Russia sends Poland list of approved meat exporters

MOSCOW, December 21 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's agricultural watchdog has sent Poland's veterinary service a list of Polish companies approved to export food and agricultural produce to Russia, Rosselkhoznadzor said Friday.

The list includes six meat companies entitled to supply Russia with beef and pork, nine with poultry, 20 with dairy produce and one company approved to supply Russia with egg products. Four companies are entitled to store agricultural products prior to onward shipment to Russia.

Russia clarified the terms of meat product supplies from Poland, following Moscow's decision to lift a two-year ban on Polish meat.

Rosselkhoznadzor head Sergei Dankvert and Polish veterinary chief Ewa Lech signed on Wednesday a memorandum to lift a ban on Polish meat supplies imposed by Russia in November 2005 over what it called the low quality of meat and other products imported by and via Poland.

Russia's watchdog also said meat to be supplied to Russia from Poland must meet Russian requirements.

The ban on Polish meat has proved a major source of tension between Russia and Poland, which vetoed talks on a new Russia-EU partnership and cooperation agreement in protest against the embargo.

Center-right politician Donald Tusk's victory in Polish parliamentary elections in October prompted hopes that Warsaw would take a more accommodating stance on disputes with Russia, including on the meat issue.

Source: en.rian.ru

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Europe's east-west border is at last wide open

In a ceremony marking the final chapter in the unification of Eastern and Western Europe that began more than 18 years ago, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and the leaders of Poland, the Czech Republic and Portugal dismantled border-crossing points on a frontier that had symbolized the Cold War divide.

Merkel, a child of that division, stood in freezing temperatures with Prime Minister Donald Tusk of Poland, Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek of the Czech Republic and Prime Minister José Sócrates of Portugal, which holds the rotating European Union presidency.

Merkel's parents decided to leave West Germany for East Germany after World War II, and she had no opportunity to travel to the West until the collapse of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. She called the dismantling of the border crossing a "truly historical moment."

"We have one Europe, where passport controls from Sweden to Italy, from Portugal to the Baltic states no longer exist," she said. "That is a freedom, a freedom to travel. The schoolchildren of today can experience a normal Europe, something of which our parents and grandparents could only dream."

In a televised ceremony in Zittau, in Eastern Germany on a frontier that forks into Poland and the Czech Republic, Merkel was joined by Tusk, Poland's newly elected prime minister, who said it was "unbelievable, a dream come true" that border controls were being dismantled. Topolanek said, "The path toward freedom has ended."

The weather and the low-key setting were in sharp contrast to those extraordinary, emotional and often dangerous days leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Tens of thousands of East Germans had traveled to Czechoslovakia, where they converged on the West German Embassy in Prague. There, they scaled the elegant iron gates of the residence, seeking refuge until they were given permission by the East German and Czechoslovak authorities to leave for the West.

East Germans had already moved droves to Hungary, where tens of thousands were camping out under warm skies in Budapest, refusing to leave and return to East Germany, despite demands by East Berlin that Hungary send them back. After negotiations between Budapest and Chancellor Helmut Kohl's conservative government in Bonn, West Germany, it was agreed that Hungary would not give in to East Berlin's demands.

Then, on June 27, 1989, the foreign ministers of Austria and Hungary, Alois Mock and Gyula Horn, went to the border that divided their countries. There, together, with a pair of heavy iron pliers they began to cut through the thick barbed-wire fence that for decades had divided East from West. East Germans rushed through the breach and eventually made their way to West Germany.

On Friday, Mock and Horn were thanked by Austrian and Hungarian leaders at a border-crossing ceremony as Hungary joined the Schengen zone, as the free-travel area is known, ending the need for passport controls on the Austrian border. Other new Schengen members are Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Malta.

Two EU members, Ireland and Britain, have not joined the Schengen zone, and two non-EU members, Norway and Iceland, are part of it.

Bulgaria and Romania will have to wait a few more years to make their borders with Turkey, Moldova and other countries secure before they can join.

Source: iht.com

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SES to distribute high speed Internet to Poland

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European satellite giant SES said on Thursday it was extending the distribution of its high speed internet access product ASTRA2Connect to make it available to consumers in Poland as of 2008.

"With this contract, SES ASTRA continues the successful roll-out of ASTRA2Connect throughout various European markets," it said in a statement.

Source: reuters.com

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Mercuria calls on Poland to clarify Gdansk terms

MOSCOW, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Trader Mercuria, a top importer of Russian crude to Poland, on Thursday called on the Polish pipeline firm PERN to clarify terms of shipments to the port of Gdansk, warning the market about uncertainty of supplies.

