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. Is it time to stop thinking about stabilizing Syria and Iraq and start thinking of a new dynamic outside of the artificial states that no longer function? To do this, we need to go back to Lebanon, the first state that disintegrated and the first place where clans took control of their own destiny.
UAE. With its oil wealth, population growth and strong demand for industrial and consumer goods, the MENA region is an attractive market. There are, however, potential pitfalls in doing business, particularly when it comes to appointing local agents to distribute products in the region.
SAUDI ARABIA. Strong demand fundamentals combined with increased public and private sector spending pushed up the average sales price; Momentum expected to continue as Riyadh attracts and promotes investment in industrial and supporting logistics facilities.