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Poland will push state companies to pay dividends

  Poland will push for dividends from state companies, including copper miner KGHM and utilities Enea and PGE, to boost the state budget, the treasury minister was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

“Taking into account budget needs, realizing the tagged PLN 2.87 billion ($874.2 million) (is necessary). Managements understand that,” Aleksander Grad told daily Rzeczpospolita, referring to the government’s target for dividend income in 2009.

Last month, the treasury said Poland may fall short of this target because some companies may need to hold on to their cash in rough times.

Several companies, including KGHM, have said they would rather not pay dividends from last year’s earnings.

KGHM and Poland’s top bank PKO BP have been the largest dividend payers among state-controlled companies, making up half of the treasury’s PLN 2.6 billion revenue in 2008.

The treasury has already agreed PKO should not hand back cash to shareholders this year. (Reuters)