Russia ships crude to Poland via the Druzhba pipeline and supplies Polish refineries as well as the Baltic Sea port of Gdansk from where oil is re-exported to other European markets.

Russian pipeline monopoly Transneft's export schedule for the first quarter of next year showed this week that shipments via Gdansk will fall to 1.03 million tonnes from a record schedule of 2.10 million tonnes in the fourth quarter.

"Although the end of the year approaches, for the first time ever at this time of the year, we still do not have clarity on terms for throughput of oil from the Polish state pipeline company PERN for 2008," Mercuria's vice-president David Ensor told Reuters.

"The situation is causing market uncertainty. As a result, exports for the first quarter of next year through the port of Gdansk cannot be currently predicted," he added.

"Producers and trading companies are looking for efficiency, stability and reliability... for clear, straightforward and predictable rules for oil transit," he added.

He declined to specify the exact nature of terms that Mercuria was seeking to be clarified.

PERN's spokesman Krzysztof Zalewski declined to comment: "We don't comment on these kinds of talks or deal terms," he said.

The export schedule showed that in the first quarter of 2008 Gdansk will receive 850,000 tonnes from Kazakhstan's producers via Russia, while Russia itself will supply only 180,000 tonnes, all of them coming from oil firm TNK-BP TNBPI.RTS.

This will be a serious reduction compared to the fourth quarter of this year when TNK-BP supplied much bigger volumes and had oil firm Bashneft as a second supplier.

Mercuria grew out of east European specialist J+S, which has been the top importer of Russian crude to Poland since the early 1990s. Some Russian companies have been seeking direct deals with Poland to bypass the intermediary, while others say they are happy with the prices the trader is charging.

Russian crude is supplied via the Druzhba pipeline, which runs across the territories of Belarus and also crosses Poland to end up in Germany.

The schedule also showed shipments to Poland's refineries will rise to 4.92 million tonnes in the first quarter from 4.60 million in the previous quarter with oil majors Rosneft (ROSN.MM: Quote, Profile, Research), LUKOIL (LKOH.MM: Quote, Profile, Research), Surgut (SNGS.MM: Quote, Profile, Research) and TNK-BP TNBPI.RTS being the main suppliers.

Source: By Dmitry Zhdannikov; James Jukwey


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Poland's LOT shareholders agree on flotation

WARSAW, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Shareholders of Polish national airline PLL LOT [LOT.UL] agreed on a flotation on the Warsaw bourse, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

The supervisory board of the flag carrier, in which the state holds almost 68 percent, said last month it wanted to list LOT on the Polish stock exchange and the company's chief executive Piotr Siennicki favoured the debut in third quarter of 2008.

The state treasury has previously said it wanted to retain control of 51 percent of the company after its market debut, though the new Treasury Minister Aleksander Grad said this week he could consider lowering that level. (Writing by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by David Holmes)

Source: reuters.com


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Poland expects 5.5% GDP growth in 2008

WARSAW, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- Poland's GDP growth is still expected to hit 5.5 percent in 2008 in spite of worse prognoses for the global economy, Polish Deputy Finance Minister Katarzyna Zajdel-Kurowska told Polish news agency PAP on Monday.

"We stand by our scenario for the next year," she said. "Even though both IMF (International Monetary Fund) and the European Commission cut their prognoses for the global economy, the Polish economy is not as open as those of other countries."

"A possible slowdown in the European and global economy will not carry the same consequences for Poland's economy as for the economies with much higher share of exports in GDP," she said.

"Home demand will be the main driving force in the Polish economy in 2008," the minister noted.

"We bet on domestic investments. Even if aversion of foreign investors to invest in Poland increases and FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) stream slows down next year, there is reason to expect that the Polish economy will grow at 5.5 percent in 2008," Zajdel-Kurowska predicted.

She confirmed earlier predictions that the GDP of Poland will grow by 6.5 percent this year.

Source: By Gao Ying, news.xinhuanet.com

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Deutsche Bahn eyes expansion to Poland, Romania; forms JV in India

FRANKFURT (Thomson Financial) - Deutsche Bahn AG is considering expanding into Poland and Rumania, and has created a joint-venture with Indian steel company Jindal, Norbert Bensel, head of the company's logistics unit, DB Schenker, told Financial Times Deutschland.

Bensel said Deutsche Bahn is closely following privatisation in Romania, where he expects state-owned logistical companies and cargo unit of state-owned railways to be sold for an amount below 100 mln eur.

Deutsche Bahn is prepared to invest more than 100 mln eur in Poland, Financial Times Deutschland reported, possibly partnering with Russia's state-owned railways.

'We're expecting an operating license for our subsidiary there by early 2008,' Bensel said.

