OECD on Poland: growth remains solid

the Polish Deputy PM Mateusz Morawiecki (©PAP)

Natalie Jaresko is ready to be the Ukrainian Prime Minister

Hungarian central bank’s key rate lowered to 1.2 per cent

China buys Albanian oil fields

Poland

On March 22nd OECD Chief Economist Catherine L. Manna and Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki presented the latest OECD Economic Survey on Poland.

It shows that the economic growth in Poland remains solid, the unemployment is decreasing but “further investments in infrastructure and skills will be essential to sustain a continuing improvement in living standards, environmental quality and well-being.”

The authors of the survey point out the “tremendous” progress Poland has made toward convergence with higher-income countries over the past two decades. And they give some recommendations to help Poland join the club of developed countries. The key recommendations are:

  1. Raise revenues by broadening the VAT base, eliminating reduced rates and exemptions, and by increasing property and environmental taxes. To improve tax compliance set up strong central management for the tax authority, improve coordination, invest in ICTs and focus more resources on auditing large taxpayers.
  2. Continue to expand access to early childhood education and care, particularly for poorer families. Continue to strengthen individual support for weak students in elementary and lower secondary education, and attract the best teachers to basic vocational schools, e.g. by improving their pay and career opportunities.
  3. Ensure that climate change policies are clear and aligned with European and international objectives. Invest in interconnections with neighboring countries in the electricity and the gas sectors.

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Ukraine

In the midst of Ukrainian political crisis (we wrote about it), Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko informs she’s ready to head the government to save the reputation of the country before foreign investors and EU leaders.

“Today a serious political crisis stands on the way of progress in the country. Now it’s the time in Ukraine when we need to de-politicize economic processes, concentrate and combine the best talents and resources to meet the unprecedented challenges the country is facing,” Jaresko wrote on her Facebook’s wall.

As Interfax reports, she added she could “form a technocratic government, whose ministers do not have political past, are not subordinate to any oligarch, or are the <<friends>> of politicians, and who have no future political ambitions”.

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Hungary

“The National Bank of Hungary lowered the central bank’s key rate by 15 basis points to 1.2 per cent at a policy meeting on March 22nd, making a cut for the first time since last summer,” The Daily News Hungary informs.

The Hungarian Monetary Council had kept the base rate on hold since July 2015 when signaling an end to an easing cycle. In February 2016 the rate-setters announced the monetary conditions “could be eased further in view of the central bank’s fresh quarterly Inflation Report.”

The Council noted that it “closely examined” foreign monetary policy developments, “particularly the measures of the European Central Bank” (cutting in March 2016 the main interest rate of EBC by 5 basis points to 0 per cent). The Monetary Council also decided to “shift the top of the overnight interest rate corridor — a symmetric band around the base rate that prevents extreme fluctuations of interbank rates — downward by 50 basis points from 75 to 25 basis points over the base rate. The bottom of the corridor, or the overnight rate for central bank deposits, will remain at 125 basis points under the base rate. Calculating with the central bank’s key rate — 1.2 percent for the three-month deposit — the overnight collateralized loan rate stands at 1.45 percent and the overnight central bank deposit rate at -0.05 percent,” The Daily News Hungary informs.

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Albania

Canada’s Banker’s Petroleum, the company that has exploited the Albanian oil fields of Patos-Marinze and Kucova since 2004, has announced the sale of oil exploration and production rights to Chinese investor. The buyer is Geo-Jade Petroleum’s subsidiary and the price is USD442.34m. The Chinese company will pay USD1.69 per share.

The Canadian company, being the largest foreign company in the country, informed about the deal in a press release on March 20th.  As the BalkanInsight.com writes, the board of directors of Bankers approved the deal unanimously.

In its press release, Bankers called Geo-Jade “one of the largest independent exploration and production companies listed on Shanghai Stock Exchange with a market capitalization larger than USD3.6bn”. But the Albanian government wants to known more about the Chinese investor. Pajtim Bello, a former vice-minister of energy and an expert in mineral resources, says: “The government has to assess the Chinese company’s financial and technological potential, to avoid any bad surprises in future. It has happened in the past, as a result of government’s negligence, the strategic sector of the country’s development has failed to provide a return and good value”.

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What’s up in indexes?

BUX (of Budapest) was up 0.18 per cent d/d – increasing from 25832.37 index points Monday, March 21st to 25878.61 index point Tuesday, March 22nd. From year-end it’s up 8.19 per cent.

BET (of Bucharest Stock Exchange) decreased from 6790.40 index points Monday, March 21st to 6782.24 index points Tuesday, March 22nd. So it lost 0.12 per cent d/d and 3.17 per cent from year-end.

PX (of Prague) lost 0.80 per cent – falling from 908.44 index points Monday, March 21st to 901.14 index points Tuesday, March 22nd. From year-end it dropped by 5.77 per cent.

WIG20 (of Warsaw) increased from 1952.63 index points Monday, March 21st to 1962.98 index points Tuesday, March 22nd. So it’s up 0.53 per cent d/d and up 5.58 per cent from year-end.

OMXT (of Tallinn) increased from 963.33 index points Monday, March 21st to 966.60 index points Tuesday, March 22nd. So it’s up 0.34 per cent d/d. From year-end it’s up 7.52 per cent.

OMXR (of Riga) decreased from 620.39 index points Monday, March 21st to 617.26 index points Tuesday, March 22nd. So it dropped by 0.50 per cent d/d. But from year-end it’s up 3.85 per cent.

OMXV (of Vilnius) increased from 503.29 index points Monday, March 21st to 504.30 index points Tuesday, March 22nd. So it’s up 0.20 per cent d/d. From year-end it grew by 3.77 per cent.

SAX (of Bratislava) increased from 323.42 index points Monday, March 21st to 323.78 index points Tuesday, March 22nd. So it’s up 0.11 per cent and up 10.75 per cent from year-end.

SOFIX (of Sofia) lost 0.08 per cent d/d and lost 3.04 per cent from year-end. It decreased from 447.22 index points Monday, March 21st to 446.88 index points Tuesday, March 22nd.

UX (of Kyiv) decreased from 617.40 index points Monday, March 21st to 602.26 index points Tuesday, March 22nd. So it dropped by 2.54 per cent d/d and by 12.19 per cent from year-end.

CROBEX (of Zagreb Stock Exchange) lost 0.32 per cent – decreasing from 1636.74 index points Monday, March 21st to 1630.46 index points Tuesday, March 22nd. From year-end the index lost 3.50 per cent.

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