Poland launches global roadshow, plans panda bonds

By bne IntelliNews February 8, 2016

The Polish finance ministry is to launch an international roadshow to convince investors that the economy is robust and the recent downgrade from Standard & Poor’s was unfair, local media reported on February 8. Warsaw is also mulling a yuan-denominated bond, officials claim.

Poland had seen yields for on its 10-year benchmark bonds spike to over 3% following the surprise downgrade on January 15. Warsaw has repeatedly said the downgrade was unjustified on the grounds of economic performance of CEE’s biggest economy. Although pricing has recovered since, yields are still elevated compared to the level seen ahead of the election of the populist Law & Justice in late October.

Representatives of the Polish finance ministry kicked off the roadshow in the US on February 8, to be followed by a trip to London later this month. March will see them tour Asian markets, including Hong Kong, Japan, and China.

"The First [feedback] from the US investors is encouraging," deputy Finance Minister Piotr Nowak told Puls Biznesu. "We also want to take advantage of the positive climate about Poland in China. We will be in China at the end of March or the beginning of April, as we are considering issuing of panda bonds," the official added, claiming Warsaw has "received signals there is interest".

Poland is believed to be on track for GDP growth of at least 3.6% in 2015, supported by robust consumption, good industrial output and exports. S&P's decision accentuated political factors, but also noted threats to the independence of the central bank and to the stability of the banking sector.  The other two major rating agencies have since sounded warnings on those issues also.

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