Poland banks

Shares in PKO BP, Poland’s largest bank, have dropped sharply on news that the state is selling a chunk to help meet its privatisation target and to raise funds for a government-owned development bank. Read more

Poland’s banks are generally well financed and solid, but one of their biggest problems is a mismatch between short-term deposits and long-term loans, many of which are denominated in foreign currency – largely Swiss francs. The mismatch has been a concern for regulators, who have pushed banks to make their asset structure less vulnerable to sudden changes in sentiment and to any turmoil in the eurozone.

Now Getin Noble Bank, one of the most aggressive forex lenders during the real estate boom which ended in 2008, has taken a step towards better balancing its assets by securitising a 1bn zlotys ($325m) portfolio of 33,000 car loans last week. Read more

Poland’s largest bank, state controlled PKO BP, is taking a closer look at possibly purchasing a big bank in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the bank’s CEO told Bloomberg in an interview.

The admission of geographic interest is a departure for CEO Zbigniew Jagiello, who added that he was interested in one of the top three banks operating in the Czech Republic or Slovakia. In a recent chat with beyondbrics, he was very careful to say only that the bank was interested in “the closest neighbourhood” but was not holding any acquisition talks. Read more

The collapse of Amber Gold, an unregulated Polish lender and investment firm which on Monday announced it was liquidating itself, is denting the perception of both the common sense of Polish investors as well as the effectiveness of Poland’s financial markets regulators.

On the investor side, the hunt for above-market earnings in a low interest rate environment is common around the world, but when a firm offers 16.5 per cent “guaranteed” returns for investments in gold and other precious metals, even the greediest investor should approach with caution. Read more

Should the Polish government coming to the rescue of Polish construction companies that got into financial trouble after bidding too low for big infrastructure projects, not least the motorways that brought fans to the Euro 2012 football championship?

Yes, say the economy and treasury ministers. No says Jacek Rostowski, the hard-headed finance minister, credited with steering Poland’s steady course through the global financial crisis. Read more

Talk to a Polish banker and the mood is one of gloom as the economy shows signs of slowing and the banking regulator clamping down on mortgage lending – but look at his bottom line and there is a glimmer of hope.

First quarter results now starting to flow in show that Polish banks – which made a record 15.7bn zlotys ($4.9bn) profit last year – are continuing to rack up good numbers in 2012. Read more