Arabian horses from Poland auctioned for EUR 1.6 mln

Photo by Glenn Jacobs, courtesy of Stadnina Koni Michałów
Photo by Glenn Jacobs, courtesy of Stadnina Koni Michałów
Emandorissa, a 9-year-old grey mare, is one of two Polish horses to sell for EUR 450,000 each at the recent international auction at Janów Podlaski stud farm. The horse, which was from a stud farm in Michałów, was bought by a buyer from Qatar.

The following news items appeared in PT Weekly, Poland Today’s weekly business newsletter, on Friday 20 August – free to register here

Arabian horses from Poland auctioned for EUR 1.6 mln.

Janów Podlaski, the renowned state-owned stud farm in Eastern Poland specializing in purebred Arabian horses, has held its 52nd ‘Pride of Poland’ auction, selling 14 horses for a sum of EUR 1.598 mln. The auction consisted of 16 purebred Arabian horses mostly from​ the state-owned studs in Janów Podlaski, Michałów and Białka. The story was covered by most Polish mainstream and business titles. The two most expensive horses, an 11-year-old bay stallion called Equator and a 9-year-old grey mare called Emandorissa, were sold for EUR 450,000 each. Both came from Stadnina Koni Michałów (Stud Farm Michałów). Equator was auctioned to a buyer from Saudi Arabia, and Emandorissa to one from Qatar. Coming close behind, a mare called Brodnica from the Janów Podlaski stud sold for EUR 250,000, and another mare, called El Madera from the Michałów stud, was auctioned for EUR 155,000. Two horses did not reach the minimum price set by the owners and were not sold.

“I am happy with this result because I was worried about how it would go,” said Tomasz Chalimoniuk, president of the Polish Horse Racing Club, the main organizer of the event, after the auction. “It was like reading tea leaves. EUR 1.6 million is a very good result, i.e. over PLN 7 million. The Michałów stud earned over a million euro today.” He added that the auction was attended by a record number of buyers – about 50, with buyers from 29 countries, including Belgium, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

The president of the Polish Arabian Horse Breeders Association, Krzysztof Poszepczyński, told journalists that the demand for Arabian horses is still there, although “it goes up sometimes, sometimes it goes down… In general, horses sell, but the question is, of course, the price,” he said. Recently, these prices have “dropped a little”, he added.

Next week Janów Podlaski will also hold its Summer Sale of Arabian Horses, which will include 19 horses – 16 mares and three stallions.

According to various Polish media titles, Polish Arabian horse studs suffered severe losses in 2020. Daily business broadsheet Rzeczpospolita reported that the Janów Podlaski Stud was “PLN 3,530,000 in the red last year”. The title noted that the situation of the stud “started to deteriorate shortly after PiS took power (in 2015)”. 

From 2000 – 2016 the stud farm at Janów Podlaski was run by veterinarian and Arabian horse breeder Marek Trela, but he was controversially fired by the Agricultural Property Agency in 2016. Trela now runs the Al Ma’wa Reserve for Nature and Wildlife in Jordan. 

 

TVN granted licence to broadcast from The Netherlands

Polish TV station TVN, owned by US media giant Discovery, Inc., has been granted a Dutch broadcasting licence, the company’s management board announced, as published by Polish press agency PAP. TVN’s management added that if the Polish state media regulator KRRiT fails to issue a decision on the extension of a licence for its 24-hour news channel, TVN24, by the time it expires on 26 September, the station will be able to continue broadcasting under its Dutch licence in line with Polish and EU law. TVN24 applied to renew its licence in February 2020. The network has been the target of a recently-passed media law amendment limiting ownership of Polish media companies to entities based in the European Economic Area owing to its critical coverage of the government.

In a written statement, TVN stated: “The most important mission of TVN24 is to provide viewers with constant access to independent, fact-based and verified information. Considering the unjustified suspension of the decision on the renewal of the TVN24 licence by the National Broadcasting Council for one and a half years, we must be ready for any eventuality. Therefore, in July this year, a Dutch broadcasting licence was applied for and has been granted… However, we still believe that we will not be forced to take advantage of it. We meet all the conditions to obtain a licence in Poland, so we appeal for it to be granted immediately.”

TVN went on to “emphatically emphasise” that “obtaining a licence for the TVN24 channel in the Netherlands in no way solves the problem we are dealing with in connection with the amendment to the Act on Radio and Television passed by the Sejm (lower house of parliament – PAP). In its present shape, it hits all our channels, including TVN, undermining freedom of speech, media independence and private property. We again urge the authorities to reject this harmful amendment. We are also fully determined to defend the right of our viewers and all Poles to free media and free choice.”

The vote by the Sejm, Poland’s lower house, to pass the amendment to the Broadcasting Act (also known as Lex TVN), which would prevent companies from outside the European Economic Area from holding a controlling stake of over 49% in Polish media companies – made headlines around the world. 228 MPs voted for, 216 against, and there were 10 abstentions. 

US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, was “deeply troubled”. 

The next stage is a vote by the Senate, which is expected to reject it, sending it back to the Sejm. If it is once again passed by the Sejm, it will be sent to Poland’s government-aligned President Andrzej Duda, who would be expected to sign it into law. 

Poland is currently ranked 64th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders (RSF’s 2021 World Press Freedom Index.

