Bank head nom­i­nated as Pol­ish econ­omy min­is­ter

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

WAR­SAW: The chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Span­ish-owned bank BZ WBK was nom­i­nated yes­ter­day to be econ­omy min­is­ter in Poland’s new Law and Jus­tice (PiS) party gov­ern­ment, a post ex­pected to be given ex­tra pow­ers at the ex­pense of the fi­nance min­istry. PiS won a re­sound­ing elec­tion vic­tory in Oc­to­ber, be­com­ing the first party to win an out­right ma­jor­ity in Poland since the fall of com­mu­nism.

Its eco­nomic plans, in­clud­ing new bank taxes, a mas­sive in­crease in so­cial spend­ing and a mone­tary stim­u­lus plan, have stirred in­vestors’ con­cerns in re­cent months, driv­ing the Pol­ish zloty to a nine-month low against the euro and bank stocks to their low­est level in 2-1/2 years.

Yes­ter­day, Pol­ish stocks rose about 0.4 per­cent fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment that the econ­omy min­istry would be run by 47-year-old Ma­teusz Mo­raw­iecki, head of BZ WBK, Poland’s third-largest bank, owned by San­tander.

Pawel Sza­la­macha, 46, a pri­vati­sa­tion lawyer, was nom­i­nated to head the fi­nance min­istry, which an­a­lysts ex­pect to be stripped of some of its eco­nomic pol­icy pre­rog­a­tives, and to fo­cus on tax col­lec­tion and gov­ern­ment fi­nances.

Prime Min­is­ter-des­ig­nate Beata Szydlo named her can­di­dates at a joint press con­fer­ence with the party’s founder and leader Jaroslaw Kaczyn­ski af­ter a sit­ting of the PiS po­lit­i­cal cabi­net.

“Mo­raw­iecki has ex­ten­sive knowl­edge, he is a pro­fes­sional in his area, he will be a strong pil­lar of the gov­ern­ment,” said Grze­gorz Mal­iszewski, chief econ­o­mist at the War­saw-based Bank Mil­len­nium.

BZ WBK’s mar­ket value has risen by about 80 per­cent since Mo­raw­iecki be­came chief ex­ec­u­tive in mid-2007. Wi­told Waszczykowski, 58, a former am­bas­sador to Iran and NATO, was nom­i­nated as for­eign min­is­ter, and law­maker An­toni Macierewicz as defence min­is­ter. —Reuters

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