Polish c.bank head: fx interventions may be needed

WARSAW, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Poland's central bank governor Slawomir Skrzypek said on Wednesday there may be a need or currency market interventions because of the zloty's sharp depreciation.

He added he was not a fan of such a solution but that he was worried about the weakening zloty 'The zloty is subject to very big volatility. Its depreciation has accelerated over the last months,' Skrzypek told reporters.

'When it comes to possible central bank actions, the free-floating exchange-rate is a value in itself. I am not a supporter of forex interventions but such a need cannot be ruled out now.'

Source:By Adrian Krajewski, Karolina Slowikowska

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New passenger car registrations in Europe fell by 25.8% in November; Sales in Ireland fell 55.9%

New passenger car registrations in Europe* fell by 25.8% in November compared to the same month of last year, declining for the seventh month in a row, mirroring the financial and economic crises, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association. Sales in Ireland fell to 644 units - a plunge of 55.9% compared with the same month in 2007. European sales are down 7.1% in the 11 months to November and are off 18.6% in Ireland.

The last time registrations dropped as steep as in November, was in 1999 and 1993 with data then, before the EU enlargement, only including the EU15 plus EFTA countries. Last month’s results were aggravated by on average two working days less across the region**. Markets in Western Europe and the new EU Member States contracted at a similar pace (-26.0% and -22.6% respectively). All markets decreased except Finland, Poland and the Czech Republic. In units, European November registrations declined to 932,537 cars. Cumulatively from January to November, 13,788,256 new cars were registered in Europe*, representing a 7.1% downturn.

In Western Europe, a total of 854,698 new passenger cars were registered in November, or 26.0% less than in November last year. The downturn hit all countries except Finland, ranging from -3.5% in Portugal to -55.9% in Ireland. Of the major markets, Spain was the most severely affected (-49.6%), followed by the UK (-36.8%) and Italy (-29.5%), while Germany (-17.7%) faced the steepest fall of its market since December 2007 (-20.3%) and France (-14.1%) since August 2003 (-15.4%). January to November results show a 7.6% decline of the West European market, with around one million fewer cars registered compared to the same period last year. France managed to level last year’s demand so far (+0.8%), while registrations in Germany declined by 1.5%, in the UK by 10.7%, in Italy by 13.4% and in Spain by 26.0%.

Markets in the new EU Member Statesechoed the November drop recorded in Western Europe, plummeting by 22.6%, and against the trend so far. The new EU Member States long showed more resilience, in relative terms, because of the greater number of first-time buyers as opposed to the replacement market of Western Europe. Of the main markets, the Czech Republic +2.0%) and Poland (+10.7%) posted growth, compensating the negative results recorded in Hungary (-28.4%) and Romania (-53.1%). Eleven months into the year, the region posted growth with 0.3% more cars registered than over the same period a year earlier. Hungary and Romania saw their new registrations go down by 7.4% and 7.5% but the Czech Republic and Poland performed better than last year with a 9.3% upturn.

* EU27 + EFTA, data for Cyprus and Malta unavailable

** One working day less for Austria, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Slovenia; three fewer working days for the Czech Republic and Slovakia, same number of working days as last year for Hungary.

Source: By Finfacts Team, finfacts.ie

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Twitter disses Nasza Klasa (Poland’s social network)

Twitter was at the center of a stink today when Google announced that it was integrating the micro-messaging service into its Friend Connection service. This led to a flurry of questions in the tech blogosphere as to why Twitter was integrating with Google and no one else?

Silicon Alley Insider first stated “Twitter Chooses Google, Not Facebook,” but later changed that headline after Twitter co-founder Biz Stone corrected them, saying that Twitter was working on Facebook Connect integration as well. Twitter’s chief executive Evan Williams also sent out a tweet (Twitter message) explaining that:

For the record: Twitter did not “choose Google, not Facebook.” We’re working with both. We have more to do on the FB side before launch.

This led TechCrunch to write “Twitter Humiliates MySpace” because it didn’t bother mentioning them in any social service integration talk. You see the trend?

To stop this, Stone decided to write a blog post entitled “Let’s All Be Friends!” In it, he write that “Twitter plans to integrate with the open initiatives offered by our friends at MySpace, Facebook, and Google.”

