Before the recession, Poland's gross domestic product was around 6 percent. In 2009, at the height of the market malaise, while EU GDP contracted by 4.9 percent, Poland was the only country in Europe to see a GDP increase of 1.6 percent. Current expectations are for growth of up to 3.5 percent this year and next.
Surely growth like this should be reflected in stocks then, right? Well, it kind of isn't. At least not yet. First, one third of stocks on Poland's main WIG20 index are commodity-based, and sensitive to recent fluctuations in oil and basic resources.
Second, financials PKO Bank, Pekao, and PZU make up 40 percent of the index, and last, but perhaps most important at the moment, a recent big overhaul of the Polish pension system allowed the state to legally take over 51.5 percent of assets, and led to fears that the money pension funds traditionally invested in domestic equities would be scaled back drastically.
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According to Grzegorz Zawada, the Deputy chief executive of the Warsaw Stock Exchange, this hasn't happened. Among other things, he says, because the dividend play still is very strong at 4 percent compared to elsewhere.
Krzysztof Rybinski, the former deputy governor of the Polish Central Bank told me: "Poland is a real puzzle in many ways. With inflation at just 0.5 percent , you would expect to see recession and stagnation. That is not the case here."
Also, for the time being, it is "good deflation" in that it is being driven by oil and food prices.
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