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Fitch Lowers Forecast and Puts Poland at Bottom of EU Entrants

The Fitch Rating Agency has lowered its forecasts on the credibility of the country's long-term debts in foreign currencies from positive to stable, although it has not changed its current BBB+ rating that places Poland, together with Slovakia, Lithuania and Latvia, at the bottom of the rankings for new EU entrants.

The decision reflects concerns over the vote of confidence in the new government of Marek Belka, to be held next week, and the current state of public finances.

According to Fitch, the country's public finance deficit, as measured by the European Accounting Standards, will reach 7.6% by the end of 2004, which is poor compared to the figure of 3.3% achieved in 2000.

The decision resulted in a temporary depreciation of the zloty, yet increased the profitability of Polish bonds.

(WBJ 07.v.04)

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