Poland's Morawiecki Doesn't Want Zloty to Strengthen Too Quickly

  • Deputy prime minister says zloty at 4.20-4.40 per euro is good
  • Morawiecki to talk to U.S about border tax, shale gas and LNG

While gains in the Polish zloty reflect the strength of the nation’s economy, an appreciation that becomes too rapid and long-lasting may decrease the competitiveness of exports, Deputy Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in an interview in Washington.

The zloty in a range of 4.20 to 4.40 per euro is a “good level,” Morawiecki said, adding he supports a stable currency. The zloty has gained 3.7 percent against the European currency so far this year, the fifth-best performance among 24 emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg. It traded at 4.2455 per euro at 4:29 p.m. in Warsaw.

Morawiecki, who is meeting Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen while in Washington, said that policies by central banks in the U.S. and the euro region that move in opposite directions may cause distortions on global markets. Still, Poland’s economy is doing well and the government is taking steps to lower its dependence on swings in global exchange rates, including with further diversification of the sovereign’s bondholders, he said.

Poland plans another yuan-denominated debt issue this year, worth about 400 million euros ($427 million). The country also wants to sell another tranche of so called Green bonds, whose proceeds are spent on efforts to mitigate climate change, Morawiecki said. That sale may be worth about 750 million euros.

Washington Agenda

Morawiecki said he will point out to Yellen that Poland and other countries in central Europe stand to become an important economic growth engine for the world.

In his meeting with President Donald Trump’s Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Morawiecki plans to ask about a border adjustment tax considered by U.S. Congress, discuss more sales of Polish agriculture products and further growth of trade in defense goods.

When talking to Energy Secretary Rick Perry, he seeks to discuss investments in Polish shale gas deposits and purchases of liquefied natural gas from the U.S.

Turning to domestic policy, Morawiecki said state-run insurer PZU SA’s takeover of a controlling stake in Poland’s second-largest bank Pekao SA from Italy’s UniCredit SpA will be finalized soon. Beyond that, Poland is still interested in more transactions that lead to higher domestic ownership of banking assets, but “only on an opportunistic basis.”

“We want decision-making to be based in Poland,” Morawiecki said. “I’m currently running a very successful, broad campaign of Polonizing foreign companies, encouraging them to move to Poland the important decision centers, while they remain foreign-owned.”

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