UPDATE 1-Poland pushes energy firms to invest in troubled mines

Thu Oct 22, 2015 12:07pm EDT
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* Measures announced three days before election

* Coal mines struggling in politically sensitive Silesia

* Tauron to use stake in PKO bank as collateral (Adds more detail, background)

By Adrian Krajewski

WARSAW, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Three days before a parliamentary election, the Polish government has engineered a share swap to enable its No.2 energy producer, state-run Tauron, to buy an ailing coal mine in the south of the country.

Tauron said on Thursday it would issue non-voting shares carrying privileged dividend rights to the Treasury, in return for a 1.01 stake in state-controlled bank PKO.

The stake, worth 383 million zlotys ($100.2 million), is to be used by Tauron as collateral to help finance the purchase of the struggling state-controlled Brzeszcze coal mine.

PKO, Poland's largest bank, dropped 1.62 percent on the news, while fellow bluechip Tauron fell 0.32 percent to hit an all-time low.

The centrist government is fighting to save the mainly state-run mining sector, situated mostly in the politically vital region of Silesia in southern Poland, as it heads into Sunday's election. Polls suggest it will lose to the conservative, eurosceptic opposition.   Continued...