Deutsche Bahn seeks to play in active role in the consolidation of Europe's cargo rail industry, as passenger traffic shows slower growth rates and is still heavily regulated.

However, bids for Polish private cargo rail company CTL Logistics and a stake in Slovenia's state-owned rail operator failed this fall.

On the joint venture with Jindal, Bensel also said Deutsche Bahn will hold the majority in the project, which in a first phase will handle Jindal's cargo operations. He did not disclose the investment, but said it is low as the German rail operator first seeks to gain experience in the country.

He said Deutsche Bahn in a second step will handle logistics of German automotive suppliers in India.
Source: hemscott.com

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Poland's Bioton plans to raise 54.4 mln zlotys from new share issue

WARSAW (Thomson Financial) - Poland's biopharmaceutical company Bioton plans to raise up to 54.4 mln zlotys from a share issue as it seeks cash for new investments, the company said in a statement.

The issue, which will raise the company's share capital by almost 10 pct, will be directed to 'qualified investors,' Bioton said. The book-building for the issue will take place between Dec 17 and 19.

In October, Bioton agreed to pay 35 mln usd in cash and new shares for a stake in a joint-venture with a group of human insulin producers and distributors in India, Finland and Russia.

Source:By Piotr Skolimowski, forbes.com

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Poland's bathroom-ware maker Cersanit says agrees merger terms with Opoczno

WARSAW (Thomson Financial) - Poland's largest bathroom-ware producer Cersanit has agreed to merge with local ceramic-tile maker Opoczno, in which it owns a 48 pct stake, the company said in a statement.

According to Cersanit, which is controlled by Poland's richest man, Michal Solowow, it will issue up to 1.13 mln zlotys worth of new stock as part of the plan and Opoczno's shareholders will receive four shares in the merged company for every three shares they own.

The bathroom-ware maker said shares in the merged company should start trading in Warsaw by April 30.

Source: By Piotr Skolimowski, forbes.com

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German railway could invest in India, Poland and Romania: Report

FRANKFURT: The German railway Deutsche Bahn is mulling an expansion into Poland and Romania, and has also created a joint-venture with Indian steel company Jindal, a press report said Tuesday.

Norbert Bensel, head of Deutsche Bahn's logistics unit, told Financial Times Deutschland the company was closely following privatisation in Romania where he expected state-owned logistic companies and cargo units of state-owned railways to be sold for below 100 million euros (144 million dollars).

Deutsche Bahn is prepared to invest more than 100 million euros in Poland, the Financial Times Deutschland reported, possibly partnering with Russia's state-owned railways.

"We're expecting an operating license for our subsidiary there by early 2008," Bensel said.

Deutsche Bahn wants to play in active role in the consolidation of Europe's rail cargo industry as passenger traffic shows slower growth rates and is still heavily regulated.

On the joint venture with Jindal, Bensel said Deutsche Bahn will hold the majority in the project, which in a first phase will handle Jindal's cargo operations. He did not disclose the investment but said it is low as the German rail operator first seeks to gain experience in India.

He said Deutsche Bahn in a second step would handle logistics for German automotive suppliers in India.
Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

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Atlantia negotiating jv in east Europe with Poland's Jan Kulczyk - report

MILAN (Thomson Financial) - Atlantia SpA is negotiating a joint venture for eastern Europe with major Polish motorway operator Jan Kulczyk, who owns Wielkopolska, said Radiocor news agency in an unsourced report.

Atlantia is already a motorway operator in Poland via its majority stake in the quoted Stalexport, which manages a 61 kilometre network, and has previously said it wants to expand in the region.

Radiocor said Poland has announced a vast construction programme to build 4,400 kilometres of roads, including 1,145 km of motorways, involving 44 bln eur of investments, part EU-funded.

Atlantia was not immediately available to comment.

Source: forbes.com

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Poland's power company PGE to raise up to 4 bln zlotys from IPO next year - CEO

WARSAW (Thomson Financial) - Poland's largest power company PGE expects to raise up to 4 bln zlotys from an initial public offering planned for the second half of next year, Chief Executive Pawel Urbanski said today.

'Three to four bln zlotys is the size we are thinking about,' Urbanski told TVN CNBC business channel in an interview.

The state-owned PGE, one of four power companies created by the former conservative government, wants to sell new shares to investors as it seeks funds for investments and acquisitions abroad.

PGE combines 11 power companies, two coal mines in southern Poland and 8 electricity distributors with a total assets worth 38 bln zlotys. It has 12,000 megawatts of installed capacity.

Urbanski said the company plans to invest between 30 and 40 bln zlotys on boosting capacity in the next four years to meet growing demand for electricity.

