaries even if offered higher wages elsewhere. Additionally, the law has created a special ownership fund for PKP employees from which 15 percent of the proceeds raised from various asset sales, real estate sales and privatization proceeds are supposed to be distributed to employees. To be fair, the Privatization Law also sets up an employee fund to collect up to 15 percent of the proceeds of privatizations for further distribution to employees who worked at those privatized entities. For example, PKP employees who worked for the company at the time of the commercialization of PKP (when a state-owned enterprise becomes a corporation with shares held by the State Treasury) and those employees who have worked in the company for over 10 years are entitled to benefit from this fund. As a benchmark of the slowness of this whole process, the law specifies that the PKP employee fund’s charter may not expire before the end of 2010. Obviously 10 years ago, someone must have thought this was a safe time line for the privatization of PKP.

Privatization basics Even if political will, PKP’s internal financial situation and overall investor confidence were to be combined in a happy confluence that would allow the privatization of PKP to move forward, it will still be a slow process. The Privatization Law contains specific procedures for preparing and conducting privatization. In any case, before any official decisions are made to privatize, a full legal and financial analysis of PKP would need to be made. Other reports, such as environmental compliance reports, may also be requested. The sale process itself must be conducted according to a closed list of options. The possible forms of a sale of shares of a PKP subsidiary would include a publicly announced offering, public procurement, negotiations following a public invitation, auction and sale on the stock market. ●


www.wbj.pl

COMPANY FOCUS

JULY 25 – AUGUST 8, 2011

Business process outsourcing

Poland ‘completes’ Itella’s regional strategy Jukka Alho, CEO of Finnish business process outsourcing company Itella Group, spoke with WBJ about the firm's business in Poland and its future plans Barbara G´dek: Why did Itella come to Poland three years ago? Jukka Alho: There are two main reasons why we decided to enter the Polish market. The first is that we defined the Baltic Sea region as our home market years ago and from Finland we started to expand towards Scandinavia. Later on we continued on to the Baltic countries and Germany. In that sense, our move to Poland has been a very natural one. Poland is rather close to Finland geographically and it has a similar culture, education level and people. The country also has a large number of skilled workers. That is why it is a very attractive market for us and why it completes Itella’s strategy in the Baltic Rim region. But then we also had another reason. We have been looking for markets where we can implement and develop our production and know-how and thus, Poland turned out to be the right place for us. How do you plan to develop your business in Poland? Our goal is to become a leader in financial and accounting processes, and we have a very strong presence here. There are not that many competitors

in Poland and in other potential markets. As far as the future is concerned, we have interesting new developments in the pipeline. We are planning to integrate banking services as part of our solutions, but not in the traditional sense. Instead we are going to focus on payment processes and automated company payment and cash-flow processes. The pace of our development depends on many factors and we are currently in a fairly early phase. Itella Information now has approximately 10,000 customers across Europe. We are hoping that Itella grows to two or three times its current size some time in the future, but we don’t have any strict plan regarding this. Your core business in Finland is postal services. Do you see Itella Group competing in the same market in Poland in the future? The postal business is very difficult. The internet is taking more and more of the traditional postal market share, with people receiving more electronic invoices, reading fewer newspapers and subscribing to fewer magazines because they are using the internet instead.

So, we don’t plan to expand our postal business presence in any other country and we don’t plan to invest in this oldfashioned but still widely used business sector. For over 20 years, we have been developing our electronic services, as well as other new types of business services in order to diversify our expertise and to continue to provide revenue to our shareholders now and in the future. Last November, Itella Information took over Poznaƒbased Outsourcing Solutions. How has this acquisition benefited your firm? With the acquisition of Outsourcing Solutions we have acquired a good customer base, a well-educated and professional staff and new potential for faster growth. The deal supported our strategy of becoming the number-one partner for customers in the field of financial transactional processes in Europe. It has also allowed us to have a business process outsourcing arm in the Polish and European markets. There is no doubt that this move will accelerate Itella’s development in Europe; now we can operate faster as well as provide more and better services to our clients across many European markets. The fact that we can do it right away, rather than step-bystep, is a result of our strategy for dynamic expansion. ●

COURTESY OF ITELLA

14

Mr Alho wants Itella to become a financial and accounting processes leader in Poland

More advanced than Germany WBJ also spoke with Miikka Savolainen, CEO of Itella's Information Branch in Poland. We asked him about Polish companies – which fairly or unfairly have a reputation for being resistant to new business models – and how open they are to using outsourcing services. “Poland resembles other European markets and I think that Polish companies

are ready to use these kinds of solutions,” he said. “However, different market segments accept certain financial services faster than others. For example, in outsourcing services, Nordic countries seems to be ahead of other markets, but Poland is still more advanced than Germany.”


BUSINESS BREAKFAST

JULY 25 – AUGUST 8, 2011

www.wbj.pl

15

A negative perception of lobbying, a limited knowledge of how Brussels works and a failure to realize just how much EU legislation determines Polish law were cited by experts as the main reasons why Polish lobbyists can rarely be found in the corridors of EU institutions. The comments were made during a business breakfast organized by WBJ to discuss the opportunities and challenges for Polish companies to influence EU decisions during Poland’s six-month presidency of the bloc. “Many Polish entrepreneurs simply don’t realize just

how much Polish legislation is simply an implementation of EU directives. They feel Polish law is up to Polish lawmakers and thus don’t see the need to try and influence what goes on in European legislation,” said Piotr Sarnecki, a permanent representative of the Polish employers association PKPP Lewiatan in BusinessEurope, a Brussels-based lobby group for entrepreneurs. Another factor which causes Polish entrepreneurs to steer clear of lobbying is the negative perception it suffers in Poland. Due to a series of high-profile corruption scan-

dals involving lobbyists at the turn of the last decade, lobbying has come to be seen by many Poles as inherently corrupt and as something that should not be encouraged. “When Poles hear lobbyists, they think corruption, money and favors being exchanged and other criminal or semi-criminal activities,” said Agnieszka Cianciara, a lobbying expert at the College of Europe. Anna ¸aciƒska, managing director at European and financial consulting firm (EFICOM), agreed with Ms Cianciara and Mr Sarnecki,

and said that the biggest challenge would be to convince Polish entrepreneurs that lobbying is not a waste of money, does not have to entail corruption and can help them influence legislation that could have a direct influence on their business. “Also, Polish firms have to learn that they must be present in Brussels all the time, monitoring the various legislative phases rather than reacting at the last minute to legislation that could be detrimental to them. Then it is often too late,” Ms ¸aciƒska said. Remi Adekoya

PIOTR GAMDZYK/WBJ

Lobbying: Polish firms missing out

Piotr Sarnecki said one of the biggest challenges is to convince Poles of the value of lobbying

WBJ would like to thank our

Business Breakfast

Agnieszka Cianciara said a perceived link to corruption was one reason for a lack of Polish lobbyists

PIOTR GAMDZYK/WBJ

PIOTR GAMDZYK/WBJ

partners:

Anna ¸aciƒska stressed the need for Polish firms to be present in Brussels


There are plenty of challenges for foreigners who want to get financing to buy a residence. But the effort may be worth it 18-19

