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EBRD and partners hold two-day Polish capital markets conference

By Nigina Mirbabaeva

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  • Conference to foster capital market development and an increase in sustainable finance
  • Participants from banking, markets, asset management, sustainable finance and government
  • EBRD President and Polish Minister of Finance meet to discuss mutual priorities for Poland

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), together with the Polish Ministry of Finance, PKO Bank Polski and the Warsaw Stock Exchange, have held a two-day conference on how to support the development of Poland’s capital markets and promote sustainable finance to advance the country’s green transition.

The Polish Capital Market Development Days 2023 underscored the EBRD’s commitment to Poland and provided an opportunity for the partners to discuss the challenges of and opportunities for deepening capital market development both in Poland and central and eastern European (CEE) more broadly. The forum also explored the steps needed to encourage an increase in sustainable finance.

A wide range of key stakeholders from the banking, asset management and sustainable finance sectors discussed the Polish Government’s new sustainable finance strategy, along with the potential for and challenges of securing sustainable finance to enable Poland’s green transition.

At the Polish Sustainable Finance Roundtable, organised with the Polish Ministry of Finance and hosted by the EBRD, stakeholders commended Poland for becoming the first sovereign issuer to tap the green bond market globally and for the ambition of its sustainable finance strategy. Participants, including policymakers and institutional investors, noted that Poland’s climate transition financing gap presented an opportunity for private investors. They observed that the issuance of green municipal bonds, as well as sustainability-linked bonds and loans and liquidity-enhancing measures, would help to encourage further investor interest.

Participants also noted the importance of developing a sophisticated and practical regulatory system that takes into account the local context to facilitate a shift in capital towards the green transition and areas where it is needed most.

At the CEE Capital Markets Breakfast, jointly organised by the Warsaw Stock Exchange and the EBRD, participants discussed the challenges of and opportunities for further developing Poland’s capital markets, given Poland’s developed market status. Channelling sufficient funding for the energy transition, digital transformation and more inclusive growth requires the further expansion of both Poland’s and the region’s capital markets. Stakeholders discussed the need to develop deeper cooperation among CEE market infrastructure entities in order to build a larger regional pool of liquidity that will help strengthen the region’s resilience to current uncertainty and the challenges of the future.

EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso met with Polish Minister of Finance Magdalena Rzeczkowska on the fringes of the event to discuss the Bank’s response to the war on Ukraine and to explore future investment and policy reform priorities for both sides. These will inform the EBRD’s new country strategy for Poland for 2023-28. 

The Bank and the Polish Government have a history of strong collaboration in multiple policy areas, particularly in supporting Poland’s journey to becoming a developed capital market. Among other things, the Bank has assisted with the design and implementation of Poland's capital market development strategy, the implementation of sustainability reporting guidelines and the integration of Poland’s capital markets with those of other EBRD countries, such as Armenia.

The EBRD invested a record €990 million in 26 projects in Poland in 2022, all in the private sector, with 80 per cent of that in the green economy. The record level highlights the growing additionality of the EBRD in central Europe in the context of the war on Ukraine, as well as a change in investor sentiment.

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