Privatisation Speed-up

On 11 August the government announced an updated privatisation programme for the years 2008-2010. The revision of the programme was induced by a growing budget deficit due to the global financial crisis.

According to the plan, the sale of state assets will bring 36.7 billion złoty by the end of 2010. There are 15 companies to be privatised by the end of 2009 and a further 39 are scheduled for the following year. In case of four of the listed companies the government will keep the controlling package; this includes copper company KGHM, power companies PGE and Tauron, and the Lotos fuel group.

News of the sale of KGHM assets met with the union’s immediate reaction in the form of a two-hour strike. Despite the failure of the sale of the Gdynia and Szczecin shipyards to a Qatar investor, buyers of the state-owned assets are to be sought in the Middle East. The companies included in the accelerated privatisation programme include LOT, the Warsaw Stock Exchange and the national chemical industry.

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