Marvipol is working on no less than four new residential projects throughout Warsaw 17

LOKALE IMMOBILIA

W a r s a w B u s i n e s s J o u r n a l ’s w e e k ly s u p p l e m e n t o n re a l e s t a t e , c o n s t r u c t i o n a n d d e v e l o p m e n t •

Eiffage to build Aquarius Business House Warsaw Stock Exchangelisted developer Echo Investment has contracted Eiffage Budownictwo Mitex to build the shell of its Aquarius Business House class-A office project in downtown Wroc∏aw. ●

In this issue Port Praski revamp . . . . . . . . . .16 Galeria Narew sale . . . . . . . . . .16 Marvipol projects . . . . . . . . . . .17 SGI Baltis in Szczecin . . . . . . . .17 Atlas Estates in Żoliborz . . . . .17 Property-related stocks . . . . . .18 Financing for foreigners . . .18-19

Retail

Zoning plan raises hopes SCALA acquires for Port Praski revamp Galeria Narew COURTESY OF GALERIA NAREW

Gdynia-based Allcon Budownictwo is the newly selected general contractor of Sjaelso’s Porto 55 shopping center project in Elblàg, Warmiƒsko-Mazurskie voivodship. The investment, which will be located in the city’s downtown, will be the first scheme of its kind in the Elblàg market and is scheduled to open in the last quarter of 2012. The Porto 55 development will comprise 22,000 sqm of retail and service space.

Urban planning

The investment is the company’s first in Poland

COURTESY OF TELEWIZJA POLSAT

Porto 55 contractor chosen

JULY 25 – AUGUST 8, 2011, LI 16/29-30

The mixed-use development could help revitalize the Port Praski neighborhood

One of Warsaw’s most dilapidated areas could see some muchneeded redevelopment The long-neglected Port Praski (Praga Port) river port neighborhood of Warsaw’s Praga Pó∏noc district could finally be renovated and upgraded, with Warsaw City Hall finishing work on a zoning plan for the area and a private investor planning the construction of a major mixed-use development at the location. The land, located next to the Vistula River near the capital’s Most Âwi´tokrzyski (Âwi´tokrzyski Bridge), would arguably lend itself to waterfront revitalization similar to that carried out in Germany’s Hamburg where construction

on the much-touted HafenCity project is now underway. Dziennik Gazeta Prawna has reported that Port Praski, a company which manages the eponymous area, is in the process of obtaining administrative permits for a residential complex which would be developed on part of the land. In later phases of the investment, office and retail space, as well as a marina, a park and a promenade could be built. For the time being, it is not known when construction on the planned project, whose architectural concept is being prepared by the JEMS Architekci studio, could begin or what the total value of the multi-phased investment will be. Ultimately, much will depend on when the zoning

plan comes into force and what kinds of developments it will allow. Port Praski was built during the interwar period to serve as a reloading dock and winter port. The facility comprised three port basins and several buildings, all located on an area of about 38 hectares. It was closed in 1963 when its functions were taken over by another of the capital’s ports – Port ˚eraƒ. In the 1990s, urban planner Jan Rutkiewicz suggested the construction of a new center for Praga with a high-rise office and services development in Port Praga. The plan, however, has never been implemented. Adam Zdrodowski, Katarzyna Piasecka

Luxembourg-based SCALA IRP Capital Partners has acquired the Galeria Narew shopping center in ¸om˝a in the Podlaskie voivodship. Although the value of the project has not been disclosed, the purchase marks the company’s first investment in Poland and illustrates SCALA’s strategy to accelerate further growth in Central and Eastern Europe. “Having monitored the Polish retail market for some time, our decision to acquire Galeria Narew was driven by its attractive prime location and the considerable potential of the region. It offers the opportunity to benefit from Poland’s healthy economic growth that has been driving

consumer spending and rental growth,” Alex Antonis, COO and board member, said in a statement. “Poland leads the way as the most targeted ‘emerging’ market and destination in Central and Eastern Europe with one of the strongest regional economies and undersupply of good quality retail space. The combination of all these strengths has created the fundamentals of our decision to purchase Galeria Narew,” Mr Antonis added. Galeria Narew will be located at the intersection of ul. Wojska Polskiego and ul. Pi∏sudskiego. It will comprise 40,000 sqm of space and over 90 stores. Construction on the project will begin in August and is projected to end in the last quarter of 2012. Adam Zdrodowski

Coming up: AUGUST 8 Legal & insurance matters – pitfalls and solutions. Plus: how do Polish regulations compare with those in other European countries?

AUGUST 22 Design & innovation – trends in building, architecture and interior design


LOKALE IMMOBILIA – REAL ESTATE

Residential investment

Marvipol set to deliver slew of new residences in Warsaw

Warsaw Stock Exchange-listed developer Marvipol is preparing a new major multifamily residential investment in the Polish capital. The scheme is expected to deliver more than 130,000 sqm of usable housing space, Andrzej Nizio, president of the company’s management board, told Lokale Immobilia. The planned development will be built on 11 hectares of land located on ul. K∏obucka in Warsaw’s Ursynów district. The company is now in the process of obtaining administrative permits for the scheme, construction on which could launch in the next one and a half to two years, Mr Nizio said. He added that because of the size of the project on ul. K∏obucka, the development will be constructed in phases whose designs will most likely come from a number of different architectural studios. Before that, Marvipol will come up with a general archi-

COURTESY OF MARVIPOL

The developer plans a huge new investment in Ursynów, is working on one in W∏ochy, and will soon start on residential projects in ˚oliborz and Bielany

Marvipol is due to receive a building permit later this year for a 291-apartment project on ul. Powàzkowska tectural concept for the whole investment. Mr Nizio said that the presence of a nearby railway station that provides a transportation link with downtown Warsaw is one of the location’s major assets. That’s a theme with the developer, whose Zielona Italia project in Warsaw’s W∏ochy district is also located near a railway station, and has so far attracted a large number of buyers, said Mr Nizio. Following sustained interest in Zielona Italia, in which units are priced at approxi-

mately z∏.6,000 per sqm, the developer has recently launched sales of all apartments in the future phases of the project. Marvipol hopes the planned project on ul. K∏obucka, in which apartment prices should only slightly surpass those in Zielona Italia, will repeat that scheme’s success.