Source:By Piotr Skolimowski, forbes.com

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Naspers to acquire net auctioneer Tradus

JOHANNESBURG: Naspers, Africa’s largest media company, agreed to buy internet auctioneer Tradus for £946 million to tap growth in eastern Europe. Naspers, based in Cape Town, will pay £18 for each share in London-based Tradus, 11% more than the closing price on Monday, according to a statement to Johannesburg’s Stock Exchange News Service on Tuesday. Naspers fell as much as 7.2% in Johannesburg trading.

“The drop is probably a function of the size of the acquisition,” Rajay Ambekar, an analyst at Cadiz African Harvest Asset Management, which manages more than $7.3 billion, said by phone from Cape Town. The deal will use up all the company’s cash and the market is probably still a bit “cautious about paying these sorts of multiples for internet companies,” he said.

Tradus, formerly QXL Ricardo, operates in 11 European countries including Poland, Hungary and Slovakia, according to its website. Naspers has been expanding in countries including Poland and Russia to make up for slower growth at home, where rising interest rates are crimping advertising revenue. South African consumer spending growth will slow further, weighing on advertising and circulation sales, Naspers said November 27.

Naspers fell 9 rand to 172 rand in Johannesburg. Before Tuesday, the stock had gained 9% this year, trailing the FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index’s 15% climb. Tradus surged as much as 9.4% to 1,772 pence in London.

Tradus has surged this year, more than doubling in LSE trading, on speculation the company would be acquired. The stock rose the most in almost 10 months on November 7 after Tradus said it had been approached about a takeover.
Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

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Owner of Poland's Getin considers sale, La Caixa interested - report

The main shareholder of Getin Holding is considering selling the Polish financial group in a deal that could be worth 6-8 bln zlotys and grant the buyer a foothold on central Europe's largest banking market, daily Rzeczpospolita reported.Giving no named sources, the paper said owner Polish businessman Leszek Czarnecki may sell the group, which includes mid-sized lender Getin Bank as well as a leading financial broker and leasing company.Rzeczpospolita also said Spanish bank La Caixa had ordered an in-depth study of Getin's finances.A Getin spokesman declined to comment.Rumours Czarnecki was ready to sell Getin, which had profit of 110 mln zlotys in the third quarter, surfaced earlier this year during Italy's UniCredit's auction of a chunk of its smaller Polish unit Bank BPH.Poland's biggest banks were sold off by the state in the 1990s, leaving few options for other European players to get in near the top of the sector.Rzeczpospolita estimated Getin Holding to be worth around 10 bln zlotys at current market value.
Source: By Patrick Graham
WARSAW (Thomson Financial),abcmoney.co.uk

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The Polish Economy: An Unlimited Need For People?

The gentleman in the photo is Konrad Jaskola, Chief Executive Officer of Polimex-Mostostal SA, Poland's biggest construction company, and according to this article in Bloomberg, he has just one message for us all: "I have an unlimited need for people".

The issue arising is that Joskola has plans to hire "several thousand" new workers next year to meet demand for new bridges and factories, but he has a problem, and the problem is that due to Poland's growing labour shortages he may have difficulty finding them. Poland's economy has been growing strongly in recent quarters, although not as strongly, it should be noted, in some of the more evidently "overheating" economies like the Baltics. Poland's economy expanded an annual 6.4 percent in the third quarter of 2007, following 6.7 percent growth in the second quarter and 6.8 percent in the first one, according to data released by the Warsaw-based Central Statistical Office at the end of November.

This strong growth rate is partly fueled by construction activity and partly by strong consumer demand for retail items like cars and washing machines. Construction in Poland rose 20 percent in the first nine months of 2007, and as can be seen in the chart below - which offers a breakdown of Polish GDP growth by components, construction has been playing a very important part in the process. The thing is, however, that construction activity is pretty labour intensive.

According to Joskola, Polimex needs to offer higher salaries across the board, to engineers and managers, and to on-the-ground site workers, as Poland's skilled workers steadily move abroad (like all that hedge fund money which is flowing in the opposite direction) in search of higher yield. As a result local competition for workers increases, and wages start strong upward climb. Polimex has raised wages by 11 percent over the last 12 months and plans to raise them them by a further 10 percent next year.

The company, which is a "recycled" formerly state-owned machinery supplier, established to drive Poland's post-World War II reconstruction effort, currently plans to spend as much as 200 million zloty on acquisitions next year, in order to add workers and production capacity. I imagine some, at least, of those acquisitions will have to be of workers coming from outside Poland.

Inflation On An Upward Path

Meantime Polish inflation accelerated to the upper end of central bank's target range in November on the back of higher food and oil prices, meaning policy makers at the central bank may be forced to raise interest rates again in the coming months, in so doing possibly pushing up the value of the zloty, and attracting even more funds in search of even more workers to put to work.

