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United Kingdom

Alan Charlish

Brexit deal at hand in Brussels, Johnson struggles to win support at home

8:06pm BST

BRUSSELS/WARSAW Britain and the European Union were on the verge of a last-minute Brexit deal on Wednesday but Prime Minister Boris Johnson still has work to do at home to ensure his government and factious parliament approve the plan. | Video

Poland's justice minister lays out court reform plans before election

11 Oct 2019

WARSAW Poland's justice minister outlined plans for a further overhaul of the justice system in comments published on Friday, two days before an election the ruling nationalists are expected to win.

Poland's ruling right-wing party banks on child subsidy to win election

07 Oct 2019

NOWA KARCZMA, Poland Maria Kolsut will be thinking about her financial security when she votes for Poland's ruling right-wing party in Sunday's parliamentary election.

CEE MARKETS-Big swings in Polish assets as EU court rules on FX mortgages

03 Oct 2019

* EU top court rules in favour of Swiss franc mortgage holders * Verdict could lead to costs for banks * Polish banking index falls * High volatility in Polish zloty By Alan Charlish WARSAW, Oct 3 The Polish zloty strengthened and banking stocks in central Europe's largest economy were mixed after the European Union's top court ruled on Thursday in favour of Polish consumers in a long running dispute over Swiss franc mortgages. The ruling allows Polish consumers to ask courts to convert their loans into local currency. Some analysts said the terms of that conversion were likely to favour consumers, and potentially lead to costs for banks, although others thought the verdict was less harsh on lenders than it might have been. There were big swings in the zloty and Polish banking stocks as traders tried to interpret the ruling. "There are sudden moves both ways, the market is not sure what to do with it," said a Warsaw-based currency dealer, adding he was waiting for lawyers' opinions of the verdict. Ahead of the ruling, the zloty strengthened against the euro to 4.3604 before weakening to 4.3661 and finally settling to trade at around 4.3441, 0.3% stronger on the day, at 1015 GMT. "Given that it (the verdict) is somewhat less harsh than some investors expected we have appreciation of the zloty," ING Senior economist Piotr Poplawski said. Banking stocks also gained immediately before the verdict, but Warsaw's WIG Banks index was trading 1.35% lower on the day at 1015 GMT. The worst performers were BNP Paribas Bank Polska (-7.7%) and Santander Bank Polska (-3.9%). "We think the decision creates uncertainty about the overall amount and timing