Thursday, March 05, 2009

Zloty continues free fall

Poland’s currency, the zloty, continued to depreciate against major currencies, Monday, losing 4 percent against the euro.

The zloty finished trading to the euro at 4.85. Many analysts expect the currency to weaken further as nervousness grows at the amount of debt mortgaged household in Poland have with weakened western banks.

For example, 60 percent of mortgages are held not in the zloty but in the Swiss franc. Investors were not made any more confident from remarks by head of the National Bank of Poland Tuesday, who, in a report released yesterday, said that though the benefits of adopting the euro generally outweigh negatives, joining the ERM-2 – which would tie the zloty to a fifteen percent corridor to the euro for at least two years – was “too risky” in present conditions.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s cabinet will meet for an emergency session on the declining strength of the zloty, Tuesday, which is following other currencies in the region downward as western European investors balk at the fact that 84 percent of loans to Eastern Europe are held by vulnerable banks in Austria, Italy, France, Belgium, Germany and Sweden. Austria, alone, has lent 230 billion euros to the region, which is around 70 percent of the nation’s GDP.

Tuesday morning the zloty was trading to the euro at 4.7687 and to the Swiss franc at 3.1967.