INTERNATIONAL. The government-backed investment arms of Kuwait and Qatar are interested in the privatisation of Poland’s leading fertiliser makers Pulawy and Police, the head of Polish investment agency PAIiIZ said yesterday.
“There are a couple of sovereign wealth funds interested in a passive form of investing,” Pawel Wojciechowski told reporters.
He mentioned Kuwait Investment Authority and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund as being interested in investments ranging from the purchase of a stake in the Warsaw Stock Exchange and Polish shipyards to real estate and the chemicals sector.
Poland has earmarked the equivalent of US$3.9 billion from the sale of the state-controlled companies in the next year’s budget, but the global financial crisis could makes these plans difficult to achieve.
Earlier this year the government unveiled plans to consolidate the state-controlled chemicals companies into two larger groups and sell them to investors by the end of 2010.
But cash-rich sovereign wealth funds from Asia and the Middle East may be turning cautious after getting burnt by investments in Western firms hit by the current financial turmoil, analysts said.
INTERNATIONAL. We have entered a new chapter in the history of central banking. This paradigm shift changes the policy tools that have traditionally defined the sphere of macroeconomic decision-making; We have built an economy that is now so leveraged that it needs zero percent interest rates just to tread water.
SAUDI ARABIA. Saudi Arabia will need to keep cutting oil output to sustain prices above US$100 a barrel, according to BNP Paribas and Societe Generale; "We are swimming in crude, and they know that better than anyone because they are the biggest exporter."