So that leaves me wondering what other social network I can mention that Twitter is neglecting? How about Nasza Klasa, the largest social network of Poland? After all, it did make Google’s Zeitgeist list this year. Why are you not working with them Twitter?

The nerve.

You can find me on Twitter here along with fellow VentureBeatniks Eric Eldon, Dean Takahashi, Anthony Ha, Chris Morrison and Dan Kaplan. Oh, and we have a VentureBeat account (for our posts) as well.

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Poland wins emissions deal

An EU summit ended in a good deal for Poland, but the UN climate conference appeared to accomplish little
A draft compromise on CO2 emissions cuts, agreed upon at an EU summit in Brussels in December, states that Poland will receive up to 70 percent of its emission allowance for free. The exemption will be gradually phased out by 2020 and is considered a satisfactory improvement on the previous deal, which offered half the emissions allowance for free until 2016.

“Without doubt, [the summot] ended with our success,” said President Lech Kaczyński. Poland had threatened to veto the deal amid concerns that emissions credits would prove too expensive. Over 90 percent of Poland’s power comes from coal-dependent energy plants.

The draft deal creates a solidarity fund, retaining 10 percent of revenues from credit trading, which will be distributed among nine post-communist EU member states to help them invest in cleaner technologies.

An additional two percent of credit trading revenues will be divided among eastern EU members in recognition of the emissions reductions they achieved in the 1990s after the collapse of communism.

“The deal is flexible, allowing for the modernization of the Polish power sector and ensuring that there will not be any steep increase in electricity prices,” a Polish official told Reuters. In other news, on the sidelines of the UN climate change conference in Poznań, Poland entered into tentative agreements with Ireland and the World Bank, each of which will purchase carbon emission credits under the Kyoto Protocol. According to unofficial information, Ireland is ready to buy emission allowances worth EUR15 (zł.59.5) million, while the World Bank signed a separate deal to purchase 10 million tonnes of emissions for around EUR10 (zł.39.6) per tonne.

The Poznań summit finished with a proposal for a “Solidarity Partnership” declaration, but many delegates argued that too little had been done to move forward on climate-change countermeasures.

Source: By Marcin Poznan, Warsaw Business Journal

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Poland's car industry warns PM of possible crisis

Polish car makers have asked the prime minister to take steps to protect the domestic industry from a worldwide drop in demand, an industry representative said Tuesday.

Poland's Chamber of Automotive Industry head Roman Kantorski told The Associated Press that representatives of car dealerships and auto parts producers have written to Prime Minister Donald Tusk urging him to consider steps to cushion the sector against recession. They suggested government guarantees for bank credits and flexibility in saving specialized jobs.

Kantorski said the letter was a precautionary step, but acknowledged that some auto part makers are considering layoffs. He refused to say which firms might make cuts.

Some 97 percent of Poland's car production is exported to markets where demand is falling.
Source:The Associated Press

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Vattenfall withdraws from its investment plans in Poland

The investor is discouraged with the attempts to reduce energy prices. The company does not trust the government any longer while the value of companies it was going to buy for PLN 1bn (EUR 247m) has dropped.

One of the successes of the Ministry of the Treasury was the agreement with Vattenfall to sell the remaining stake of GZE power plants and of Vattenfall Heat Poland.

“We have decided to withdraw from these transactions. The reason is the state policy towards energy prices regulations. The regulator supported by the government aims to force artificial price cut. We don’t trust Poland as we used to. We wouldn’t be surprised if it happened in Venezuela but it’s a shock here”, Torbjorn Wahlborg, Vattenfall Poland CEO said.

He added that the value of companies Vattenfall was going to buy dropped.

“The government cannot be as naïve as to believe that it may regulate energy prices and at the same time get from us prices negotiated in other market conditions”, Torbjorn Wahlborg added.

Two weeks ago, the energy regulator URE said that it won’t approve of energy prices above PLN 155 per MWh while next year’s contracts already amount to PLN 220-230 per MWh.

Vattenfall was supposed to pay over PLN 1bn for both stakes.

“We will wait till the end of the first quarter. Maybe the situation changes”, the CEO added.

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