LG.Philips LCD Begins Building Poland Plant

LG.Philips LCD, the world’s second-largest manufacturer of liquid crystal displays, said Thursday it has begun construction of a 429 million euro plant in Poland, aimed at gaining the upper hand in the fastgrowing European flat-panel television market.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held in Kobierzyce, near the southwestern city of Wroclaw, where the new plan will be built, LG.Philips said.

The plant will produce modules for LCD televisions and computer monitors. By the first half of 2007, LG.Philips plans to complete building the first production line, which will have an annual capacity of three million units.

If construction of the entire plant is completed by 2011 as planned, the production capacity will rise to 11 million units a year, LG.Philips has said previously. On Monday, LG.Philips cut its forecast for television panel shipment growth by half, prompting an industry-wide plunge in share prices.


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PolyOne to Build Plant in Poland

PolyOne Corp., a plastic compounder and resin distributor, said Thursday that to meet growing customer demand in Central Europe, it will build a manufacturing facility in Kutno, Poland.

Products made at this site initially will include color masterbatches for extrusion and molding processors. PolyOne expects construction to be completed by first-quarter 2007, with production and sales beginning immediately thereafter.

"The Kutno facility will allow us to serve the needs of the rapidly growing market in Poland, as well as to provide strong partnering support for our existing European customers who are establishing their own manufacturing sites in Central and Eastern Europe," said Bernard Baert, vice president and general manager, international colors and engineered materials.

The new plant will be PolyOne's second manufacturing facility in Central Europe. The company opened its first facility in Gyor, Hungary, in 1998. PolyOne also has sales offices in Kraków, Poland, and Prague, Czech Republic.

PolyOne shares rose 30 cents, or nearly 4 percent, to $8.08 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.


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Emerging-Market Stocks Plunge; Russia, Poland, Turkey Lead Drop

Emerging-market stocks dropped to a six-month low after a seventh Federal Reserve official in as many days hinted U.S. interest rates will rise, prompting investors to dump riskier assets. Shares in Russia and Poland led the slide.

The Morgan Stanley Capital International Emerging Markets Index, a measure of stocks in 25 developing countries, fell 4.1 percent to 666.65 as of 1:15 p.m. in London, poised for the lowest close since Nov. 29. The measure has plunged 24 percent since peaking on May 8.

The dollar-denominated Russian Trading System Index lost 7.1 percent, and Poland's WIG20 Index slumped 6.8 percent. Turkey's ISE National 100 Index tumbled 6.5 percent, while India's Sensitive Index was Asia's biggest loser, slumping 4.4 percent.

``Everyone is spooked by rate increases in the U.S.,'' said Nitin Jain, who helps manage about $563 million at Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Co. in Mumbai. ``We will see tightening credit on the back of such rate increases.''

Central banks around the world, including those in the euro region, India, South Africa and South Korea, have increased interest rates this month to quell inflation, feeding concerns that global economic growth will slow.

Fed officials in the past week have also signaled they may be forced to boost borrowing costs further, after 16 increases since June 2004. Fed Bank of Cleveland President Sandra Pianalto said yesterday inflation exceeds her ``comfort level,'' echoing remarks by Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke last week, who said recent increases in inflation measures ``are unwelcome.''

`Rookie' Fed

``Bernanke is eager in showing his ability, but his eagerness could cause him to overkill on rates,'' said Albert King, who oversees about $10 million as chief investment officer of Prophet Capital Inc. in Taipei. ``Stock markets worldwide will suffer because of this rookie.''

South Korea's Kospi Index slid 2.9 percent and Taiwan's Taiex fell 1.6 percent. The two markets have the biggest weightings in the MSCI Emerging Markets.

Russia's OAO Gazprom, the world's biggest natural-gas producer, and OAO Lukoil, the nation's No. 1 oil led today's slump in emerging markets. Gazprom dropped 8.7 percent to $8.67 and Lukoil fell slid 12 percent to $62.45.

KGHM Polska Miedz SA, a Polish company that mines more copper in Europe than any other company, lost 6.5 percent to 77.8 zloty. Copper led a retreat in metals prices, falling for a fourth amid speculation an economic slowdown will curb demand for commodities.

Risk Aversion

``People don't believe in the growth that we have seen in 2004 and 2005,'' said Mathieu Negre, who manages the equivalent of about $500 million in East European stocks at Fortis Investment in London. ``Global risk aversion is rising because of interest rates hikes.''

Samsung Electronics Co. paced declines in Asia. South Korea's largest exporter dropped 4 percent to 549,000 won, its lowest close since Oct. 28.

In Turkey, Turkiye Is Bankasi AS, the nation's largest publicly traded bank, fell 7.7 percent to 7.20 liras. The benchmark ISE index dropped for a seventh day, the longest losing streak in nine months.

The country's central bank last week raised rates for the first time in almost five years.


``The Turkish market is in a freefall,'' said Stuart Hackett, a trader at Ekspres Invest in Istanbul. ``Inflation fears and the firming consensus on further rate hikes are worrying markets globally, and emerging markets always suffer the worst pain in this environment.''

