Poland IPO

Carrying cargo may appear to be dull but worthy work, but there is also a lot of money in it, as investors in PKP Cargo, the Polish rail cargo carrier, found out during the company’s Tuesday IPO.

The share price closed up 19.4 per cent at 81.16 zlotys ($26.70), up from its initial offering price of 68 zlotys.

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Polish property prices are sagging and investor interest in the Warsaw Stock Exchange is fairly low. But that isn’t stopping the Polish Treasury Ministry from pushing ahead with its plans to sell off a majority stake in PHN, a state-owned real estate holding company.

In an intention to float statement sent to Reuters and Bloomberg on Monday, PHN said the government intends to offer as much as a quarter of its 100-per-cent stake in an initial public offering on the Warsaw Stock Exchange in the first quarter. Later this year another chunk is to be sold to a strategic investor. Read more >>

Here’s a piece of good news for European banking as rare as a bloom in Death Valley – a bank IPO.

Poland’s Alior Bank, launched just weeks after the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers, plans to float on the Warsaw Stock Exchange in what would be the first European banking IPO of 2012.

Admittedly, the main shareholder is under pressure to sell reduce debts incurred investing in banking elsewhere in Europe (Italy). But still, the fact that Alior’s backers propose to do a European bank IPO in the next few weeks is a welcome development in a hard-pressed sector. Read more >>

In the past, when Poland’s treasury ministry sold off big state controlled companies through the Warsaw Stock Exchange there was a frisson of excitement among investors – something that seems to be missing ahead of next week’s debut of power producer ZE PAK.

Earlier this week the government set the share price at 26.20 zlotys ($8.19), near the very bottom of its bookbuilding range of 26-33 zlotys, according to Reuters. Read more >>