Other plans Before construction on the Ursynów investment kicks off, Marvipol will most probably start two other residential projects in Warsaw. For one,

the company will soon launch a development on ul. Sokratesa in Bielany. The scheme is expected to deliver 378 apartments priced at an average of z∏.7,700 per sqm. By the end of this year, the developer is also due to obtain a building permit for a project comprising 291 apartments on ul. Powàzkowska in the capital’s ˚oliborz district. Units in the scheme, which will be sited on a plot that Marvipol bought from Ciech last year, will be priced between z∏.8,000 and z∏.9,000 per sqm. “We are viewing the current situation in the residential market with moderate optimism,” Mr Nizio said. He added that he does not expect apartment prices to fall in the near future. The upcoming restrictions due to be placed on the granting of preferential government-subsidized mortgages for first-time home buyers should not have a major impact on Marvipol’s apartment sales, Mr Nizio believes. For the time being, Marvipol, which is currently finishing an office tower project in Warsaw’s Wola district, is not planning to launch other office projects, the developer’s president said. Adam Zdrodowski

www.wbj.pl

17

SGI Baltis to launch new Szczecin projects

COURTESY OF ON BOARD PUBLICATIONS

JULY 25 – AUGUST 8, 2011

SGI Baltis is launching three developments in Szczecin Szczecin-based developer SGI Baltis will launch two residential projects – Osiedle Poziomkowe and Osiedle pod Platanami – in its home city by the end of September. Earlier this year, the company launched the second phase of its Osiedle Krakowska project which is also in Szczecin. The total value of these three investments is estimated at approximately z∏.62 million. “[Launching] three new projects in one city is a major challenge for us. Szczecin is our home city and one of the key investment markets for us and this is why it is where we want to continue to develop and invest. We know the needs of Szczecin’s inhabitants and are trying to meet their expectations,” Grzegorz Kawecki, vice president of SGI Baltis, said in a statement. Scheduled for completion in

mid-2013, the Osiedle Poziomkowe complex will be located at the intersection of ul. Rapackiego and ul. ks. Warcis∏awa. The site will comprise two buildings with a total of 98 housing units. The Osiedle pod Platanami development will be built on ul. Emilii Plater and will be ready in the third quarter of 2013, delivering 134 apartments. SGI Baltis is currently overseeing the development of 12 projects in seven major Polish cities: Warsaw, Szczecin, ¸ódê, S∏upsk, Gorzów Wielkopolski and Poznaƒ. The company is a subsidiary of Baltis Investment Group, which has been on the market since 1992. The Baltis Group also owns Porta Drzwi and Invest Komfort. SGI Baltis’ flagship investment is Barciƒski Park, an apartment complex currently under construction in ¸ódê. Adam Zdrodowski

Atlas Estates launches ˚oliborz sales Warsaw Stock Exchange-listed developer Atlas Estates has launched sales of apartments in its Apartamenty Przy Krasiƒskiego housing project in Warsaw. The investment, which will be located at the intersection of ul. Przasnyska and ul. Krasiƒskiego in the capital’s

˚oliborz district, will comprise two buildings offering a total of 303 units priced from z∏.6,700 per sqm. “The launch of apartment sales in ˚oliborz reflects our strategy which involves the starting of new housing projects in the best locations in Warsaw,” Reuven Havar,

CEO of Atlas Group, said in a statement. He added that the apartments have a number of highly sought-after attributes, including a good location, modern architecture, highquality finishing and affordable prices. Atlas Estates is currently finalizing talks concerning the

financing of Apartamenty Przy Krasiƒskiego. It is also in the final stages of selecting a general contractor for the project. Construction on the investment is set to launch next month and the first residents are expected to move in during the second half of 2013. Atlas Estates was formed

to invest in real estate assets in Poland, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. The company’s primary market is Poland, where 75 percent of its investments are located. The company’s largest projects include Warsaw’s Platinum Towers apartment building, the Hilton Warsaw

Hotel & Convention Centre, the Millennium Plaza office building and the Capital Art Apartments residential project. In the first quarter of 2011 the value of Atlas Estates’ assets stood at nearly €387 million. Adam Zdrodowski


www.wbj.pl

Luxury apartments in ˚oliborz Real estate developer and operator Layetana Developments Polska has announced the start of construction on sPlace - smart living, the first phase of an extensive housing project to be completed by the company in Warsaw’s ˚oliborz postindustrial neighborhood. The facility, which will comprise 66 highstandard apartments with space ranging from 24 sqm to 174 sqm, will also include lofts.

Neocity plans housing investment The Polish branch of Neocity Group is planning to launch apartment sales in a new housing project in Warsaw. The company is in the process of obtaining a building permit for a scheme called Neovillage, which will be developed in the capital’s Ursus district and will comprise five low-rise buildings. ●

LOKALE IMMOBILIA – REAL ESTATE

JULY 25 – AUGUST 8, 2011

Mortgage financing for foreigners

Adam Zdrodowski

Worth the effort? Foreign buyers have plenty of trouble taking out mortgages in Poland. But there are some pleasant surprises, too Foreigners unversed in Poland’s language and financial market can find obtaining mortgage financing for a home in Poland a daunting task. But though the process is difficult, it’s not impossible, and relatively favorable lending conditions can help offset some of the initial trouble.

Additional restrictions Foreign clients, who often treat the acquisition of a residential property in Poland as a form of investment, tend to finance their purchases with cash more often than the average Polish buyer. But plenty still turn to the country’s banks in the hope of securing a mortgage loan. Among those who do

apply for bank financing are foreign home buyers who have Polish family or a Polish partner, noted Jan Bijas, general director of Salomon Finance, a mortgage brokerage firm. “Such mortgage-takers are trying to make use of the same financing opportunities as a Polish citizen, which is fully allowed in banking law,” Mr Bijas said. He added that contrary to popular belief, foreigners can even apply for governmentsubsidized mortgages if they work in Poland and have a Polish spouse. Unfortunately, Mr Bijas pointed out, there are no special mortgage offers for this group of clients and banks tend to view foreigners in terms of an increased risk rather than an opportunity to increase their portfolio. Grzegorz CieÊlak, a regional financial director at Home Broker, agreed. He said that foreign clients in

Poland often face more restrictive procedures than Polish buyers do. This may involve, among other things, banks’ reluctance to acknowledge revenues secured by foreigners abroad. “In Poland, a higher down payment is also often required [from foreigners]. Additionally, some banks require that documents be translated by a certified translator, which significantly increases the cost of obtaining a mortgage. This mainly concerns documents written in languages other than English,” Mr CieÊlak said.

Surprises galore Foreign clients expect real estate brokers not only to help with navigating the language barrier, which can be particularly bewildering if the potential buyer speaks a less popular language such as Danish or Finnish, but also to help get to grips with concepts and regulations that are

Advertorial Houses and residences in Konstancja estate blend perfectly into the green landscape of Konstancin. The project is located in close proximity to Warsaw, near the entry road to Konstancin-Jeziorna – a charming enclave, traditionally inhabited by the representatives of the media, business, arts and the diplomatic world. Konstancja is also located in an immediate vicinity to the American School of Warsaw. Stylish architectural details, unique design and best materials – this is what characterized the local buildings over 100 years ago and still remains as an inherent feature of Konstancja. All new residents of Konstancja can also purchase a limited edition MINI Cooper car, at a price of 19 900 PLN. The investor of Konstancja estate is Globe Trade Centre S.A. (GTC S.A.) – one of the leading developers in the New Europe with over 15 years of experience, operating in 10 countries. GTC develops projects and manages completed properties in three key sectors of real estate: office buildings and parks, retail and entertainment centers and residential sector, realized more than 130 projects in Europe.

You can find more information on the project at: www.konstancja.pl Sales office: tel: +48 22 716 01 77 +48 22 716 01 74 email: konstancja@gtc.com.pl

SHUTTERSTOCK

18

Polish banks tend to see lending to foreigners in terms of increased risk ...