of potential bank losses but also that it represents less of an immediate risk about the banking system as a whole," said Morgan Stanley analyst Georgi Deyanov in a note. In Romania, the central bank kept its key interest rate unchanged at 2.50%, as expected. The leu was little changed after the decision. Other currencies in the region were slightly stronger, with the Czech crown gaining 0.09% and the Hungarian forint up 0.17%. Benchmark Polish 10-year yields dropped 2.6 basis points to 1.982%, while Czech 10-year yields fell 2.7 basis points to 1.324%. "Polish government bonds follow core markets, follow U.S. treasuries, follow German bunds and these are lower across the curve," said Pekao economist Arkadiusz Urbanski, pointing to a series of weaker U.S. macroeconomic figures released recently. CEE SNAPSH AT MARKETS OT 1212 CET CURREN CIES Latest Previo Daily Change us bid close change in 2019 EURCZK Czech <EURCZK 25.761 25.782 +0.08 -0.21% = crown => 0 0 % EURHUF Hungary <EURHUF 333.45 333.75 +0.09 -3.71% = forint => 00 00 % EURPLN Polish <EURPLN 4.3425 4.3584 +0.37 -1.22% = zloty => % EURRON Romania <EURRON 4.7475 4.7464 -0.02% -1.97% = n leu => EURHRK Croatia <EURHRK 7.4160 7.4133 -0.04% -0.08% = n kuna => EURRSD Serbian <EURRSD 117.36 117.46 +0.09 +0.80 = dinar => 00 00 % % Note: calculated from 1800 daily CET change Latest Previo Daily Change us close change in 2019 .PX Prague 1005.7 1010.0 -0.43% +1.94 1 300 % .BUX Budapes 39728. 39416. +0.79 +1.51 t 70 77 % % .WIG20 Warsaw <.WIG20 2098.4 2098.2 +0.01 -7.83% > 2 8 % .BETI Buchare 9421.2 9425.2 -0.04% +27.6 st 4 0 0% .SBITO Ljublja <.SBITO 862.16 860.16 +0.23 +7.20 P na P> % % .CRBEX Zagreb <.CRBEX 1932.4 1948.2 -0.81% +10.5 > 7 1 0% .BELEX Belgrad <.BELEX 745.29 752.64 -0.98% -2.15% 15 e 15> .SOFIX Sofia <.SOFIX 564.10 568.53 -0.78% -5.11% > BONDS Yield Yield Spread Daily (bid) change vs change Bund in Czech spread Republi c CZ2YT= <CZ2YT= 1.3730 0.0000 +214b +1bps RR 2-year RR> ps CZ5YT= <CZ5YT= 1.1100 -0.043 +192b -2bps RR 5-year RR> 0 ps CZ10YT <CZ10YT 1.3240 -0.027 +190b +1bps =RR 10-year =RR> 0 ps Poland PL2YT= <PL2YT= 1.5050 -0.009 +227b +0bps RR 2-year RR> 0 ps PL5YT= <PL5YT= 1.7320 -0.030 +255b +0bps RR 5-year RR> 0 ps PL10YT <PL10YT 1.9820 -0.026 +256b +1bps =RR 10-year =RR> 0 ps FORWARD RATE AGREEM ENT 3x6 6x9 9x12 3M interb ank Czech <CZKFRA 2.22 2.15 2.02 2.16 Rep ><PRIBO R=> Hungary <HUFFRA 0.27 0.32 0.35 0.21 ><BUBOR => Poland <PLNFRA 1.74 1.70 1.67 1.72 ><WIBOR => Note: are for ask FRA prices quotes **************************************** ********************** (Reporting by Alan Charlish in Warsaw, Radu-Sorin Marinas in Bucharest and Gergely Szakacs in Budapest; Editing by Mark Potter)

