Mipim Wrap: Poland

As everyone now knows,  this year’s Mipim had Poland as a guest of honor. Events-wise, it translated into surprisingly little, though the cities upstairs in the Palais definitely put on their share of cocktails and get-togethers.

A bit disappointing though were Tuesday’s official addresses from deputy minister of economy or the head of the Foreign Investment Agency, which contained mostly the usual banter about Poland being an investor’s dream. Nothing against the idea, but it gets a bit old when it’s repeated constantly. We were just hoping the world’s property fair would have inspired something of more substance from the officials.

Portions of the many MIPIM interviews we did will feature in CIJ’s upcoming April issue, along with more complete versions here on the blog.

In search for substance, then, we had to carry out the usual legwork, talking to property people who are on the ground in Poland, doing development, financing, and investment. From a dozen+ interviews, it emerged that even amongst Polish players, the popular notion of Poland as a new core market for property is being taken (by some) with a grain of salt. “Not with the market’s current shallowness,” said one interviewee.

Maybe it was still post-crisis cautiousness that prevented Poland-based/Poland-focused bankers, investors, and developers from giving into the overall “land of opportunity” hype. The confidence will certainly resurface once they do a few deals, with substantial interest in standing investments (a bit less so in terms of development financing, but it’s only going to pick up, we were told).

There are bankers, however, who are already worried of the market’s overheating, just as investors are getting restless to buy something. “There’s a lot of money on the sidelines that can be spent. There’s also money that has to be spent,” we heard. The best scenario for Poland until the next Mipim, then, would be: proceed with care.

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