Polish inflation rate rose to 3.6 an annual percent in November from 3 percent in October, the Central Statistical Office reported today in Warsaw. Consumer prices gained a monthly 0.7 percent after rising 0.6 percent in the previous month. Food prices grew an annual 7.2 percent 1.3 percent from the previous month, while fuel prices soared 13.2 percent from November 2006 and 2.5 percent from last month

As Unemployment Continues To Fall

The unemployment rate fell for the ninth consecutive month in October to 11.3 percent from 11.6 percent in September, the office said in a separate report today. Earlier this month, the office said that average corporate wages advanced an annual 11 percent in October and employment grew a record 5 percent from the year before.

And Wages Continue To Rise

As I say, inflation in Poland is also being fed by a 10 percent average wage growth and record low unemployment this year. In fact Polish average corporate wages advanced in November at the fastest pace in more than seven years, suggesting that the very rapid economic growth and large scale out-migration of key age group workers may be squeezing the labour market more than people imagined, thus provoking the sharp rise in inflation. Wages rose at an annual 12 percent rate (and 4.8 percent from a month earlier) to 3,092.01 zloty, according to the Warsaw-based Central Statistical Office earlier this week.

While Remittances Continue to Flow in Strongly

Remittances from abroad, mostly by taking advantage of free movement of labor within the European Union, are currently estimated (by the Polish National Bank) to be worth almost 2.5% of the gross domestic product of 250 billion euros. Since the United Kingdom opened its labor market to Poles three years ago, at least half a million Poles have settled in Britain.

Marcin Korolec, under-secretary at Poland's ministry of economics is quoted as saying that "the statistics show that the transfer from Polish people working abroad is something like 6 billion euros a year....Obviously this is a huge amount of capital, a huge amount of flow. It has an impact on internal consumption and internal growth."

All of Which Produces A Rapid Rise in Sales

Polish October retail continued their rapid rate of annual increase adding to evidence that economic growth remains strong despite four interest rate increases from the Central Bank so far this year. Retail sales rose an inflation corrected 16.3% in October over October 2006, this was up from a 12.2% rise in September compared with 14.2 percent in September, according to the Warsaw-based statistics office today.

The growth which is driven by sales of vehicles (which rose 42% year on year) and sales furniture and household appliances (a 21.9% annual rate of increase) - confirms the impression that consumer demand is being bolstered by falling unemployment, which dipped to an 8 1/2-year low, higher wages, which last rose the most in seven years last month, and a steady and economically significant inward flow of remittances.

Monetary Policy in A Bind?

The central bank lifted the seven-day reference rate a quarter-point to 5 percent only last month, and this was the fourth increase since April, when the key rate was 4 percent. So as we can see, at this point of time , and against all traditional expectation, monetary tightening may actually be having the perverse effect of accelerating the economy.

At the same time the zloty continues its rise, trading at 3.58 to the euro after the release of this weeks wages data, holding near its highest in five and a half years.

So as the Monetary Council begins its 2 day meeting for December today, we can see that there are some difficult decisions to take. Members of the council have already made public some of their divergences, with policy maker Marian Noga having taken the view that "The sooner we have the hike, the better, as preventive action is cheaper than boosting rates to chase down inflation", while Council member Miroslaw Pietrewicz takes the view that Poland's central bank should delay raising the benchmark interest rate until policy makers have had time to assess whether the four increases already made so far this year have been sufficient to bring inflation into check in the mid term.

What this dispute is a reflection of are the serious issues which arise concerning the actual ability of conventional monetary policy to work in a situation like the one facing Poland, since raising interest rates may just as easily stoke up more inflation - as we have seen in Australia and New Zealand, and to some extent in China - by attracting more investment funds into the country. This issue became apparent when the zloty also gained after a central-bank policy maker Marian Noga said the interest rate may have to rise as much as three-quarters of a percentage point before the end of 2008 to ward off inflation. Normally, an impending rise in inflation and a monetary tightening process (which reduces growth) would be considered to weaken and not strengthen a currency. So what happens next? Well this is just what we don't know, since we have never been here before. Clearly these economies will continue accelerating till the day they can't. And after that, well we will have to wait till we get there to actually see. What is happening in Hungary may give us some clues, and what happens next in the Baltics will definitely provide another of the missing links. Meantime we are in "wait and see" mode I feel. And behind Poland, roaring down the track come Russia and Ukraine, remember.
Source: polandeconomy.blogspot.com

Etykiety: , ,

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SAF signs contract in Poland

Tägerwilen/Switzerland, December 17, 2007. SAF AG, which is listed on the Prime
Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (ISIN CH0024848738), and is one of the
worldwide leading suppliers of automated forecasting and ordering systems for
retailers, has made a successful start in the promising Eastern European market.
The software company, which includes large retail companies mainly in the USA
and Western Europe among its direct customers, has just concluded a contract
with a Polish drug store chain for the implementation of two automated
forecasting and ordering systems. One system will handle the replenishment of
200 Polish retail stores; the second system will handle the replenishment of the
central warehouse. Using historical sales data, both systems determine the
optimum order quantity for each product fully automated.