Poland's ruling PiS vows to boost public healthcare ahead of vote

28 Sep 2019

WARSAW, Sept 28 Poland's ruling nationalists promised on Saturday to raise funding of the health service, another hefty spending pledge in an election campaign where they have sought to position themselves as champions of the welfare state.

CEE MARKETS-Hungarian forint slips after lower-than-expected CPI

10 Sep 2019

By Alan Charlish WARSAW, Sept 10 The Hungarian forint softened on Tuesday after a lower than expected inflation reading confirmed the country's central bank can maintain its loose policy and left investors to focus on likely monetary easing by the ECB later this week. Hungary's headline inflation slowed to an annual 3.1% in August, below analyst forecasts for 3.2%, after hitting a seven-year-high of 3.9% in May. Czech consumer prices rose 2.9% in August, remaining near the top of the central bank's target range. At 0839 GMT the Hungarian forint was 0.38% weaker against the euro at 331.20. The Czech crown and Polish zloty were broadly flat at 25.86 and 4.3345 respectively. "The recent lower than expected headline inflation might have an effect on the forint...(It) means that the National Bank of Hungary (NBH) can move its focus to the global central banks," said Peter Virovacz, Senior Economist, Hungary at ING. "I'm not saying that the next move of the NBH will be an easing, but with the lowering inflation and of course other central banks doing easing..., it increases the chance that the next move by the NBH will be rather a dovish one." The European Central Bank (ECB) is widely expected to introduce a package of monetary easing and stimulus measures on Thursday to offset the effects of an ongoing U.S.-Sino trade war and a global economic slowdown. The U.S. Federal Reserve is also widely expected to cut interest rates next week as policymakers race to shield the global economy from risks, which include Britain's planned exit from the European Union. Poland's Monetary Policy council will meet on Wednesday and is expected to keep its benchmark interest rate at a record low of 1.5%. The Czech inflation figure was mainly influenced by housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, reflecting the tight housing market, the country's statistics office said. "Although the domestic economy is a proinflationary factor and as such it would be a reason strong enough to hike interest rates, the Czech National Bank will remain cautious and it will stay in the wait-and-see mode due to the risks in global economy," Ceska Sporitelna/Erste said in a note. Bond yields across Europe rose after Reuters reported that Germany was considering setting up independent public agencies that could take on new debt to invest in the country's flagging economy without falling foul of strict national spending rules. Polish bond yields ticked higher across the curve, with 10-year yields up 2 basis points at 2.1070%. In the Czech Republic the yield on 10-year paper rose 5 basis points to 1.3180% but 2-year and 5-year yields fell. Stocks were mainly lower as investors stuck to the sidelines ahead of the ECB's monetary policy meeting. Budapest's main index was down 1.02% and Prague's PX index slid 0.39%. Warsaw's WIG 20 index was almost flat. CEE SNAPSH AT MARKETS OT 1039 CET CURREN CIES Latest Previou Daily Change s bid close change in 2019 Czech <EURCZK= 25.860 25.8500 -0.04% -0.59% crown > 0 Hungary <EURHUF= 331.20 329.950 -0.38% -3.05% forint > 00 0 Polish <EURPLN= 4.3345 4.3345 +0.00% -1.04% zloty > Romanian <EURRON= 4.7315 4.7295 -0.04% -1.64% leu > Croatian <EURHRK= 7.3940 7.3985 +0.06% +0.22% kuna > Serbian <EURRSD= 117.50 117.530 +0.03% +0.68% dinar > 00 0 Note: calculated from 1800 daily CET change Latest Previou Daily Change s close change in 2019 Prague 1029.4 1033.49 -0.39% +4.34% 1 00 Budapest 40071. 40484.7 -1.02% +2.38% 05 5 Warsaw 2175.7 2174.41 +0.06% -4.43% 4 Bucharest 9248.1 9234.57 +0.15% +25.25 3 % Ljubljana <.SBITOP 847.83 847.45 +0.04% +5.42% > Zagreb 1877.0 1866.96 +0.54% +7.33% 0 Belgrade <.BELEX1 750.86 753.14 -0.30% -1.42% 5> Sofia 573.24 573.70 -0.08% -3.57% BONDS Yield Yield Spread Daily (bid) change vs Bund change in Czech spread Republic 2-year <CZ2YT=R 1.2140 -0.0420 +204bp -4bps R> s 5-year <CZ5YT=R 0.9770 -0.0130 +184bp -2bps R> s 10-year <CZ10YT= 1.3180 0.0510 +189bp +4bps RR> s Poland 2-year <PL2YT=R 1.5990 0.0040 +243bp +1bps R> s 5-year <PL5YT=R 1.8830 0.0100 +275bp +0bps R> s 10-year <PL10YT= 2.1070 0.0190 +268bp +1bps RR> s FORWARD RATE AGREEME NT 3x6 6x9 9x12 3M interba nk Czech Rep 2.10 2.00 1.85 2.14 <PRIBOR= > Hungary 0.32 0.35 0.38 0.23 Poland 1.74 1.72 1.71 1.72 Note: FRA are for ask quotes prices ********************************************* ***************** (Reporting by Alan Charlish in Warsaw, Robert Muller in Prague and Krisztina Than in Budapest Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Most CEE currencies seen firming as global markets settle: Reuters poll

05 Sep 2019

WARSAW/PRAGUE Central Europe's main currencies will firm against the euro in the next 12 months, a Reuters poll found, but much depends on calmer conditions in global markets and delivery of expected monetary easing in the euro zone and the United States.

U.S. and Poland urge tougher checks on foreign influence over 5G networks

02 Sep 2019

WARSAW The United States and Poland believe suppliers of 5G network equipment should be rigorously evaluated for foreign government control, a joint declaration signed on Monday said, as Washington pressures allies to exclude China from 5G networks.

