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EBRD hosts conference on development of Romania’s capital markets

By Olga Rosca

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Event to discuss reforms to raise Romania’s attractiveness for investment
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will host a conference at its headquarters in London on 6 February 2015 to discuss the development of Romania’s capital markets.
Organised in cooperation with the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB), the event builds on the success of a first conference on the subject last October and the strong interest of international investors in Romania as an investment destination.
State officials, BVB management, representatives of large public companies and international investors will discuss the latest developments in the local capital markets and the pace of reforms needed to upgrade Romania to emerging-market status in indices such as the FTSE, S&P Dow Jones and the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI).
Romania’s goal is to be upgraded to emerging-market status from its existing frontier market classification.
To achieve this goal the authorities are implementing a comprehensive programme to improve the functioning of the local capital market, enhance liquidity and increase the availability of capital market products. It includes measures to streamline regulatory processes and increase efficiencies within the pre-trade, trade and post-trade environments.
The EBRD, the largest institutional investor in Romania, supports the programme through investments, technical assistance and support for reforms.
As part of these efforts, the EBRD has acquired a 4.99 per cent stake in the Bucharest Stock Exchange. As a shareholder, the Bank is working to establish the BVB as the preferred exchange for Romanian issuers and traders, as well as for investors with an appetite for Romanian stocks and other financial instruments.
The EBRD is also advancing reforms at the exchange through its recently-elected representative on the board of the Central Depository, an institution which ensures clearance and settlement of the transactions concluded on the Bucharest Stock Exchange and records the registries of issuers.
In addition, the Bank has invested in the recent initial public offerings (IPOs) of gas and electricity distributors Romgaz and Electrica and has participated in all bank bond issues in the last two years under its dedicated €150 million framework. The EBRD is also working with the authorities to provide advice and support for reforms and is encouraging Romanian businesses to tap into local capital markets.
Developing capital markets and local currency lending is among the EBRD’s priorities in the country. To date, the Bank has invested about €7 billion across 368 projects in Romania, with almost €600 million in 2014 alone.
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