"Our first signed contract in Poland confirms that we are on the right track
with our sales offensive in Eastern Europe," reported Dr. Andreas von Beringe,
SAF CEO. "SAF would like to further grow its business with this customer which
is aggressively expanding its store network in this region. In addition, SAF
expects to sign a contract with another Polish company this year." Due to
increasing wage costs and the rapid growth of their store networks, more and
more retail companies in Eastern Europe are very interested in software systems
which help them to streamline processes, reduce costs and increase profits.

Conversion from Manual to Automated Replenishment

By implementing the innovative SAF systems, the Polish company will be able to
converse from manual to automated replenishment. One of the primary reasons
leading to the conclusion of the contract was the capability of the SAF
forecasting systems to precisely forecast future demand while considering not
only the effects of seasonal influences, holidays and other effects, but also
the effects of several promotions. Starting in January 2008, SAF will begin with
the preparations for the implementation of the SAF SuperStore software system to
handle the store distribution. Once the above software roll-out has been
completed, the installation of SAF SuperWarehouse to optimize warehouse
management is planned.

SAF experts analyzed beforehand the customer´s business processes and their
optimization potential. In this connection, it is very important for the
customer that the data quality in the leading ERP and inventory management
system will be parallel brought up. The better the quality of the data inputted
into the SAF systems, the better the results they produce. "With this contract
signing, SAF has laid the foundation for the growth of our direct business in
the coming year," emphasized von Beringe. "The proceeds from this contract will
contribute to SAF´s revenues and profits in 2008."

About SAF AG
SAF Simulation, Analysis and Forecasting AG specializes in the development of
automated ordering and forecasting software for retailers and industrial
manufacturers. SAF deploys the demand chain management approach, which controls
replenishment planning based on consumer demand patterns. SAF software
assists users to realize substantial cost savings and optimizes general
logistics conditions through its simulation capabilities. As a result,
significant competitive advantages are achieved along the entire value chain:
lower inventories, improved product availability, and last, but not least, a
higher level of customer satisfaction.

SAF AG was established in 1996 by Dr. Andreas von Beringe and Prof. Dr. Gerhard
Arminger. SAF shares are listed at the official market (Prime Standard) at the
Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FWB). Today, the company employs approx. 90 people.
Consolidated sales revenues for fiscal year 2006, were approx. 13.6 million EUR
with consolidated profit of 4.6 million EUR according to IFRS statements. SAF´s
products are distributed in many European countries as well as in the United
States. The company is headquartered in Tägerwilen, Switzerland. SAF also has a
subsidiary in the United States: SAF Simulation, Analysis and Forecasting
U.S.A., Inc., Grapevine, Texas and in Slovakia, Bratislava: SAF Simulation,
Analysis and Forecasting Slovakia s.r.o. with the focus on

Forward Looking Statements and Estimates
This information contains forward looking statements based on assumptions and
estimates of SAF's Management Board. Although we assume the expectations in
these forward looking statements are realistic, we cannot guarantee they will
prove to be correct. The assumptions may harbor risks and uncertainties that may
cause the actual figures to differ considerably from the forward looking
statements. Factors that may cause such discrepancies include, among other
things, risks that are mentioned in the annual report 2006. SAF does not plan to
update the forward looking statements, nor does it assume the obligation to do
Further inquiry note:
Astrid Strömer
+41 (0)71 666 79 48


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Fortis Bank Poland Heeds Advice from GridwiseTech

GridwiseTech has equipped Fortis Bank Poland with software designed for advanced process flow management in the business intelligence environment. Fortis Bank will be the first bank in Poland to use the enhanced functionality provided by the Platform Process Manager. It has been implemented as part of a project that has been in progress for over a year. The goal of the project is to set up the Information Platform designed for the purpose of building a comprehensive analytical solution.

The greatest challenge that banks face every day is the extensive volume of complex calculations. This hampers the undertaking of operational decisions and increases the risk of taking inappropriate actions. Of equal significance and complexity are the procedures of periodical data processing and reporting. "The issue is important, because bottlenecks in banking systems have a direct relation to how effectively these institutions function," says Paul Piller from GridwiseTech. "The solution to this problem lies in employing grid technologies to ensure scalability of the IT infrastructure. The benefits are not merely the enhanced processing power and reduced costs of software and hardware, but also lower operational risks in the event of malfunctioning."