 

Fintech giant Klarna – started by a Swede of Polish origin – now operating in Poland 

Klarna Bank AB (commonly referred to as Klarna), the Swedish fintech company that provides online financial services – and whose co-founder and CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski is of Polish origin –  is officially operating on the Polish deferred payments market, according to a story in cashless.pl. The fintech, valued at nearly USD 46bn, offers deferred payments in the “Zapłać za 30 dni” (Pay in 30 days) programme, meaning ‘buy now, pay later’.

Customers of online shops cooperating with Klarna may pay for purchases after about one month. During this time they can check, try on, try out or possibly return the ordered product, says cashless.pl. The customer chooses the payment method on the shop’s website and, in turn, the seller receives the money immediately after the purchase. Klarna takes over the collection of the payment from the buyer.

Klarna’s first e-commerce partner in Poland is retailer H&M. According to the press release, customers can browse recommended shops and manage payments with integrated sellers. Buyers can also use shopping lists, create their own collections, and activate notifications of promotions and price discounts. Other features are expected to be added soon.

Sebastian Siemiatkowski was present at the Warsaw premiere of the “Pay in 30 days” service. 

Siemiatkowski – who was born in Stockholm of Polish parents and is a Swedish citizen – co-created Klarna 16 years ago, when he was 23 years old. “In 2005, two friends and I had an idea of making it easier for people to shop online,” Siemiatkowski writes on his Linkedin profile. “That idea became Klarna, which today is the most valued fintech company in Europe. With 85 million shoppers and 205 000 retailers in our family, Klarna is the biggest Buy Now Pay Later company in the world.” According to cashless.pl, the fintech has 90 million users worldwide at present and employs 4,000 people. The company also has a full banking licence and processes 2 million transactions a day. Its services are used by 250,000 shops. This year, Siemiątkowski made his debut on the Forbes richest list in 1444th place, with a net worth of USD 2.2 billion. The majority of his assets are his shares in Klarna.

Cashless.pl asked Sebastian Siemiatkowski if he wasn’t worried that Klarna is coming to the Polish market a little too late, with similar services already provided by several other companies such as Twisto, Allegro or PayPo, some with great success: “He replied that of course he is aware of the competition, but Klarna has prepared very carefully for the start in Poland, selecting the offer and expanding the network of cooperating sellers. He added that the company has been winning customers worldwide by offering a simple and functional payment method, thanks to which it could compete on the Western markets with, for example, the powerful PayPal, which had already been present there for several years. In his opinion, this will also be the case now. Whether he is right and Klarna will be among the leaders of deferred payments in Poland we will find out soon.”

 

Poland’s 3rd longest extradosed bridge to open soon over the Dunajec

Final works are underway on the 602m-long, 17.2m-wide ‘extradosed’ bridge – the 3rd longest of its kind in Poland, according to Business Insider – over the river Dunajec in Kurów, a village close to Nowy Sącz in Southern Poland. The bridge is part of national road number 75 which runs from Kraków to the Slovakian border near the village of Muszynka.

An extradosed bridge is one that employs a structure combining the main elements of both a prestressed box girder bridge and a cable-stayed bridge. The longest extradosed bridge in Poland is in Kwidzyn on the Vistula (808.4 m), followed by the bridge on the Ostróda bypass (677 m). The longest bridge of any kind in Poland is the 1.7km-long Rędziński Bridge over the Oder river in Wrocław. 

The contractor for the investment is a Polish-Hungarian consortium of companies: Przedsiębiorstwo Wielobranżowe BANIMEX from Będzin and Hódút (Hódmezővásárhelyi Útépitő) from Hungary. The contract was signed on June 10, 2019 costing over PLN 189 million.

The Dunajec is a 249-km long river, initially a tributary of the River Vistula, running through northeastern Slovakia and southern Poland, forming the border between Slovakia and Poland for 17 kms. 

 

US investment bank expects almost 6% GDP growth for Poland in 2021

Goldman Sachs expects Poland’s GDP to expand by 5.8% this year, as reported by PAP. According to the US investment bank’s experts, although the country’s GDP results for Q2 were slightly lower than expectations, they still suggest a strong rebound as indicated by industrial production, retail trade, and construction sector data. The growth forecast for Poland is supported by the ongoing vaccination rollout in Poland, which is developing at an ever faster pace, and by the country’s lifting the Covid-related restrictions – they added.  According to an estimate by Statistics Poland (GUS), Polish GDP increased a record 10.9% y-y in Q2 2021 from a 0.9-pct drop y/y in Q1. In quarterly terms, Poland’s GDP grew by 1.9%, Statistics Poland said.

According to Statista, the market and consumer data specialist company from Germany: “Gross domestic product in Poland has been increasing since 2016 and is expected to reach approximately USD 861.83 billion by 2025. Poland’s economy tripled in size during the early 2000s, before being hit by the global financial crisis. After several years of fluctuation, Poland’s GDP recently reached an all-time high of around USD 595.77 billion U.S. in 2019,” before dropping slightly in 2020. In 2021, Statista expects Poland’s GDP to hit 642.12. In comparison, in 2021 – in USD billion – Spain’s is expected to be 1561.55, Italy’s 2106.29, France’s 2938.27, the UK’s 3124.65 and Germany’s 4319.29. 

July 15, 2021
PGNiG completes construction of two new gas wells
PGNiG oil & gas refinery in Poland With the recent cold winter and the increasing reduction in the importance of coal as a source of energy in Poland’s energy mix, the demand for gas has risen - as have gas prices. This is the context for PGNiG completing the drilling of two new gas wells [...]
Written by: Richard Stephens