Property-related stocks Security

Closing price on July 21

% change (week)

52-week low

52-week high

% change (year)

Total shares

Market value (z∏.mln)

BUDIMEX

81.95

-6.45

76.40

109.20

13.82

25,530,098

2,236.44

CELTIC

19.03

-5.32

17.00

60.55

N/A

34,068,252

684.77

DOMDEV

46.40

1.02

38.52

50.80

13.87

24,560,222

1,128.05

ECHO

4.62

-3.75

4.25

5.55

19.07

420,000,000

2,016.00

ELBUDOWA

155.30

-1.33

149.00

188.40

-8.22

4,747,608

747.27

ENERGOPLD

3.88

-0.26

3.57

4.10

-11.01

70,972,001

276.08

ERBUD

24.00

-6.61

23.50

61.00

-54.24

12,602,711

323.89

GANT

10.33

-7.77

10.17

23.30

-45.92

20,499,953

229.60

GTC

16.64

-2.12

15.65

24.98

-29.19

219,372,990

3,729.34

HBPOLSKA

1.77

-13.24

1.77

3.90

-53.79

210,558,445

429.54

JWCONSTR

13.40

-7.84

13.40

18.35

13.37

54,073,280

786.23

LCCORP

1.17

-7.87

1.17

1.72

-21.48

447,558,311

568.40

MARVIPOL

8.65

-7.49

7.40

13.95

-46.93

36,923,400

345.23

MIRBUD

3.45

-3.63

3.20

4.75

19.38

75,000,000

268.50

MOSTALWAR

29.89

2.68

25.95

69.40

-52.10

20,000,000

582.20

MOSTALZAB

2.34

-4.49

2.28

3.82

-41.94

149,130,538

365.37

ORCOGROUP

30.86

4.61

19.81

40.00

19.84

14,053,866

414.59

PBG

148.50

-0.34

134.70

252.00

-30.25

14,295,000

2,129.96

PLAZACNTR

3.60

-5.26

3.60

5.59

-40.00

296,738,962

1,127.61

POLAQUA

18.35

-2.13

16.10

20.60

8.32

27,500,100

515.63

POLIMEXMS

2.96

-7.21

2.91

4.84

-31.95

521,154,076

1,662.48

POLNORD

22.48

-11.15

22.20

39.41

-31.80

23,798,439

602.10

RANKPROGR

11.79

-2.64

9.59

13.60

N/A

37,145,050

449.83

ROBYG

1.86

-2.62

1.70

2.13

N/A

257,390,000

491.61

RONSON

1.16

-10.08

1.16

1.78

-27.95

272,360,000

351.34

TRAKCJA

2.70

-11.76

2.49

4.97

-33.66

232,105,480

710.24

ULMA

75.00

-6.25

70.30

88.00

-14.72

5,255,632

420.45

UNIBEP

6.34

-2.46

6.15

10.30

3.93

33,927,184

220.53

WARIMPEX

8.00

-3.50

8.00

10.89

-3.96

54,000,000

447.66

ZUE

10.99

-0.09

9.99

15.14

N/A

22,000,000

242.00


LOKALE IMMOBILIA – REAL ESTATE

JULY 25 – AUGUST 8, 2011

www.wbj.pl

19

Villa Poema gets permit Hochtief Polska has obtained a building permit for its Villa Poema residential project in Warsaw. Located on ul. Krasiƒskiego in the capital’s ˚oliborz district, the scheme will be the first investment whose development process will be carried out entirely by Hochtief Polska. Construction was due to launch in July and finish in Q4 2012. The fivestorey Villa Poema development will deliver 2,710 sqm of usable residential space, including 42 apartments sized from 38-92 sqm.

COURTESY OF LAYETANA DEVELOPMENTS

specific to the Polish market. Foreigners most often ask questions about how possible it is to get a mortgage loan in Poland, as well as what percentage of a property’s value can be financed through a bank loan: while a Polish client can count on a loan-tovalue ratio of 100 percent, for foreigners the figure is usually 70 percent, or even as low as 50 percent, Mr Bijas said. Foreigners pursuing a mortgage loan in Poland are often surprised by what they perceive as a slow decisionmaking process and by the large number of documents they have to provide banks with. In addition, variable interest rates are something new to clients from countries where fixed interest rates are much more popular. But there are positive surprises too. According to Salomon Finance’s Bijas, foreigners are pleasantly surprised by the lending conditions themselves, which can involve significantly lower bank margins than those in some other countries in Europe. “With the total cost of a mortgage coming in as much as tens of thousands of z∏oty lower, even the difficult verification process does not seem so bad,” he said. ●

... but bank margins can still be more favorable than in other European countries

Selected residential real estate brokers in Warsaw Company name

Website (in English Y/N)

Phone number

E-mail address

Dom Kredytowy Notus

domkredytowy.pl (Y)

+48 22 596 39 63

biuro@notuskredyt.pl

DWR Finance

dwrfinance.com (N)

+48 22 373 43 97

biuro@dwrfinance.com

Efect Doradztwo Finansowe

efectsa.pl (N)

+48 61 663 99 39

service.center@doradztwofinansowe.pl

Eviro

eviro.com.pl (N)

+48 12 423 50 50

krakow.centrum@eviro.com.pl

Expander

expander.pl (Y)

+48 22 488 71 10

contact form

Gold finance

goldfinance.pl (N)

+48 22 208 20 00

contact form

Open finance

open.pl (English summary)

+48 22 489 37 00

contact form

Real Finance

realfinance.pl (N)

+48 22 331 22 50

realfinance@realfinance.pl

salomonfinance.kredytopedia.pl (N)

+48 22 849 04 85

kontakt@salomonfinance.pl

xelion.pl (N)

+48 42 683 83 70

kontakt@xelion.pl

Salomon Finance Xelion

Unidevelopment’s Warsaw project Developer Unidevelopment is applying for a building permit for a new multifamily housing project in Warsaw. The planned investment will be located on ul. Berensona in the capital’s Bia∏o∏´ka district and will comprise nine low-rise buildings offering a total of 166 apartments sized 34-82 sqm. ●


20

MARKETS

www.wbj.pl

JULY 25 – AUGUST 8, 2011

Stocks report

world stock indices DJIA

NASDAQ

12,714.79 (July 21 close)

S&P500

2,833.87 (July 21 close)

2.23% (for the week)

FTSE100

1,344.31 (July 21 close)

3.93% (for the week)

DAX

5,898.93 (July 21 close)

2.71% (for the week)

0.99% (for the week)

Short-term relief

NIKKEI225 7,290.77 (July 21 close)

10,010.38 (July 21 close)

1.05% (for the week)

0.75% (for the week)

CHANGE: 7.43%

CHANGE: 5.87%

CHANGE: 4.08%

CHANGE: -0.02%

CHANGE: 4.55%

CHANGE: -3.30%

(year to July 21)

(year to July 21)

(year to July 21)

(year to July 21)

(year to July 21)

(year to July 21)

