Edition:
United Kingdom

Alan Charlish

Poland's Kaczynski promises harsher sentences for child abuse

12 May 2019

WARSAW The leader of Poland's conservative ruling party promised harsher sentences for child abuse on Sunday, as the release of a documentary about paedophile priests created a fresh battleground in an election campaign marked by debate on religion and sexuality.

Polish far-right supporters protest against restitution of Jewish property

11 May 2019

WARSAW Hundreds of far-right supporters marched in Warsaw on Saturday to protest against a U.S. law on the restitution of Jewish property seized during or after World War Two, an issue increasingly featuring in campaigns for upcoming Polish elections.

Poles stage protest rally in support of LGBT activist

07 May 2019

WARSAW Hundreds of Polish gay rights activists staged a protest rally on Tuesday evening over the brief detention of a woman who posted images near a church of the Virgin Mary with her halo painted to resemble the rainbow flag of the LGBT community.

CEE MARKETS-Zloty eases slightly as Polish retail sales growth slows

23 Apr 2019

* Polish retail sales slow in March on Easter effect * Zloty, forint ease slightly, euro remains under pressure * Bond yields track Bunds higher By Sandor Peto and Alan Charlish BUDAPEST/WARSAW, April 23 Central Europe's main currencies eased slightly on Tuesday as retail sales growth in Poland slowed more than expected in March. The region's most liquid units, the zloty and the forint, each fell 0.1 percent by 0852 GMT. They did not follow a strengthening of the rouble driven by a rise in crude prices. The region's economies are oil importers, and are linked to the euro which remains under pressure after last week's weak euro zone purchasing managers' index figures. Poland's annual retail sales growth slowed more than expected to 3.1 percent in March. A more than 20 percent surge in spending on durable goods, however, indicated that consumer demand remained robust, analysts said. "Shops were closed on 4 out of 5 Sundays in the month and secondly ... Easter was later this year than last year, shifting increased purchases into April," said Monika Kurtek, Chief Economist if Bank Pocztowy, explaining the March slowdown. The zloty, trading at 4.2879 versus the euro, was still firmer than its 200- and 90-day moving averages at 4.297. The forint traded at 320.7, staying near the 320 line where it has been hovering since late last month when the Hungarian central bank gave up its earlier guidance of gradual monetary tightening. "I do not expect the bank to do anything at its meeting next week," Raiffeisen analyst Zoltan Torok said. While regional stocks mostly eased slightly, government bonds tracked a rise in Bund yields. Poland's 10-year yield rose 2 basis points to 2.893 from April 18, the last session before the Easter holidays. Moody's affirmed Poland's 'A2' rating and maintained a stable outlook on Friday, saying it did not expect a planned increase in public spending around Polish elections late this year to worsen the outlook. The agency could upgrade both Croatia and Slovenia in reviews due on Friday as the two European Union members' economic and fiscal performance is strong, Raiffeisen analyst Gintaras Shlizhyus said in a note. "In Croatia we remain on Hold due to tight Eurobond valuations though, strategically speaking, Croatia can become next EU-convergence play if its plan to file the ERM-2 application this year gets the EU support," he added. The kuna firmed 0.1 percent versus the euro to 7.424. CEE SNAPSHOT AT MARKETS 1052 CET CURRENCI ES Latest Previous Daily Change bid close change in 2019 Czech <EURCZK= 25.7240 25.7150 -0.03% -0.07% crown > Hungary <EURHUF= 320.7500 320.3900 -0.11% +0.10% forint > Polish <EURPLN= 4.2879 4.2838 -0.10% +0.04% zloty > Romanian <EURRON= 4.7575 4.7570 -0.01% -2.18% leu > Croatian <EURHRK= 7.4240 7.4305 +0.09% -0.19% kuna > Serbian <EURRSD= 117.8900 118.0100 +0.10% +0.35% dinar > Note: calculated from 1800 CET daily change Latest Previous Daily Change close change in 2019 Prague 1098.17 1101.670 -0.32% +11.31% 0 Budapest 42726.74 42810.11 -0.19% +9.17% Warsaw 2368.42 2365.36 +0.13% +4.03% Bucharest 8383.03 8402.88 -0.24% +13.53% Ljubljana <.SBITOP 880.20 879.35 +0.10% +9.44% > Zagreb 1820.86 1818.63 +0.12% +4.12% Belgrade <.BELEX1 749.00 748.34 +0.09% -1.67% 5> Sofia 572.92 575.29 -0.41% -3.62% BONDS Yield Yield Spread Daily (bid) change vs Bund change in Czech spread Republic 2-year <CZ2YT=R 1.7260 -0.1080 +231bps -12bps R> 5-year <CZ5YT=R 1.7180 0.0340 +210bps +2bps R> 10-year <CZ10YT= 1.8430 0.0020 +179bps -3bps RR> Poland 2-year <PL2YT=R 1.6200 -0.0850 +220bps -9bps R> 5-year <PL5YT=R 2.2300 0.0110 +261bps +0bps R> 10-year <PL10YT= 2.9110 0.0220 +286bps -1bps RR> FORWARD RATE AGREEMEN T 3x6 6x9 9x12 3M interban k Czech Rep 2.19 2.21 2.20 2.02 <PRIBOR= > Hungary 0.32 0.45 0.64 0.16 Poland 1.75 1.76 1.77 1.72 Note: FRA are for ask prices quotes ************************************************* ************* (Reporting by Sandor Peto Editing by Andrew Heavens)

Poland advocates for a long Brexit delay if deal not passed: PM

29 Mar 2019

WARSAW Warsaw is ready for another Brexit delay if London fails to ratify the European Union withdrawal agreement on Friday, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said after talks with the bloc's chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

Poland advocates for a long Brexit delay if deal not passed - PM

29 Mar 2019

WARSAW Warsaw is ready for another Brexit delay if London fails to ratify the European Union withdrawal agreement on Friday, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said after talks with the bloc's chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

Poland advocates for a long Brexit delay if deal not passed - PM

29 Mar 2019

WARSAW Warsaw is ready for another Brexit delay if London fails to ratify the stalled withdrawal agreement on Friday, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said after talks with the bloc's chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

Polish charity condemns church's response to abuse allegations

18 Mar 2019

WARSAW A Polish charity helping victims of child abuse committed by Catholic priests condemned the church's unapologetic response to its allegations as "offensive" on Monday.