In the Middle East, Jordan's main index fell, the biggest move among Arab equity markets. Arab Bank Plc, the largest lender in Jordan, fell 2 percent to 25 Jordanian dinars.

``The selloff is due to a panic about slowing global growth,'' said Raed El-Hajahjeh, deputy head of brokerage at Atlas Investment Group, an Amman-based firm that manages about $160 million. ``It's part of the worldwide drop in stocks.''

Most other Arab stock markets, like Egypt's, fell. The Dow Jones DIFC Arabia Titans Index, which tracks 50 stocks in 10 Arab countries, declined.

Cairo-based Orascom Telecom Holding SAE, the largest mobile phone operator in the Middle East by number of subscribers, fell 6.5 percent to 246 Egyptian pounds.

South Africa's main index declined 4.6 percent. Anglo American Plc, the world's second-largest mining company, retreated 4.5 percent to 229.5 rand in Johannesburg. AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., the world's third-largest gold producer, declined 9.4 percent to 250.99 rand.

The prospect of higher rates helped drag the gold price below $600 an ounce for the first time in almost two months.

Source: By George Hsu

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Scotland launches hiring drive in Poland

More than 20,000 Poles have registered to work in Scotland in the two years since Poland and nine other countries joined the European Union.

They represent the biggest group among an influx of mainly east European immigrants who have helped address Scotland's demographic challenges.

Scotland's population has increased slightly in the past three years, thanks to immigration, more births and fewer deaths. But at just more than 5m it is still close to its lowest level since the first half of the 20th century, and is forecast to fall below that symbolic level by 2036.

Last year Duncan Macniven, registrar-general, said: "The main reason why Scotland's population has increased for three years in a row is because 19,000 more people migrated to Scotland than moved away. This is the second highest figure for Scotland to date, 7,000 below last year's record figure of 26,000."

Tom McCabe, minister for finance and public service reform, said Scotland and Poland had strong ties. Many Polish war veterans made Scotland their home after 1945 and Polish delicatessens, cafes and clubs opened in many centres.

Mr McCabe said: "The talented and motivated individuals coming from Poland are making a positive contribution to our economy and our cultural diversity."

Aleksander Dietkow, consul general for Poland in Scotland, said about 80 per cent of recent arrivals were less than 35 years old, and 40 per cent less than 25. Of the total, 30-40 per cent had gone to university.

"There are similarities between the people so they find it easier to be accepted into the culture and build good relationships," he said.

First Group, the bus and rail operator, started recruiting eastern European bus drivers in Glasgow in 2004, mainly because it was struggling to hire local applicants. All applicants needed a passenger carrying vehicle licence, which is now standard across the EU.

Alex Shearer, operations director, said: "Almost without exception the 80 or so Polish drivers now employed driving buses for First in Glasgow have proven reliable, good mannered and hard working individuals who, with their families, appear to have integrated well into their new way of life."

However, the campaign to recruit Poles comes on the same day as Citizens Advice Scotland said that increasing numbers of migrant workers were complaining about low pay, long hours and poor accommodation.

The agency said the problems were compounded by language difficulties and a lack of knowledge of basic rights.


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Poland opposes EU financing for Northern gas pipeline

Polish Foreign Minister Anna Fotyga voiced opposition to the possibility of "controversial" energy projects being financed from the EU budget, her spokesman told the Polish news agency PAP on Monday.

Fotyga made the remarks at a Monday meeting of European Union (EU) foreign ministers in Luxembourg.
"Poland believes that if the EU decides to participate in the financing of projects aimed at diversification of energy supplies, it should not finance projects that raise controversy in some member countries," the spokesman cited her as saying.

One such project is the Rissian-German Northern Pipeline, criticized by Poland and the Baltic states.

Fotyga referred to a provision contained in the draft documents of an EU summit scheduled for June 15-16 in Brussels. The provision, proposed by Austria, states that "the EU will fully support" infrastructure projects opening up new possibilities of diversifying energy imports.

"Poland strongly supports diversification and the creation of a joint energy policy in the EU," the spokesman said. "It is Poland which started the energy debate ... But we want to preclude the possibility that controversial projects get EU funding."

Russia signed a deal with Germany last year to build a major gas pipeline to northern Europe on the Baltic seabed.

In April, Polish Defence Minister Radosław Sikorski criticized the project because it bypasses Poland, describing the move as being "disloyal toward other EU countries."

Source: Xinhua

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Vivendi: Telecommunications in Poland

Elektrim has announced that an arbitrationtribunal has authorized Deutsche Telekom to exercise a purchase optionin respect of 48% of PTC, the Polish mobile telephone operator.
1. This award has apparently been handed down in the context of an
arbitration between Deutsche Telekom and Elektrim under a
shareholders' agreement to which neither Vivendi nor Elektrim
Telekomunikacja (Telco) are parties.
In any event, it could not have any impact on Telco's ownership of
the PTC shares that Elektrim claims to own following the
arbitration award dated November 26, 2004, which is unenforceable
against Telco, and the recognition of which by the Court of Appeal
on March 29, 2006 had no effect on its application.

