PKN Orlen

Poles have long had a soft spot for Canada. For decades one of the country’s most popular books has been a colourful paean to the Canadian bush called “Canada, the Scent of Sap” – a title that sounds more evocative in Polish. Now that affection is spilling over into business.

PKN Orlen, Poland’s leading refiner, said on Monday it planned to spend C$240m ($233m) to buy TriOil Resources of Canada, marking its first significant venture in upstream exploration and production. Read more

There’s a Polish saying about not dividing the skin on a bear – in other words waiting before the animal is caught before planning a warm coat. That’s a saying Poland’s finance ministry might do well to remember as it prepares a new tax regime for the oil and gas industry.

The proposed tax rates have the industry screaming. Read more

Photo: Bloomberg

Good news for Poland’s cash-strapped government on Friday: PKN Orlen, the state-controlled refiner, is to start paying dividends again after a five-year hiatus.

True, the state’s stake in PKN is just 27.52 per cent, so much of the benefit will go elsewhere. But as readers of P G Wodehouse will know, every little bit added to what you’ve got makes a little bit more. Read more

Photo: Bloomberg

A word of advice to investors thinking of taking a flutter on central European refiners: don’t.

That comes from Tomas Pletser of Erste Bank, who took a look at the region’s refiners and found little to cheer in a sector buffeted by overcapacity, and by the slowdown in western Europe, all with the threat of growing competition from Russian refiners. Read more

There was an old adage during the gold rush that the guy running the grocery shop and the saloon made a killing, while prospectors lost their shirts. It seems that the same principle applies to the humbler world of road building and asphalt supplies.

As the dust settles on Poland’s ambitious road building programme it turns out that somebody did make money on building hundreds of kilometres of new highways. It just wasn’t the people building the roads, but the companies making the asphalt – Poland’s two largest refiners, PKN Orlen and the Lotos Group. Read more