Polish companies must further expand, foreign investors say

Polish companies are attractive for foreign institutional investors, especially as the country’s economy is developing dynamically, believe participants of the CEE Capital Markets conference in London.

Some 40 companies from Poland and Central and Eastern Europe are meeting with representatives of over 40 foreign institutional investors at the 7th CEE Capital Markets Conference underway in London since Monday.

The goal of the event is to promote Poland's capital market among foreign investors. Bank PKO BP Deputy CEO Jakub Papierski noted that foreign investors' interest in companies from Central and Eastern Europe is rather large "despite Brexit and various regulations which do not make life easier for companies or investors."

The key message for investors is that Poland's economy is growing, added the banker.

According to representatives of the PKO BP, the Polish Development Fund and the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE), Poland is seen as a very good place to invest in view of good economic performance, the positive condition of public finances and development prospects.

"In 2018, Poland posted one of the best economic results in recent history," PKO BP CEO Zbigniew Jagiełło stressed.

PKO BP's chief economist, Piotr Bujak, added that Poland continues to enjoy a very good macroeconomic situation. "There are no major threats to the country's stability. A considerable reduction of the debt against the GDP and the improvement of Poland's international investment position are two elements which allow looking to the future with considerable optimism," said Bujak.

Meanwhile, WSE CEO Marek Dietl listed the lack of large companies on the Warsaw floor as one of the weaknesses of the Polish capital market. He recalled that in the past 30 years, half the companies quoted on world stock exchanges have withdrawn from them but added that today quoted companies are three times bigger than 30 years ago.

Zbigniew Jagiełło added that Polish firms are rather small. "We have too few big companies. According to estimates, we are short of some 100-200 companies with turnover exceeding PLN 1 billion (EUR 230 million)," he observed.