52-week high:12,928.50

52-week high: 2,887.75

52-week high: 1,370.58

52-week high: 6,105.80

52-week high: 7,600.41

52-week high: 10,891.60

52-week low: 9,915.73

52-week low: 2,099.29

52-week low: 1,039.70

52-week low: 5,070.90

52-week low: 5,833.51

52-week low: 8,227.63

Andrew Nawrocki, Market analyst & trader, gowebtrade.com

Major indices WIG

47,291.31 (July 21 closure)

WIG20

2,729.46 (July 21 close)

21.07

20.07

19.07

18.07

15.07

14.07

13.07

12.07

11.07

08.07

07.07

06.07

30.06

21.07

20.07

19.07

18.07

15.07

14.07

13.07

12.07

11.07

2,500

08.07

45,000

07.07

2,600 06.07

46,000

05.07

2,700

04.07

47,000

01.07

2,800

30.06

48,000

29.06

2,900

28.06

49,000

27.06

3,000

24.06

50,000

05.07

52-week low: 2,360.91

04.07

Change year to July 21: -0.45%

01.07

52-week low: 40,778.74

29.06

52-week high: 2,932.62

Change year to July 21: 0.25%

28.06

Change for the week: -0.47%

27.06

52-week high: 50,371.74

24.06

Change for the week: -1.00%

Top 5 BEST JAGO UNICREDIT MAKRUM PEMUG

Closing 8.05 0.55 5.50 1.48 1.24

% change (week) 52-week high 33.94 14.29 14.58 1.81 10.66 8.75 10.45 2.40 9.73 1.89

52-week low 4.60 0.46 4.60 1.19 1.02

Top 5 PGE PKOBP GETIN CEZ PGNIG

Closing 23.35 41.98 12.50 141 4.44

% change (week) 2.05 1.89 1.13 1.08 0.68

52-week high 24.90 46.81 15.29 154.10 4.64

52-week low 21.31 37.50 9.59 118.70 3.35

Bottom 5 ANTI PRIMAMODA FORTE BERLING DROP

Closing 1.65 5.41 9.73 5.00 17.82

% change (week) -20.67 -19.85 -18.65 -15.82 -15.14

52-week low 1.41 4.88 9.50 5.00 17.82

Bottom 5 PKNORLEN POLMEXMS LOTOS ASSECOPOL GTC

Closing 45.7 2.96 39.4 47.79 16.64

% change (week) -7.3 -7.21 -5.2 -2.27 -2.12

52-week high 57.90 4.84 49.42 57.65 24.98

52-week low 37.50 2.91 29.67 46.99 15.65

52-week high 3.79 9.22 15.17 7.76 43.00

Currency report

Relief or just correction?

Other indices mWIG40

2,743.22 (July 21 close)

sWIG80

11,324.97 (July 21 close)

Change for the week: -2.02%

52-week high: 2,987.72

Change for the week: -2.90%

52-week high: 12,932.00

Change year to July 21: -0.28%

52-week low: 2,416.47

Change year to July 21: -4.79%

52-week low: 11.305.41

Adam Narczewski, X-Trade Brokers Dom Maklerski SA

12,800

3,000

12,440

2,900

12,080 2,800 11,720 2,700

52.02 (July 21 close)

WIG-Banki

21.07

20.07

19.07

18.07

15.07

14.07

13.07

12.07

11.07

08.07

07.07

06.07

05.07

04.07

01.07

30.06

29.06

28.06

27.06

24.06

21.07

20.07

19.07

18.07

15.07

11,000

6,781.76 (July 21 close)

21.07

20.07

19.07

18.07

15.07

14.07

13.07

12.07

11.07

08.07

07.07

06.07

05.07

21.07

20.07

19.07

18.07

15.07

14.07

13.07

12.07

11.07

6,500

08.07

50

07.07

6,600

06.07

51

05.07

6,700

04.07

52

01.07

6,800

30.06

53

29.06

6,900

28.06

54

27.06

7,000

24.06

55

04.07

52-week low: 5,830.96

01.07

Change year to July 21: -3.56%

30.06

52-week low: 52.02

29.06

52-week high: 7,387.49

Change year to July 21: -15.72%

28.06

Change for the week: 1.01%

27.06

52-week high: 64.07

24.06

Change for the week: -2.66%

SOURCE: WSE

NewConnect

14.07

13.07

12.07

11.07

08.07

07.07

06.07

05.07

04.07

01.07

30.06

29.06

28.06

27.06

11,360

24.06

2,600

companies. Affecting the WIG on Tuesday was the weak industrial production data for June (lowest growth since October 2009). On Thursday, stock markets rebounded, as news of a plan to use the European bailout fund to make cheaper loans to Greece and other indebted governments within the euro zone brought relief to investors. The WIG closed 1.03 percent higher, with the WIG20 up 1.35 percent. Huge gains were recorded by oil and gas companies, as well as banks. Getin rose 5.57 percent, while PGNIG rose 4.23 percent – recouping heavy losses from earlier in the week. On Friday, July 22, the WIG closed 0.45 percent higher. Next week, expect cautious buying by investors with eyes on the US debt situation. ●

The week of July 18-22 began horribly for global stock markets, with indices falling across the board. Monday, July 18, saw the biggest losses for the WIG20 this year, which shed 2.62 percent (the WIG lost 2.19 percent) on fears that Europe’s debt crisis and US debt levels are being mishandled by bureaucrats and politicians. The rest of the week took the form of smaller buybacks, with investors trying hard to buy any rumor of good news. European stock markets eventually climbed their way back, though gains, until Thursday, July 21 on the WSE’s main index, the WIG, were unimpressive. On Tuesday, July 19, the WIG shed some 0.19 percent, unable to grow on news of strong quarterly results for many American blue-chip

This summer is certainly proving to be no vacation for investors, as the gravity of recent events has not given traders much rest. The economic slowdown is clear, as worse macroeconomic news from the US (labor and housing markets) and the euro zone (economic activity) continues. Quarterly results from US companies have also begun to be published, with most big firms meeting or exceeding forecasts. Of course, the main topic over the past two weeks was Greece. Fears that European countries will let Greece go bankrupt caused risk aversion to increase, causing big market swings. The EUR/USD reached a threemonth low at $1.39, while the z∏oty depreciated dramatically (reaching z∏.4.05 against the euro and z∏.2.93 against

the dollar) with the CHF/PLN reaching a historic high of z∏.3.54. Thursday’s summit of European leaders brought optimism back as a rescue plan for Greece, amounting to €109 billion, was decided upon. The plan, if executed correctly, might bring relief to the markets. Of course, it does not take away the probability that Greece will default, followed by other financially disturbed PIIGS countries. The midterm moves of currencies will be determined by how investors interpret the aid package given to Greece. After a quick depreciation, the z∏oty regained during last week to finish at z∏.3.98 against the euro, z∏.2.77 against the US dollar and z∏.3.39 against the Swiss franc.●

currency rates 3.5150 22.07

3.5587 21.07

SOURCE: NBP

3.5789 20.07

3.6377

3.5878

18.07

0.1004

3.6012 3.4

15.07

22.07

0.0996

19.07

PLN-100JPY

4.0

21.07

0.1007 20.07

0.1011 19.07

0.1020 18.07

22.07

21.07

0.08

0.1014

0.10

15.07

3.3564

3.4128

3.4325 20.07

19.07

18.07

15.07

3.0

PLN-RUB

0.12

4.4962 22.07

4.5359 21.07

4.5470

3.4547

3.4909

3.5204

PLN-CHF

4.0

3.5

20.07

4.5792 19.07

18.07

4.5930 15.07

2.8064

2.7601 22.07

4

4.6279

PLN-GBP

5

21.07

2.8218 20.07

2.8753

2.8545

2.8372 19.07

22.07

21.07

20.07

19.07

18.07

15.07

2.5

15.07

3.9760

3.9914

4.0014

4.0242

4.0402

4.0343

4

3

PLN-USD

3.0

18.07

PLN-EUR

5


THE LIST

JULY 25 – AUGUST 8, 2011

www.wbj.pl

21

Education

Largest Business Schools Ranked by number of lecturers in business departments in 2010/2011

