PZU Jumps as Polish Minister Forecasts Lower Burden From New Tax

  • Minister sees 150 million zloty hit, less than Ipopema analyst
  • Insurer's shares jump as much as 3.1%, most since Sept. 17

PZU SA jumped most in three months as Deputy Finance Minister Konrad Raczkowski said a higher tax on financial institutions will cost Poland’s largest insurer less than analysts estimated.

The shares rose as much as 3.1 percent, the most since Sept. 17 on closing basis, and traded up 2.3 percent at 34.42 zloty as of 3:27 p.m. in Warsaw. The new levy will cost PZU 150 million zloty ($39 million) per year, Raczkowski told lawmakers in parliament on Tuesday.

Such a forecast for PZU’s costs is smaller than what analysts and investors have expected and may not include all of the insurer’s units, according to Iza Rokicka, an analyst at Ipopema Securities SA in Warsaw. The group will be subject to a tax rate of 0.44 percent of its assets, including government bond holdings, according to revisions made by parliament’s public finance committee on Tuesday.

“According to my calculations, this cost will only be incurred by PZU’s property unit alone while its life insurance arm will also need to pay tax,” Rokicka said by phone when asked about Raczkowski’s estimate. She forecasts the total cost for PZU at 266 million zloty next year.

PZU’s shares have tumbled 29 percent this year, underperforming Warsaw’s WIG20 index, which has declined 18 percent.

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