The project will help Fortis Bank Poland to lower the costs of supporting and delivering reports. Another benefit will be the higher quality of reported and source data. What is more, the usage of grid technologies enables on-demand scaling of the current IT infrastructure.

"The Platform Process Manager considerably simplifies the migration processes between the developer server, the test server and the production server. It also makes it possible to manage any jobs, not only the jobs processed in the SAS environment, and facilitates the creation of process flow schedules," says Zdzislaw Dec, manager of the Information Platform project at Fortis Bank Poland.

About GridwiseTech

GridwiseTech is the vendor-independent expert in scalable solutions helping customers in speeding up data processing, removing application bottlenecks and building complete scalable systems. The company introduce modern concepts of Grid, virtualization, service-oriented architecture (SOA) and application-driven portals. GridwiseTech offers management consulting as well as comprehensive technical assistance in integration of multi-vendor components. The company is present in Europe, Asia and the United States, serving a wide variety of clients ranging from Fortune Global 500 companies to small and medium enterprises, to research and government agencies. For more information, visit www.gridwisetech.com.

About Fortis Bank

Fortis Bank Polska SA supports domestic and international corporate customers and individuals. The bank’s stock is listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The bank operates a network of 46 offices in the largest Polish cities, employing over 1,600 staff. Fortis Bank Polska’s strategic shareholder is the Belgian Fortis Bank, holding 99.1 percent of the total stock. More information at: www.fortisbank.com.pl.

Source: gridtoday.com


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IFCO SYSTEMS Opens A New Subsidiary In Poland And Announces Expansion Into Central Eastern Europe

Pullach, Germany, Dec 17, 2007 - (Hugin via ABN Newswire) - IFCO SYSTEMS today announced that it has further expanded its international network by opening a new office in Poland. Poland is the largest economy in Central Eastern Europe with a fast growing retail market and an annual fruit & vegetable production of more than 8 million tonnes.

The Polish market provides excellent growth opportunities for IFCO SYSTEMS' RPC rental business and is a good base to develop new business in other key potential markets in Central Eastern Europe.

Karl Pohler, CEO of IFCO SYSTEMS: "With the opening of our new office in Poland, IFCO SYSTEMS is setting the foundation to take advantage of the growth opportunities in Central Eastern Europe."

IFCO SYSTEMS is an international logistics service provider with more than 180 locations worldwide. IFCO SYSTEMS operates a pool of more than 83 million Reusable Plastic Containers (RPCs) globally, which are used primarily to transport fresh produce from producers to leading grocery retailers.

In the United States, IFCO SYSTEMS also provides a national network of pallet management services. With more than 100 million sorted, repaired and reissued wooden pallets annually, IFCO SYSTEMS is the market leader in this industry. In 2006, IFCO SYSTEMS generated revenues of US $647 million.

IFCO SYSTEMS Dominic Bach Investor Relations Tel: +49 89 74491 222 Fax: +49 89 744767 222 Email: ir@ifcosystems.com www.ifcosystems.com www.ifcosystems.de
Source: abnnewswire.net

Etykiety: ,

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Best American investors in Poland award

The American Chamber of Commerce in Warsaw has awarded the best American investors in Poland.

Danuta Isler reports

The ceremony took place during the annual general meeting of the Chamber in Warsaw. It was an occasion for its participants and the awarded companies to discuss obstacles they still face while investing in Poland. Another issue raised concerned the climate for business over 3 years after joining the European Union.

The American Chamber of Commerce has been present in Poland since 1990. It currently has 330 member companies with American capital. Their joint investment value in Poland has already exceeded 15 billion USD and as a result created over 120,000 jobs. This year members of the Chamber were recognized in three categories: entrepreneur of the year, excellence in innovation and investor of the year. ProLogis, a developer and manager of industrial real estate was named the Investor of the Year. The company has been present in Poland for a decade during which it has invested over 10 billion euros in this country. The award was received by Michael de Jong-Douglas, the regional head of ProLogis Central and Eastern Europe.

Marzenna Reyher, the editor of a trade weekly Media and Marketing Polska was recognized as the Entrepreneur of the Year. She came to Poland from Detroit in 1992 and started a publishing project with the Freedom Foundation a year later. She says the beginnings were tough, especially for small enterprises like hers, but once Poland became an EU member things got better.

Kenneth Hillas, deputy chief of mission of the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, says that American investors are interested in many regions of Poland, not only its capital.

Meanwhile, Roman Rewald, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Warsaw, who presented the awards, points to a few areas of development for next year.