Total number of Polish teachers with degree / Total number of foreign teachers with degree

Number of Polish teachers: Master’s degree / Ph.D / Post-Ph.D / Honorary Professor

Number of foreign teachers: Bachelor’s degree / Master’s degree / Ph.D degree

Number of students in business departments: Total 2010/2011 / 2009/2010 / 2008/2009

Courses offered: External / Individual / E-learning

Courses offered: BA MA

Courses offered: Postgraduate MBA

1

Uniwersytet Ekonomiczny w Krakowie ul. Rakowicka 27, 31-510 Kraków 12 293-5200/12 293-5017 kancelaria@uek.krakow.pl www.uek.krakow.pl

738 736 714

734 4

242 364 69 59

1 3

21,640 20,871 20,653

✓ ✓

✓ ✓

✓ ✓

Administration; Economics; Economic Leonardo da Vinci (Greece, Italy, Sweden, and Public Administration; Portugal); Public Policies and Social International Economic Relations; - PASE (Italy, Germany, France, Sociology; International Relations; Enterprise Romania, Spain, Belgium); Intereg IVC: Finance and Accounting; Spatial Silver Academy Network (Spain, UK) Economics

1925

Roman Niestrój

2

Uniwersytet Ekonomiczny we Wroc∏awiu ul. Komandorska 118/120, 53-345 Wroc∏aw 71 368-0100/71 367-2778 kontakt@ue.wroc.pl www.ue.wroc.pl

716 722 WND

716 3

214 370 59 73

3

17,111 18,859 16,963

✓ ✓

✓ ✓

✓ ✓

Socrates Erasmus Promoting Intercultural Bachelor/Master Studies in Finance; Communication Skills in the Multilingual Bachelor in International Business; Europe; Europea Multimedia Accelerator; Finance and Accounting; Information Socrates Lingua Action; JIP - Jokes, Technology and Econometrics Idioms and Proverbs, Leonardo da Vinci; IDEAS

1947

Bogus∏aw Fiedor

3

Wy˝sza Szko∏a Zarzàdzania i BankowoÊci w Krakowie Al. Kijowska 14, 30-079 Kraków 12 635-6835/12 635-6838 wszib@wszib.krakow.pl www.wszib.krakow.pl

556 503 498

506 50

151 198 92 65

6 20 24

7,725 8,145 8,324

✓ ✓ ✓

✓ ✓

✓ ✓

Management; Finance and Accounting

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, UK; MSc in Computer Science/Grid - computing (Netherlands)

1995

W∏odzimierz Roszczynialski

4

GórnoÊlàska Wy˝sza Szko∏a Handlowa im. Wojciecha Korfantego ul. Harcerzy WrzeÊnia 3, 40-659 Katowice 32 357-0500/32 202-6106 www.gwsh.pl

541 563 589

605 WND

251 215 22 103

14

8,814 8,895 9,220

✓ -

✓ ✓

✓ -

Management; Administration; International Relations; Finance and Accounting; Spacial Economics

LPP-Erasmus (Slovenia, Lithuania, Hungary, Turkey, Finland, UK, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany; France, Spain)

1991

Krzysztof Szaflarski

5

Krakowska Akademia im. Andrzeja Frycza Modrzewskiego ul. Gustawa Herlinga-Grudziƒskiego 1, 30-705 Kraków 12 252-4650/12 252-4651 rektorat@afm.edu.pl, www.ka.edu.pl

526 561 593

1,220 18

385 565 150 100

2 16

7,406 9,919 10,775

✓ -

✓ ✓

✓ ✓

Management; Spatial Economics; Finance and Accounting; Law; Administration; International Relations

-

2000

Jerzy Malec

6

Wy˝sza Szko∏a Ekonomii i Innowacji w Lublinie ul. Me∏giewska 7/9, 20-209 Lublin 81 749-1777/81 749-1777 sekretariat@wsei.lublin.pl www.wsei.lublin.pl

347 277 230

347 WND

164 124 38 21

WND WND WND

8,023 7,451 7,309

✓ ✓

✓ ✓

✓ -

Administration; Economics; Information Technology; International Relations; Transport; Public Health

Higher Education Institutions Mobility (Norway); Erasmus (Norway, Latvia, Slovenia); Leonardo da Vinci - VETPRO (Italy), Entrepreneurship in Vocational “Education” (Lithuania, France)

2000

Marek ˚migrodzki

7

Wy˝sza Szko∏a Bankowa w Toruniu ul. M∏odzie˝owa 31A, 87-100 Toruƒ 56 660-9200/56 660-9208 wsb@wsb.torun.pl www.wsb.torun.pl

277 240 188

277 6

149 89 20 13

6

7,756 7,619 6,544

✓ ✓

✓ ✓

✓ ✓

Finance and Accounting; Management; European Studies; Coventry University; IPAC Group School of Administration; Logistics; Sociology; Management; Erasmus Tourism and Recreation

1998

Jan G∏uchowski

8

Wy˝sza Szko∏a Bankowa w Gdaƒsku ul. Dolna Brama 8, 80-821 Gdaƒsk 58 323-8910/58 323-8925 kancelaria@wsb.gda.pl www.wsb.gda.pl

259 197 184

259 5

112 113 22 12

2 3

5,794 4,997 4,645

✓ ✓

✓ ✓

✓ ✓

1998

Jan WiÊniewski

9

Wy˝sza Szko∏a Bankowa w Poznaniu Al. Niepodleg∏oÊci 2, 61-874 Poznaƒ 61 655-3333/61 655-3376 wsb@wsb.poznan.pl www.wsb.poznan.pl

191 197 188

186 5

55 76 38 17

5

14,076 14,134 12,405

✓ ✓

✓ ✓

✓ ✓

Administration; Finance and Accounting; Information Technology and Econometrics; International Relations; Logistics; Economics

Aalto University School of EconomicsExecutive MBA ; Coventry University; University of Abertay Dundee

1994

Beata Filipiak

10

Uniwersytet Gdaƒski - Wydzia∏ Zarzàdzania ul. Armii Krajowej 101, 81-824 Sopot 58 523-1434/58 523-1173 wzr@wzr.pl www.wzr.pl