2. This purchase option could only be exercised in respect of the
shares owned by Elektrim, namely a single PTC share. The 48% of
PTC transferred to Telco in 1999 is not subject to this purchase
option, because it is not owned by Elektrim.

3. On December 20, 2005 the Commercial Court in Vienna, at first
instance, set aside the part of the award dated November 26, 2004
that declared the transfer of the PTC shares to Telco ineffective.
It unambiguously confirmed our interpretation of the award, which
is not enforceable against Telco.
Telco had no obligation pursuant to this arbitration to which it
was not a party, and the allegations of Elektrim are unfounded.
The Warsaw Court of Appeals' recognition on March 29, 2006 of the
arbitration award dated November 26, 2004 did not take this
decision of the Commercial Court into account, and will be the
subject of a further appeal.

4. The assertions made by Elektrim according to which DT owns 97%
of PTC are therefore groundless and constitute an infringement of
Telco's property rights.


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Minister for Europe, Geoff Hoon, travels to Poland on Monday 12 June. In Warsaw he will have bilateral meetings with a number of key Polish Ministers including Foreign Minister Anna Fotyga.

The visit will highlight the commitment both countries have to building a stronger, more effective Europe that delivers on the issues that matter to its people such as security, energy and enlargement.

Geoff Hoon said, before departing:

'I am very much looking forward to visiting Warsaw. Poland and the UK are old friends in the new Europe and links between the two countries have never been stronger.

'My discussions in Warsaw will focus on the key future of Europe issues such as economic reform, tackling the challenges of globalisation, energy, security, counter-terrorism and organised crime - the approach taken at Hampton Court during the UK Presidency.'

Geoff Hoon's trip to Warsaw also comes just weeks before a visit by the Polish President, Lech Kaczyński, to the UK. Kaczyński will be in the UK from 29-30 June as a guest of government.

Notes to editors:

  1. Poland is Britain’s largest export market in Central and Eastern Europe.
  2. Some 56 major UK companies have invested more than 4.3 billion dollars in Poland since 1989.
  3. The Polish community in Britain is growing fast and making a valuable contribution to the British economy. Over 200,00 Poles now live and work in the UK.
  4. Over 300 flights a week link Poland and the UK.
  5. The UK works with Polish border guards patrolling the EU’s new frontier.
For more information about the UK’s relationship with Poland and the future of Europe priorities visit the FCO's new Britain in the EU website at: www.europe.gov.uk
Source: www.britishembassy.gov.uk

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Big agenda awaits Indian minister's visit to Poland

India's Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma will pay a four-day official visit to Poland from June 12 at the invitation of Polish Foreign Minister Anna Fotyga.

It is after four years that an Indian external affair minister is coming to Poland. Last year, then external affairs minister Natwar Singh was due to come but he had to cancel the visit after allegations of involvement in the UN oil for food scandal.

During his visit, Anand Sharma will hold extensive discussions with Anna Fotyga, who recently took over as foreign minister after the resignation of Stefan Miller. Fotyga is well disposed towards India as earlier she was a member to the European parliament where she was actively involved in Indian affairs.

On June 14, Sharma will inaugurate a cultural festival organised by the Polish Indian Cultural Committee in the city of Krakow and also meet the Indian community.

The next day he will preside over a meeting of Indian ambassadors posted in the East European region who will brief the minister on strengthening of bilateral relations, though a majority of the nations in the region have already joined the European Union. Sharma will also give his own inputs to make India's presence enhanced in the region.

In 2002, Omar Abdullah, then minister of state for external affairs, had also convened a conference in Warsaw of the Indian ambassadors based in East European capitals. "Poland being the largest East European country, gets prominence in holding such conferences," said Anil Wadhwa, Indian Ambassador to Poland.

Anand Sharma is coming to Poland at a time when Indo-Polish relations are already in the upswing. Last month, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath made a state visit and signed an agreement to revitalise the Indo-Polish joint commission. In December 2004, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee had come to Poland to strengthen defence cooperation between the two countries.

"The traffic is not restricted to one side. Polish Defence Minister Radislaw Sokorski is going to visit India next month, and in one of the winter months the Polish prime minister will make a state visit to India," Wadhwa said.

"Now there is willingness to promote relations with India as it has become an attractive destination for foreign investors. Poland's entry to the European Union does not restrict its desire to expand relations with India. Unlike the previous government, the present government sees to the East, particularly India, as a long-standing friend in Asia," added Wadhwa.

The trade between the two countries has already crossed more than $550 million and many Indian companies, such as Reliance, Videocon, Ranbaxy, Escorts and Mahindras have already invested more than $700 millions. Indian origin steel baron Laxmi Mittal has invested more than $2 billion and captured 70 percent of the Polish steel market.

Source:Hindustan Times

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