Christian Minzolini, Senior Country Officer in Poland, speaks in an interview given to World Finance, comments on BESI's strategy to adapt to the current Polish economy, where the Bank is present since 2008.
"Up until now, the evolution of Polish capitalism has implied a greater importance on local markets, and we have focused mainly on using our foothold for international bond and equity placements. Nevertheless, expectations are changing as Polish companies look further afield than the immediacy of central Europe. Due to the present economic situation and the strength of the dollar, it seems that Polish companies are focusing on emerging countries, specifically the Far East, Latin America and Africa. BESI has historically been present in Latin America and Africa, and is currently increasing its presence in Asia. As such, the company is able to help other Polish companies set up their activities in these markets, and will concentrate on supporting its clients in this way.
There is another area where the game is changing for Poland – local capital markets are adapting drastically as a consequence of private pension fund reforms. Once the major Polish capital market player, private pension funds will decrease in size drastically. They will no longer be allowed to invest in Polish government bonds and will have to concentrate their asset allocation on shares that are not limited to the Polish equity market.
This is likely to create two major consequences. On the one hand, liquid stocks will be favoured by private pension funds, and this situation will have negative consequences for the IPO market, in particular for the companies of lower dimension. Alternatively, access to foreign markets will be gained by private pension funds in order to diversify geographically their portfolios.
BESI, which has access to international markets through its banking group and has a strong local foothold in the Polish investment banking market, will have privileged access to both institutional investors and Polish corporates in order to support them getting closer to international sources of funding, and new market opportunities”.
Christian Minzolini, Senior Country Officer, Poland