154 153 152

WND WND

28 91 21 14

-

5,386 4,972 4,829

✓ -

✓ ✓

✓ ✓

Management, Economic IT; Finance and Accounting

Innodoktorant

1968

Bernard Lammek

11

Wy˝sza Szko∏a Bankowa we Wroc∏awiu ul. Fabryczna 29-31, 53-609 Wroc∏aw 71 359-4646/71 359-3680 wsb@wsb.wroclaw.pl www.wsb.wroclaw.pl

145 132 WND

150 2

49 64 18 19

1 1

12,331 10,409 9,345

✓ ✓

✓ ✓

✓ ✓

Erasmus; National Mining University in Finance and Accounting; Economics; Dnipropetrovsk; Coventry University (UK); Logistics; Management Franklin University (USA)

1998

Stefan Forlicz

12

Spo∏eczna Wy˝sza Szko∏a Przedsi´biorczoÊci i Zarzàdzania ul. Sienkiewicza 9, 90-113 ¸ódê 42 664-6666/42 664-6649 uczelnia@swspiz.pl, www.swspiz.pl

132 98 76

WND WND

112 170 112 94

92 25 1

12,753 11,734 10,124

✓ ✓

✓ ✓

✓ ✓

Management; Finance and Accounting; Logistics; National Security

Clark University (USA); United Business Institutes (Belgium); Universidade Alcala de Henares (Spain); Université de Grenoble (France)

1995

Roman Patora

13

Szko∏a Biznesu Politechniki Warszawskiej ul. Koszykowa 79, 02-008 Warsaw 22 234-7089/22 234-7016 mba@biznes.edu.pl www.biznes.edu.pl

94 85 84

70 WND

32 29 6 3

1 8 15

210 192 196

-

-

✓ ✓

WND

Student exchange with partner universities HEC School of Management Paris, LBS London Business School, NHH Norwegian School of Economics and Business

1991

WND

14

Wy˝sza Szko∏a Ekonomiczna w Bia∏ymstoku ul. Choroszczaƒska 31, 15-732 Bia∏ystok 85 652-0925/85 652-0925 wse@wse.edu.pl www.wse.edu.pl

92 97 102

92 WND

34 40 12 2

3

940 1,200 1,505

✓ -

✓ ✓

✓ -

Economics; International Relations

Universidade Da Beira Interior Coviha (Portugal); University of National World Economy (Bulgaria); Saint Petersburg State Polytechnical University (Russia)

1996

Miros∏aw Cywoniuk

15

Uczelnia ¸azarskiego ul. Âwieradowska 43, 02-662 Warsaw 22 543-5430/22 543-5480 info@lazarski.pl www.lazarski.pl

80 78 83

161 10

61 42 27 31

3 2 5

1,918 1,818 2,270

✓ ✓

✓ ✓

✓ ✓

Economics; Management; Finance and Accounting; International Relations; Public Administration

The US system of higher education and challenges (USA); Analysis of systemic reasons for lower competitiveness of European Universities (UK); Growth versus security; Old and New EU Members’ Quest for a New Economic and Social Model (USA)

1993

Daria Na∏´cz

WND 813 795

WND WND

WND WND WND WND

WND 10702 10768

WND WND WND

WND WND WND

WND WND

WND WND

WND

WND

1906

Adam Budnikowski

Rank

Number of lecturers in business departments: 2010/2011 / 2009/2010 / 2008/2009

www.bookoflists.pl

Company name Address Tel./Fax E-mail Web page

Szko∏a G∏ówna Handlowa w Warszawie (1) Al. Niepodleg∏oÊci 162, 02-554 Warszawa NR 22 564-6000/22 849-5312 informacja@sgh.waw.pl www.sgh.waw.pl

Notes: NR = Not Ranked, WND = Would Not Disclose. Research for the List was done in November 2010. Number of employees and ownership structure are as of October 2010. All information pertains to the companies’ activities in Poland. Companies not responding to our survey are not listed. Footnotes: (1) SGH chose not to participate in the survey due to objections to the methodology.

Business departments: majors

International academic programs

Management; Finance and University of Northampton-MBA (UK); Accounting; Logistics; International International Business and Finance; ESC Relations; Information Technology and Troyes (France); Erasmus; Pomorski Port Econometrics Edukacji i Praktyki

Year founded

Rector

To the best of WBJ ’s knowledge, the information is accurate as of press time. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy and thoroughness, omissions and typographical errors may occur. Corrections or additions to The List should be sent, on official letterhead, to Warsaw Business Journal, attn. Joanna Raszka, ul. Elblàska 15/17, 01-747 Warsaw, via fax to (48-22) 639-8569, or via e-mail to wbjbol@wbj.pl. Copyright 2011, Valkea Media SA. The List may not be reprinted or reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission of the publisher. Reprints are available.


22

ARTS & CULTURE

www.wbj.pl

Music festival

JULY 25 – AUGUST 8, 2011

Music festival

New name, new format International alternative What was known last year as the Smooth Festival has changed its name and format, and this year will be called the Art Pop Festival. The concert will feature Grace Jones, who fills in for Amy Winehouse after the singer was forced to cancel her European tour following an unfortunate and inebriated performance in Belgrade earlier this year. Other international acts will include Hooverphonic, Razorlight and I Blame Coco. The Polish acts will include

The Off Festival is an international celebration of alternative music that has been running since 2006. This year, the festival, the only one of its kind in Central and Eastern Europe, is also officially supported as a EU presidency cultural event. The lineup includes Canadian group Junior Boys,

Grace Jones z∏.130 and are available at Ticketpro.pl and Eventim.pl. ●

The return of the queen Erykah Badu in concert Sowiƒski Park Amphitheater, Warsaw, August 6, 8 pm and Wyspa S∏odowa, Wroc∏aw August 7, 7 pm

A voice from the past Robert Plant & The Band of Joy Torwar ul. ¸azienkowska 6A Warsaw, August 2, 6 pm

COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

With a style ranging from R&B and hip hop to jazz, Erykah Badu has become known as the queen of neo-soul. Her debut album went straight to number two on the Billboard charts and the single “On and On” reached number 12 in the US and the UK. Ms Badu has collaborated with Outkast and Macy Gray, among other big names. Her first concert at Sala Kongresowa in Warsaw’s Palace of Culture and Science in July 2006 was a great success and she is now returning for more. Ms Badu will be playing in Warsaw on August 6 and Wroc∏aw on August 7. ● Tickets are priced from z∏.130 for the Wroc∏aw show and from z∏.135 for the Warsaw concert and are available at Eventim.pl and Ticketpro.pl. ●

Content provided by the Warsaw Insider. For more information on culture and entertainment in Warsaw this month, pick up the July issue.

