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Is it Time to Consider Buying in Poland Again?

It was widely reported in the run-up to the EU Referendum that Poland could be one of the biggest losers were the UK to vote to Leave. The reasoning behind this prediction stemmed from the fact that the UK made the third largest contribution to the EU budget in 2014 while Poland is the largest receiver of EU funds in Eastern Europe, getting as much as Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, Croatia and Bulgaria combined.

It is now very likely that this EU member state, that is still 'emerging', will suffer from scaled back financial support. However the bigger fear was that the Polish Zloty would fall heavily against the Swiss Franc, which is considered a safe haven during global economic turmoil.

Why does it matter if the Zloty falls against the Swiss Franc? Well, it matters a great deal because Poland already has a banking crisis of sorts due to the large number of Swiss-Franc-denominated mortgages in the country. From 2006 to 2008, most mortgages that were issued by banks in Poland were denominated in Swiss Francs.

More than half a million Poles hold Swiss Franc loans worth an estimated $36-42bn in total. Most took them out pre-crisis to take advantage of much lower Swiss interest rates. But then things reversed course in 2008. The Swiss Franc has appreciated dramatically against the Zloty since then - from 1.97 in July 2008 to 4.09 at the time of writing. 

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