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The Polish zloty met little resistance as it sailed past the 3.77 EUR/PLN level

17.2.2006 9:43

The Polish zloty met little resistance as it sailed past the 3.77 EUR/PLN level extending recent gains to the euro by approximately 0.5% in early trade on Thursday. Bond related inflows which were behind the positive start of the session softened later in the day pushing the EUR/PLN back into calm range trade just above 3.76. Following several unsuccessful attacks on this crucial support level the zloty fell back to the 3.77 area before the closing. With most players preoccupied by this weeks hefty macro calendar the market failed to react to the first public statement made by the new treasury minister Wojciech Jasiński. Defying fears that the new minister would adopt a much firmer stance on privatization issues than his predecessor, Jasinski assured investors that he would not become the “brakeman” of privatization, despite his apparent skepticism toward the private ownership of key sectors of the economy. Jasinski vowed that he would do his best to meet the PLN 5.5 bn privatization revenue target this year, much of which is to come from the sell-off of energy sector companies, mainly utilities. We see this target as rather ambitious, given that only 62.5% of the 2005 goal of just over PLN 3.8 bn was achieved last year.

Moreover the “stabilization partners” LPR and Self Defense are likely to oppose the selling of state-owned utility firms, hence if the government decides to meticulously stick to the plan this could bring about major tensions within the coalition later this year. Late in the evening FinMin Zyta Gilowska said that 2011 would be the most realistic Eurozone entry date for Poland. She added however, that this was her private opinion and did not represent the official government stance. EUR/PLN on the way to the 3.75 support. As for trading today, the market should settle into range trade ahead of the data on industrial output and PPI. The zloty’s response to the publication will largely depend on the reaction of the bond and equity markets. The state budget will be passed by the Sejm today, which although the result of the vote is widely considered a foregone conclusion should weigh on the positive side for the zloty.

(CSOB - Investment research)

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