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Poland may miss state-owned co dividend revenue goal

  Poland may fall short of its target to collect PLN 2.9 billion ($844 million) of dividends paid by state-controlled companies in 2009, as it wants them to invest the cash instead, a Treasury spokesman said on Tuesday.

“It may be hard to realize our dividend target,” the Treasury Ministry’s Maciej Wewior told Reuters on Tuesday. “We want state-controlled companies to invest in their development when there is a good occasion for it.”

The budget deficit in the January-February period stood at PLN 5.3 billion versus PLN 18.2 billion seen for the entire year, but analysts say Poland may have to revise the plan as the economic slowdown hits tax revenues.

Copper miner KGHM and Poland’s top bank PKO BP have been the largest dividend payers among state-controlled entities over the past years, feeding half of the treasury’s PLN 2.6 billion revenue in 2008.

But last month KGHM proposed not to pay out dividend from its 2008 profit as it targets takeovers and expects its 2009 net profit drop to PLN 488 million from 2.9 billion in 2008 because of tumbling copper prices.

In December, the Polish treasury said PKO should forego a 2008 dividend, with the ministry studying a capital increase to boost the lender’s war-chest for potential takeovers. (Reuters)