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Business Arena 25.07

In this episode of Business Arena, the focus is on the markets’ reactions to the Russian-Ukrainian deal on restoring freedom of trade to Ukrainian grain, major Polish companies facing dividends payments and other topics.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has made countless Ukrainians suffer. Yet this suffering has also extended beyond Ukraine’s borders, and across some of the most vulnerable nations around the world. For months Russia has blocked maritime access to key Black Sea ports, effectively halting vital grain supplies from Ukraine. Though there seems to be a shred of hope. On Friday, Moscow and Kyiv under the auspices of the UN and Turkey signed an agreement which will free up Ukraine’s grain for export. It is being seen as a major breakthrough which could help ease a global food crisis, and perhaps even lower commodity prices.

To discuss this issue in depth TVP World was joined by Professor Konrad Raczkowski, an economist, the head of the Center for World Economy, at the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, and former deputy minister of finance of Poland.

Also in the programme:

Volkswagen CEO’s sudden departure

Volkswagen’s CEO will be replaced by the end of August. According to a report by Reuters citing unnamed sources, families who own the majority of voting rights in Volkswagen pressed for a change at the helm. Diaz took control over Volkswagen in 2018 following the Dieselgate controversy that resulted in the business having to pay hefty fines in the US and Europe for false emissions readings. Nevertheless, he was able to put that scandal mostly to bed. Additionally, he gave electric vehicles more attention than many other world-known automakers setting up Volkswagen for a significant change. The company nearly doubled its sales of EVs in 2021 to about 433,000 globally moving up to third place behind only Tesla and General Motors.

Britain’s budget deficit hit by an inflation surge

As shown by figures released on Thursday, Britain’s budget deficit in June was the greatest since April 2021, as a result of jumping debt payments caused by increasing inflation that doubled their previous monthly record. The UK’s stats office said that the public net sector borrowing, excluding state-owned banks, increased from GBP 12.6 billion in May to nearly GBP 23 bn last month.

Heatwaves create a new reality of fines for French shops

Airconditioned shops in France were told they would be fined if they kept their doors open. The French Ministery of Ecological Transition said that leaving doors open when the AC is on results in a 20 percent increase in energy consumption. There are also proposals, according to the ministry, to limit the usage of illuminated signs in the public space. Some French cities which are experiencing extreme heat, along with the rest of Europe, established municipal bylaws in July that impose fines on airconditioned stores that break the rules. Now the government plans to apply this to the whole nation with fines as high as EUR 750.

PKO, PKN Orlen and Lotos to pay out dividends

It’s good news for shareholders. PKO, PKN Orlen and Lotos, all have announced they will be paying out dividends. It’s a positive sign for these Polish organizations and investors who can continue to look at Poland as a sound place for their money. Despite inflation and global uncertainty, economic performance in the heart of Europe remains robust.

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