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Sejm Stalls IPO

Privatization of PKO BP, Poland's largest bank, has been halted by an overwhelming vote in the Sejm.

Deputies agreed to suspend final approval of the privatization process for a swathe of high-profile companies on Friday.

The resolution was supported by 393 deputies, while six opposed the motion and five abstained.

They are seeking suspension of the sale of state businesses until Parliament has time to debate and re-examine legislation governing each individual floatation.

The move comes just months ahead of PKO BP's floation and covers other major concerns, including the Polish Oil and Gas Company (PGNiG), the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE), Wydawnictwa Szkolne i Pedagogiczne (WSiP) and a series of gas, chemical and mining companies.

Deputy Prime Minster Przemyslaw Morysiak said before the vote that the resolution was imprecise and could create problems with the budget.

Morysiak asked the deputies to finish the debate on the privatization of PKO BP as soon as possible.

(WBJ 13.ix.04)

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