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Ben Habib about impact of the European turmoil

On 23 February a meeting in the Property Talks cycle took place, organised by DTZ under the auspices of Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, Financial Times and The City magazine.The gathered guests and speakers discussed the influence of the turmoil in the European market on the commercial real estate sector in Poland.

Among the speakers of the panel discussion, there were Ben Habib, CEO of First Property Group, Jakub Borowski, PhD, Chief Economist, Kredyt Bank S.A., Magali Marton, Head of Continental Europe and Middle East Research, DTZ, Robert Woreta, PhD, Polish Financial Supervision Authority and Paweł Grząbka, PhD, Adam Smith Research Centre and CEO of CEE Property Group. The meeting was chaired by Jan Cienski, the Warsaw correspondent of the Financial Times. The account of this meeting is stated below.

Do you see Poland potentially being a safe haven from the stagnation and turmoil in the Eurozone?

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That is a very interesting question. When Western Europeans, such as myself, come to Poland we do so partly because we are attracted by the Polish story and partly because we do not view our own domestic market as particularly attractive. As such, it is often a case of a bit of push out of our market and a bit of pull into Poland.

 By coming to Poland, investors are parting from the low growth and low interest rates of western economies and looking for more interesting places to invest their money. That is what brought us into Poland - the Polish story was more attractive than the British story. And that continues to be the case. Notwithstanding the last six months, which has clearly had an effect on Poland, the country still presents itself as, at least in my opinion, a much better investment proposition than Western Europe.

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