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EBRD and Bucharest Stock Exchange reach out to international investors

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Feb. 06, 2015: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) hosted 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 previous conference on the subject last October and the strong interest of international investors in Romania as an investment destination.

State officials, BVB management, and representatives of large public companies and international investors discussed 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 Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI).

Ludwik Sobolewski, CEO of the Bucharest Stock Exchange, said: “Romania is a rising tiger of central and eastern Europe. Our goal is to reach out to international investors willing to increase their presence on our market and to discuss how Romania can become a fully fledged member of the emerging-markets family. We also want to hear from the investors about any challenges they might be facing. This is an important dialogue.”

Jean-Marc Peterschmitt, Managing Director for central and south-eastern Europe at the EBRD, said: “We welcome Romania’s ambition to be upgraded to emerging-market status and we are proud to be able to support its comprehensive reform programme. Today’s event is a proof of the EBRD’s long-term commitment to the country and to strengthening its capital markets.”

The Romanian 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. The programme includes measures to streamline regulatory processes and increase efficiency in 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 BVB 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.