In the meantime, the American Chamber of Commerce in Warsaw has prepared a list of barriers for foreign investors. The two biggest obstacles mentioned are road infrastructure, and the national legal system, especially in terms of the enforcement of contracts. The Chamber also advocates for a more stable tax system and the reform of the public finances.
Source: polskieradio.pl

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EDF-Veolia jv Dalkia launches 146 mln eur bid for Poland's Praterm UPDATE

Energy services group Dalkia, a joint venture between EDF and Veolia Environnement (NYSE:VE) , said its Polish unit has launched a takeover offer worth 146 mln eur for heating company Praterm.

Dalkia's local unit, Dalkia Polska, is offering 51 zlotys per share, or for 100 pct of Praterm's shares, for a total of 527 mln zlotys, or 146 mln eur.

The success of the offer is conditional on Dalkia Polska obtaining at least 50 pct of outstanding shares plus one, Dalkia said. The offer will run from Dec 28 until Feb 14.

Dalkia Polska is 65 pct owned by Dalkia, with the other 35 pct controlled by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. It had sales of 322 mln eur last year.

Dalkia as a whole reported managed revenue of 6.9 bln eur in 2006.
Source: money.cnn.com


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Ukraine imposes ban on poultry import from Poland

According to the Veterinary service department's press service,the department of veterinary medicine has imposed a ban on poultry import from Poland, except eggs. Import of incubation eggs is permitted under thorough control by Ukraine and mutual agreement.

The bird flu sparked in Poland. Earlier, Ukraine changed terms of poultry import fro Poland, by imposing ban on import from five provinces.

Source: nrcu.gov.ua

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AMI-Partners: Small Businesses in Poland to Spend US$1B on Computing This Year

Small businesses (SBs or companies with up to 99 employees) in Poland will spend close to US$1 billion on computing and Internet-related products and services this year, up some 18% over 2006. This level of spending represents almost 50% of the total SB spending this year, according to the latest study by New York-based Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc.

"Poland is enjoying a very strong economic growth, the highest among all its Eastern European Union counterparts," says Pauline Courtiau, New York-based Analyst at AMI Partners. "This translates into significant capital injection in all business sizes especially in the small and medium businesses segment (SMBs or companies with up to 999 employees)."

Technology adoption significantly differs between small businesses and medium businesses (MBs or companies between 100 and 999 employees). SBs are still in "Wave I" of technology adoption, in which they build their basic infrastructure. On the other hand, most MBs have moved into "Wave III," where they are starting to leverage their network to add value to the business by connecting with suppliers and resellers.

SMBs have increased their IT and telecom spending by 15% over the last year with the biggest chunk being spent on computing-related products. "In Poland, SBs key IT issues for the next 12 months are to implement high-speed Internet and replace old hardware with newer, improved ones," says Ms. Courtiau. "Conversely, most MBs in Poland have their basic hardware and software in place and are now looking at protecting their networks." Enhancing enterprise IT security, training employees on IT skills, and increasing IT storage capacity are some of the strategies these businesses will look to. SMBs increased their security and storage spending by over 17% over last year as a number of firms have faced some sort of security breach and loss of critical data in the recent past and are therefore becoming more risk averse.

"Most Poland MBs operate in a highly managed IT environment and, hence, do not outsource much of their IT service and support," says Ms Courtiau. "This is in contrast to SBs, where only 10% of the firms have dedicated IT staff."

"While showing a wide range of differences, Poland SMBs also have many similarities," says Ms. Courtiau. "For example, they have a predilection for assembled or whitebox desktop computers but those who buy branded PCs seem to prefer Hewlett Packard or Toshiba when it comes to notebook purchases." Hewlett Packard has strong brand recognition in Poland, and ranks first with no close competition in printer and server usage among Poland SMBs. Another similarity is that a majority of SMBs utilize PC-based external storage. This simple, less costly storage tool usage makes logical sense for businesses where major issues hindering business growth are capital driven, such as rising operating costs and insufficient cash flow.

About the Study

AMI's 2007 Poland Small Business Market Overview and Comprehensive Market Opportunity Assessment and 2007 Poland Medium Business Market Overview and Comprehensive Market Opportunity Assessment studies highlights these and other major trends in the context of current/planned IT, Internet and communications usage and spending. Products and services covered include established and emerging hardware, software, applications and business process solutions. Based on AMI's annual surveys of SBs and MBs across Poland, the studies track a broad spectrum of issues pertaining to budgets, purchase behaviors, decision influencers, channel preferences, outsourcing, service and support. Also covered are detailed firmographics and critically important technology attitudes and strategic planning priorities. This data points to key opportunities and messaging hot buttons for vendors and service providers seeking to match their offerings to SB market requirements.

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