CEE MARKETS-Currencies mixed ahead of Powell speech

23 Aug 2019

By Alan Charlish WARSAW, Aug 23 Central European currencies were mixed on Friday, as investors eyed a speech by Federal Reserve Chief Jerome Powell for indications as to whether the U.S. central bank will cut rates further. Powell will give a speech to central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming at 1400 GMT. Earlier some Fed policymakers, even those who supported July's rate cut, signaled reluctance to do more, which cooled expectations of further easing. "Yesterday's speeches by the U.S. central bankers slightly eased the appetite for quick rate cuts," PKO Bank Polski analysts said in a note. At 0951 GMT the Czech crown was little changed against the euro at 25.758, while the Polish zloty was bid at 4.3561 after having touched 4.3768 on Thursday. The minutes of the July sitting of the Polish Monetary Policy Council (MPC) showed a motion to raise interest rates by 25 basis points was filed and rejected. Poland's benchmark interest rate has been at a record low of 1.5% since March 2015, and central bank governor Adam Glapinski has repeatedly said that rates may remain on hold until the end of the current MPC term in 2022. "We cannot rule out that the governor will actually try to show some dovish rhetoric in order to counter the impression stemming from the hike vote," Santander Bank Polska analysts said in a note. The Hungarian forint continued to drift, down 0.08% on the day at 328.36. "The important 327.6 (per euro) technical level appears to have fallen in the EUR/HUF pair," analysts at Erste Investment said in a note. "The currency opened at 328.2 per euro this morning. Absent any quick reversal, the forint's latest bout of weakening seen over the past two weeks could see it extend losses up to the 330 mark," they added. Bond yields continued to tick up, rebounding from lows hit earlier in the month. At 0822 GMT the Polish 10-year yield was up 4.4 basis points at 2.079%, while Czech 10-year yields were up 4.7 basis points at 1.125%. "In our opinion 10-year bond yields may stay around 2.00% in the coming days with expectations of further action in foreign monetary policy," PKO BP analysts wrote. The region's main stock indexes were higher, with Warsaw's blue-chip WIG 20 up 0.80%, Prague's PXPX> up 0.32% and the Budapest SE up 0.54%. In Warsaw, mining company JSW topped the WIG 20, rising 2.2% after it reported second-quarter net profit of 133.3 million zlotys, above expectations. CEE MARKETS SNAPSHOT AT 1053 CET CURRENCIES Latest Previous Daily Change bid close change in 2019 EURCZK= Czech crown 25.7620 25.7785 +0.06% -0.21% EURHUF= Hungary forint 328.4000 328.2550 -0.04% -2.23% EURPLN= Polish zloty 4.3560 4.3621 +0.14% -1.52% EURRON= Romanian leu 4.7210 4.7205 -0.01% -1.42% EURHRK= Croatian kuna 7.3935 7.3920 -0.02% +0.22% EURRSD= Serbian dinar 117.8100 117.8900 +0.07% +0.42% Note: daily change calculated from 1800 CET Latest Previous Daily Change close change in 2019 .PX Prague 1047.05 1042.3200 +0.45% +6.13% .BUX Budapest 39613.04 39394.71 +0.55% +1.21% .WIG20 Warsaw 2119.12 2108.05 +0.53% -6.92% .BETI Bucharest 9138.63 9119.36 +0.21% +23.77% .SBITOP Ljubljana 863.65 864.56 -0.11% +7.38% .CRBEX Zagreb 1871.76 1872.95 -0.06% +7.03% .BELEX15 Belgrade 749.77 750.28 -0.07% -1.56% .SOFIX Sofia 575.73 574.70 +0.18% -3.15% BONDS Yield Yield Spread Daily (bid) change vs Bund change in Czech Republic spread CZ2YT=RR 2-year 1.1360 0.0480 +200bps +6bps CZ5YT=RR 5-year 0.8490 0.0150 +173bps +1bps CZ10YT=RR 10-year 1.1320 0.0540 +176bps +4bps Poland PL2YT=RR 2-year 1.5810 0.0210 +244bps +3bps PL5YT=RR 5-year 1.8000 0.0210 +268bps +2bps PL10YT=RR 10-year 2.0720 0.0370 +270bps +2bps FORWARD RATE AGREEMENT 3x6 6x9 9x12 3M interbank Czech Rep 2.10 1.89 1.72 2.14 Hungary 0.33 0.39 0.43 0.27 Poland 1.73 1.71 1.66 1.72 Note: FRA quotes are for ask prices ************************************************************** (Reporting by Alan Charlish in Warsaw, Gergely Szakacs in Budapest and Jason Hovet in Prague Editing by David Holmes)

Polish deputy minister resigns over judge trolling scandal

20 Aug 2019

WARSAW Polish Deputy Justice Minister Lukasz Piebiak said he was resigning on Tuesday, following a report he sought to discredit judges critical of the government's judicial reforms by planting media rumours about their private lives.

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