Poland’s Treasury Seeks to Transfer PKO, PGE, PZU Shares to BGK
Poland’s Treasury Ministry wants the government to transfer state-owned stakes in Polska Grupa Energetyczna SA (PGE), PKO Bank Polski (PKO) SA, PZU SA and Ciech SA (CIE) to its Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego to kick start an investment plan.
The stakes will then be sold through the Warsaw Stock Exchange (GPW) and proceeds from the sales used to raise BGK’s capital, Treasury Minister Mikolaj Budzanowski said on Dec. 4. The government wants to increase the bank’s capital, now at 1.9 billion zloty ($614 million), by 10 billion zloty until the end of 2015 to increase its lending capabilities, he said.
The government will discuss the Treasury Ministry’s motion at a cabinet meeting today, according to the agenda published on its website. The BGK-run program aims to boost slowing economic growth by helping finance investment in the energy industry and infrastructure, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said in parliament on Oct. 12.
The Treasury Ministry holds a 61.9 percent stake in PGE, Poland’s biggest utility, and 38.7 percent in Ciech SA, a chemicals producer. It also keeps 35.2 percent of shares of PZU, the country’s largest insurer, and 43.6 percent of PKO, the nation’s biggest bank. By-laws in PZU and PKO allow the Treasury to retain control by holding a 25 percent stake. The government plans to start transferring shares to BGK as early as in January, Budzanowski told TVP Info on Dec. 18.
Tusk announced a 90-billion zloty spending plan for next six years to spur economic growth, which slowed to a three-year low of 1.4 percent in the third quarter. Investments shrank 1.5 percent over the past 12 months as the government reduced spending to reduce the budget deficit and as the European Union’s 2007 to 2013 budget winds down.
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