Polish central bank governor’s race for an EBRD presidency

Marek Belka, President of the Narodowy Bank Polski (CC BY-SA Narodowy Bank Polski)

Refinancing rate retained at 22 per cent in Ukraine

Estonian public companies show dismal results

EC okays state aid for TAP gas pipeline project

Poland

The Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło (of Law and Justice, PiS) confirmed on March 3rd that her government will back central bank governor Marek Belka up as a candidate for the new President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). “We have to officially put forward Prof. Belka’s name as a candidate for a President till March11th,” said Szydło.

Polish Radio reminds that Prof. Belka ends his six-year term as a central bank governor this June. The four-year term of Suma Chakrabarti, the current EBRD President, ends at the beginning of July.

Mr. Belka was the Polish Prime Minister in 2004-2005.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is an international financial institution founded in 1991 to help the former communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe make a transition to a free-market economy.

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Ukraine

The board of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) retained refinancing rate at 22 per cent/ year – the bank informed in a press release on March 3rd. According to the NBU statement “retaining of interest rates aims at achieving the goal of reducing the consumer inflation to 12 per cent as of late 2016 and up to 8 per cent as of late 2017. (…) Thanks to the NBU’s action aimed at smoothing extra fluctuations of the exchange rate, the hryvnia devaluation was gradual.”

The regulator also said that in January inflation was 0.9 per cent, close to its forecast for this month. The tensions on the currency market observed in January and February 2016 “did not affect inflation.” Interfax reports that NBU also explained it believes that the current forecast for consumer inflation at 12 per cent for late 2016 and 8 per cent for late 2017 is valid. The agency adds the NBU plans to gradually mitigate the monetary policy in the future if inflation risks decrease.

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Estonia

Half out of 13 companies listed on the Tallinn Stock Exchange improved its financial results last year; eight managed to boost turnover. Three ended in red. “Total turnover of listed companies was up in 2015 by a per cent and valued EUR2.4bn. Aggregate profits improved by two per cent to EUR147.8m,” Postimees.ee informs. “The total profits rose only thanks to the shipping company Tallink last year.” Without the Tallink the total profits of the remaining 13 listed shrank by a quarter to EUR88.7m.

Tallink’s turnover increased to a record of EUR945m as a result of the low fuel prices. Together with smaller fuel consumption Tallink’s fuel costs were lower by EUR20m, the company reported in its press release.

Silvano FG, women’s lingerie producer, (mainly operating in Russia and Belarus) was also a success with profits growing by 4.6 percent to EUR10.9m.

Building companies Merko Ehitus and Nordecon did worse compared with 2014 performance. “Merko had turnover smaller by 0.5 per cent down to EUR251m, while the profits fell by a fifth to EUR9.8m, of which EUR9m is planned as dividends,” Postimees.ee writes.

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Bulgaria

The European Commission has decided that the agreement between Greece and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) joint venture to build a pipeline that will bring Caspian gas to Europe is in line with EU rules for state aid – Novinite.com reports.

It means that the implementation of a key EU energy infrastructure project for diversification of gas supply (sources and routes) will start at nearest future. “The project will improve the security and diversity of EU energy supplies without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market,” the European Comission said in its statement on March 3rd. “The Trans Adriatic Pipeline will bring new gas to the EU and increase the security of energy supply for Southeast Europe,” Margrethe Vestager, the EU Commissioner in charge of competition policy, commented.

“It is worth remembering TAP is the European leg of the Southern Gas Corridor, which aims to connect the EU market to new gas sources. With an initial annual capacity of 10bn cubic meters of gas, the 878 km long pipeline is projected to carry gas from the giant Shah Deniz II field in Azerbaijan to the EU market as of 2020. TAP will connect with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at Turkey’s border with Greece and run about 480 km on Greek territory before crossing Albania and reaching southern Italy, under the Adriatic Sea,” Novinite.com explains.

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What’s up in indexes?

BUX (of Budapest) was up 1.10 per cent – increasing from 24094.22 index points Wednesday, March 2nd to 24360.05 index points Thursday, March 3rd. From year-end it’s up 1.84 per cent.

BET (of Bucharest Stock Exchange) increased from 6539.01 index points Wednesday, March 2nd to 6563.98 index points Thursday, March 3rd. So it’s up 0.38 per cent. From year-end the index dropped by 6.29 per cent.

PX (of Prague) was up 0.43 per cent increasing from 879.32 index points Wednesday, March 2nd to 883.06 index points Thursday, March 3rd. From year-end it lost 7.66 per cent.

WIG20 (of Warsaw) was up 2.85 per cent climbing from 1825.15 index points, Wednesday, March 2nd to 1877.15 index points Thursday, March 3rd. From year-end it’s up 0.97 per cent.

OMXT (of Tallinn) was up 1.12 per cent d/d and up 6.70 per cent from year-end. The index increased from 948.66 index points Wednesday, March 2nd to 959.26 index points Thursday, March 3rd.

OMXR (of Riga) dropped by 0.43 per cent falling from 620.24 index points Wednesday, March 2nd to 623.36 index points Thursday, March 3rd. So it lost 0.43 per cent d/d. From year-end it’s up 4.88 per cent.

OMXV (of Vilnius) decreased from 491.32 index points Wednesday, March 2nd to 490.98 index points Thursday, March 3rd. So it dropped by 0.07 per cent d/d. From year-end it’s up 1.03 per cent.

SAX (of Bratislava) was up 0.03 per cent d/d and up 10.09 per cent from year-end. It increased from 321.73 index points Wednesday, March 2nd to 321.84 index points Thursday, March 3rd.

SOFIX (of Sofia) was closed Thursday, March 3rd. The previous close, March 2nd, was 446.76 index points.

UX (of Kyiv) decreased from 618.37 index points March 2nd to 622.76 index points March 3rd. So it’s up 0.71 per cent d/d. From year-end it lost 9.20 per cent.

CROBEX (of Zagreb Stock Exchange) increased from 1599.83 index points Wednesday, March 2nd to 1602.55 index points, Thursday March 3rd. So it’s up 0.17 per cent d/d. From year-end the index lost 5.15 per cent.

 

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