Tickets are priced from z∏.220 and are available at Eventim.pl

Museums, galleries and venues in Warsaw Centre for Contemporary Art at Ujazdowski Castle ul. Jazdów 2 www.csw.art.pl Czarna Gallery ul. Marsza∏kowska 4 www.czarnagaleria.art.pl Galeria 022, DAP, Lufcik ul. Mazowiecka 11a www.owzpap.pl Galeria 65 ul. Bema 65 www.galeria65.com Galeria Appendix 2 (Praga) ul. Bia∏ostocka 9 www.appendix2.com Galeria Asymetria ul. Nowogrodzka 18a www.asymetria.eu Galeria Foksal ul. Foksal 1-4 www.galeriafoksal.pl Galeria Milano Rondo Waszyngtona 2A (Praga) www.milano.arts.pl

Galeria Schody ul. Nowy Âwiat 39 www.galeriaschody.pl

National Museum in Warsaw Al. Jerozolimskie 3 www.mnw.art.pl

Galeria XX1 Al. Jana Paw∏a II 36 www.galeriaxx1.pl

Polish National Opera at Teatr Wielki Pl. Teatralny 1 www.teatrwielki.pl

Galeria Zoya ul. Kopernika 32 m.8 www.zoya.art.pl Green Gallery ul. Krzywe Ko∏o 2/4 www.greengallery.pl Katarzyna Napiórkowska Art Gallery ul. Âwi´tokrzyska 32, ul. Krakowskie PrzedmieÊcie 42/44 and Old Town Square 19/21 www.napiorkowska.pl Królikarnia National Gallery ul. Pu∏awska 113a www.krolikarnia.mnw.art.pl

Pracownia Galeria ul. Emilii Plater 14 www.pracowniagaleria.pl Rempex Art and Auction House ul. Karowa 31 www.rempex.com.pl Royal Castle Pl. Zamkowy 4 www.zamek-krolewski.com.pl Simonis Gallery ul. Burakowska 9 www.simonisgallery.com

Le Guern Gallery ul. Widok 8, www.leguern.pl

State Archaeological Museum in Warsaw ul. D∏uga 52 (Arsena∏) www.pma.pl

Museum of Independence Al. SolidarnoÊci 62 www.muzeumniepodleglosci.art.pl

State Ethnographic Museum ul. Kredytowa 1 www.ethnomuseum.website.pl

as well as Omar Souleyman from Syria. ● For more information, log on to www.off-festival.pl

Concert

For more information, log on to www.artpopfestival.pl

Concert

Legendary Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant will perform one concert in Poland as part of his European tour. Mr Plant’s current repertoire includes blues, gospel, folk and country as well as new versions of Led Zeppelin classics. In 2006, Plant was named the “Greatest Metal Vocalist of All Time” by Hit Parader magazine. He has influenced many artists past and present and has won several Grammy awards, including 2009’s Album of the Year for “Raising Sand.” ●

Poland’s Czes∏aw Âpiewa, Scottish band Mogwai, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Magic Kids from the US,

Historical Museum of Warsaw Old Town Square 28-42 www.mhw.pl History Meeting House of Warsaw ul. Karowa 20 www.dsh.waw.pl Warsaw Philharmonic ul. Jasna 5 www.filharmonia.pl Warsaw Rising Museum ul. Grzybowska 79 www.1944.pl Wilanów Palace Museum and Wilanów Poster Museum ul. St Kostki Potockiego 10/16 www.milanow-palac.pl www.postermuseum.pl Zachęta National Art Gallery Pl. Ma∏achowskiego 3 www.zacheta.art.pl

COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Ania Dàbrowska, Monika Brodka, Neo Retros, Piotr Rogucki, Sofa and Skinny Patrini. Tickets are priced from

John Spencer

COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Off Festival Dolina Trzech Stawów Park Katowice August 5-7

COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Art Pop Festival MyÊl´cinek park Bydgoszcz July 30, 4 pm


LAST WORD

JULY 25 – AUGUST 8, 2011

www.wbj.pl

23

Tech Eye

COURTESY OF HP

to go about misappropriating humongous, briny treats. So, yeah, that’s our big plan for August. Underwhelming? Perhaps. But of course we’ll also be on the lookout for shiny new toys to play with, hopefully while eating prodigious pilfered pickles. Things like HP’s new TouchPad (www.hp.com). HP must be drooling at the success of Apple’s iPad and, to a lesser extent, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab. It has released a few tablets of its own already, but nothing that really captured consumers’ imaginations. The TouchPad has gotten some attention though, if for no other reason than being the first tablet to run Palm’s webOS (HP acquired the operating system in its 2010 acquisition of Palm). Unfortunately for its maker, reactions to the newly released TouchPad have ranged from modestly positive to “needs more cowbell.” At $499 and $599 (for 16 and 32 GB models, respectively), it’s on par with the iPad 2 and Galaxy Tab 10.1, but it trails behind in several critical areas. Boot-up time is report-

edly slower, battery life is worse and at 1.65 lbs it’s considerably heavier than its main competitors. The 9.7 inch screen is bigger, which counts for little if system performance disappoints, but it means that the TouchPad can display gianter giant pickle pictures than its rivals. Something to keep in mind. Then again, if size is the prime criterion, perhaps the MT55 Platform multitouch table from Ideum (www.ideum.com) is a better, if less portable, bet. The computer contained within runs a 2.66 GHz processor along with 8GB of RAM and a 128 GB solid-state drive. The 55-inch

screen supports an orgiastic 32 simultaneous multitouches, and the table stands 31 inches tall, allowing the wheelchair-bound to get in on the action. But, you may wonder, what use is the MT55 Platform? Judging by its website, Ideum seems to be hoping that consumers will splash out $17,950 (including a two-year warranty) before asking that question. The company doesn’t say it outright, but museums, restaurants and hotels seem the most likely clients, possibly casinos. Don’t bother picking one up for Grandma though – there are probably 31 multitouches too many for her. Last up this week: a stroller. It’s a bit of an odd choice, we admit, and we considered justifying it by claiming the product is made of uber-adamantium and smells of waffles. But the honest truth is that press images of beautiful women jogging behind strollers were justification enough for Techeye. And oh, how they jog. Anyway, the item in question is called the Ironman Stroller

COURTESY OF BOB

If Techeye had a giant pickle for every time we heard the phrase, “Hey idiot, quit stealing giant pickles!” well, we’d have a whole lot of big pickles. But the fact of the matter is that we don’t have many at all, probably because giant pickles are notoriously difficult to steal. That doesn’t mean we’re going to give up though. After all, we’re about to enter the silly season, also known as the “cucumber season” in many countries (Poland has its “sezon ogórkowy,” for example), and that seems an exceedingly good time

COURTESY OF IDEUM

An orgiastic multitouchitude of gadgetry

(www.bobgear.com) from BOB, a company which is apparently nobody’s uncle. For $409 ($559 for the twin-seater), you get the “official stroller of the Ironman Triathalon,” with all the rugged bells and whistles that entails. And there are plenty of those, although the only thing that caught our attention was “snack tray.” That sounds pretty cool. Presumably BOB is targeting parents who are keen on competing in triathalons, but who knows? Maybe you’ll actually see babies competing in the near future. After all, cucumber season is right around the corner. ●

Ever surrendered to the frenzied passion of a 32-multitouch computing experience? Let us know: techeye.wbj@gmail.com


WBJ #29-30 2011  

Warsaw Business Journal vol. 17, no. 29-30, July 25-August 8, 2011