Poland has no plans to cut stake in PKO - official

WARSAW, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Poland does not plan to decrease its holding in the country's No. 2 bank PKO BP BAPE.WA, and any new share issue would maintain its 51-percent stake, a deputy treasury minister told Reuters on Tuesday.

"There are no discussions about selling (treasury's shares in PKO)," said Deputy Treasury Minister Michal Chyczewski.

"There is the question of an issue to boost capital, which would not result in decreasing the treasury's stake."

He did not elaborate.

Source: By Kuba Jaworowski, reuters.com

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Poland calls off 1-year treasury bill tender planned for Jan 14

WARSAW (Thomson Financial) - Polish finance ministry said in a statement it has called off its one-year treasury bill tender planned for Jan 14, citing good budget liquidity.

Poland planned an issue of 4.0-7.0 bln zlotys in one-year treasury bills at three tenders in the first quarter of 2008.

Source: By Adrian Krajewski, forbes.com

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Poland looks to introduce fast-track health care

WARSAW, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Poland's ruling party is set to overhaul the state healthcare system later this week, giving Poles the option to buy additional insurance to gain quicker access to services, officials said on Tuesday.

The reform bill would also limit the list of treatments covered by Poland's current cradle-to-grave healthcare system, which is currently plagued by long waiting times and corruption.

"I want to introduce additional money (into the system), though additional health insurance," Health Minister Ewa Kopacz told a news conference.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk said the bill would not raise mandatory healthcare contributions and would not introduce a fees for patients.

Poland's health service been beset by scandals -- stories abound of doctors taking bribes in exchange for better treatment and of hospitals running up huge debts only to demand bailouts by threatening to shutdown.

"Out of 18,000 types of treatment, 3,000 will be excluded from the guaranteed basket of treatments," Kopacz said. "For example wart removal will not be on the guaranteed list."

Kopacz added the government had already moved to significantly raise wages for young doctors, those most likely to join fellow Polish healthcare workers who have left to take higher paying jobs in other parts of the European Union.

In October nearly 2,000 doctors resigned in a protest over pay and better funding of the health sector.

The bill also includes legislation which would transform hospitals into legal corporate entities with accountable managers who would be required to balance their businesses' budgets.
Source: By Marynia Kruk, reuters.com

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Poland could sell LOT stake

The Treasury Ministry in Poland is considering selling its 68 percent stake in the national LOT airline, Reuters has reported.

Deputy Treasury Minister Zdzislaw Gawlik told Reuters on Thursday that there was no sound reason for LOT to remain in state hands.

"There are no rational grounds for the carrier to remain state-owned. We want to change the law in order to sell the shares," Gawlik said.

For the sale to go ahead, the ministry must make amends to the current legislation which only allows the ministry to sell one minority stake. If successful, the ministry could float the business on the Warsaw Stock Exchange by the third quarter of 2008.

Source: etravelblackboard.com

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AOL launches site in Poland

AOL Europe has announced that it has launched AOL Poland, continuing its strategy of expansion in the European market. Like its counterparts in other countries, AOL.pl offers users free Web tools, including instant messaging, e-mail, unlimited photo storages, video and news.

The Polish site also includes Winamp, a media player that users can customize to fit their personal preferences, AOL Europe said in a statement. As an ad-supported Web company, we see tremendous potential for growth in Poland. The market is growing faster than the U.S. with online advertising spending forecast to grow by 23% per year until 2011, when it will reach the 160 mln euros ($233 mln) mark, making it the 2nd-highest growth rate and the 10th largest in Europe.

AOL said launching in Poland is part of its strategy to expand into 17 European markets by 2009. AOL began its expansion in January with the launch of its Australian Web site, followed by sites in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. The content for AOL.pl will be delivered through AOL's Polish partners.

Source: .financialmirror.com


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