Hungary's Orban says his party could quit EU's conservative bloc

08 Mar 2019

BUDAPEST/WARSAW Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday his nationalist Fidesz party may leave Europe's main conservative group over a row about anti-EU election campaigning.

CEE MARKETS-Leu leads currency firming, stocks mostly ease

27 Feb 2019

* Leu leads rise as CEE currencies set or test multi-week highs * Hopes help leu for end of uncertainty over bank tax * Local factors move stock indexes rather than global gloom (Recasts with Romanian finance minister comments and leu surge, comments from Hungarian Prime Minister Orban and dealer) By Sandor Peto and Alan Charlish BUDAPEST/WARSAW, Feb 27 The leu led Central European currencies higher on Wednesday after Romanian Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici pledged to end uncertainty over a bank tax. Regional currencies were helped by a weaker dollar, hawkish central bank comments from Budapest and hopes that Britain will not quit the European Union without a deal. The Romanian leu touched a two-week high at 4.732 against the euro, before retreating to 4.7415 by 1421 GMT, still up by 0.4 percent. A new tax effective this year would exempt several types of financial assets, Teodorovici said ahead of a meeting with banks, which he said could dispel fears and uncertainty. Banca Transilvania shares still fell by 3.8 percent after the lender reported a modest rise in 2018 profits. . Its fall was the main cause of a 1.1 percent decline in Bucharest's bluechip stock index. The region's stock indexes were driven by local factors. Prague's index rose by 0.2 percent, lifted by 1.5 percent rise in the shares of MONETA after Home Credit Group pulled out of a deal to sell its Czech and Slovak businesses to the Czech bank. Budapest's main index fell as OTP Bank struggled to break through a technical resistance level at 11,850 forints ($42.68) for the third day, ahead of the release of its fourth-quarter earnings on Friday. Regional government bond markets were steady, eyeing comments from Prime Minister Viktor Orban and the central bank that in the longer term all Hungarian state debt should be held by domestic investors. Foreign investors currently hold 4.24 trillion forints ($15.28 billion) worth of forint-denominated government bonds, about a third of such papers, and most of Hungary's foreign currency bonds worth about 4.9 trillion forints. The forint hits its strongest level since Feb. 1 at 316.16 versus the euro. At 1421 GMT it traded at 316.34, still up 0.1 percent, while the zloty firmed 0.2 percent to 4.316. They were buoyed by a weakening of the dollar after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Tuesday stuck to the central bank's "patient" stance on further interest rate increases. "Direction of flows changed on Monday. London banks, responsible for EURPLN buying for last 2 weeks, have been on the offer," one Warsaw-based dealer said, adding that hopes for a delay in Brexit and profit taking helped. CEE SNAPSHOT AT MARKETS 1521 CET CURRENCI ES Latest Previous Daily Change bid close change in 2019 Czech <EURCZK= 25.6600 25.6500 -0.04% +0.18% crown > Hungary <EURHUF= 316.3400 316.6000 +0.08% +1.50% forint > Polish <EURPLN= 4.3160 4.3254 +0.22% -0.61% zloty > Romanian <EURRON= 4.7415 4.7625 +0.44% -1.85% leu > Croatian <EURHRK= 7.4300 7.4275 -0.03% -0.27% kuna > Serbian <EURRSD= 118.0100 118.1700 +0.14% +0.25% dinar > Note: calculated from 1800 CET daily change Latest Previous Daily Change close change in 2019 Prague 1067.46 1065.390 +0.19% +8.20% 0 Budapest 40580.44 40819.08 -0.58% +3.68% Warsaw 2354.66 2365.93 -0.48% +3.43% Bucharest 7688.27 7775.17 -1.12% +4.13% Ljubljana <.SBITOP 844.13 844.39 -0.03% +4.96% > Zagreb 1779.86 1782.77 -0.16% +1.78% Belgrade <.BELEX1 684.52 680.12 +0.65% -10.13% 5> Sofia 592.28 591.07 +0.20% -0.37% BONDS Yield Yield Spread Daily (bid) change vs Bund change in Czech spread Republic 2-year <CZ2YT=R 1.8260 0.0420 +238bps +4bps R> 5-year <CZ5YT=R 1.8080 -0.0040 +216bps -2bps R> 10-year <CZ10YT= 1.9160 -0.0130 +178bps -4bps RR> Poland 2-year <PL2YT=R 1.6230 -0.0890 +217bps -9bps R> 5-year <PL5YT=R 2.2720 0.0180 +262bps +1bps R> 10-year <PL10YT= 2.8840 0.0210 +275bps +0bps RR> FORWARD RATE AGREEMEN T 3x6 6x9 9x12 3M interban k Czech Rep 2.26 2.32 2.35 2.02 <PRIBOR= > Hungary 0.38 0.62 0.79 0.15 Poland 1.74 1.74 1.74 1.72 Note: FRA are for ask prices quotes ************************************************* ************* ($1 = 277.5200 forints) (Additional reporting by Luiza Ilie in Bucharest; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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