“The purchase of Borsa Italiana by Euronext with the simultaneous entry of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti is a strong point for the country. Thanks to this agreement we have the possibility to triple the capitalization and the number of listed companies. The numbers highlight the importance of this step. The French stock exchange has a turnover of 2,800 billion euros with over two thousand listed companies against the 750 billion of the Italian stock exchange with 370 listed companies. Thanks to Euronext, foreign capital will also arrive to bring liquidity into our coffers. It is clear that we have everything to gain ”. These are the words of Sestino Giacomoni (Fi), president of the Supervisory Commission on Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, during the webinar ‘Farewell to the Italian Stock Exchange: alternative markets and Fintech, new tools to support liquidity?’, Promoted by the Pension Fund of accountants and accounting experts, chaired by Luigi Pagliuca.
“The government is doing a lot to direct private savings towards the real economy – continues Giacomoni – through the introduction of instruments such as ordinary and alternative PIRs. Strangely, social security institutions and pension funds are still shy about going down this path. More effort is needed on the part of institutional investors and on the part of individual investors. There is a liquidity paradox in this country. 1,800 billion on current accounts, and thousands of companies asking for liquidity. Good politics must combine these two factors. Household savings and made in Italy. In this way, Italy can also be saved on its own ”.
According to Giulio Centemero (member of the League in the Finance Committee) “it is too early to give an opinion on the Euronext operation. Some rules will change and it is very important that the government and the CoP are incisive in the appointment of a CEO who knows the Italian market well and is able to attract liquidity for our companies. We try to keep the classic investors of the Anglo-Saxon world and protect the second level management that knows our reality well. Reforms are needed to make Italy competitive on the European market. The Tobin tax, for example, exists only here and partly in France. This means that investors burdened by this tax go to invest in other markets, American or Asian. We remove all investment barriers to attract new liquidity. In Italy, the banking channel is too prevalent compared to alternative channels ”, he explains.
“Private savings sleeps on the accounts of Italians and no investments are made in the real economy because there is no information. We need – adds Centemero – a great work of information on private investments, a simplification of information prospectuses and documentation for companies to go public. A survey by the Finance Commission on alternative financial instruments will be published shortly, which will give valuable information to encourage investment in savings in this sector ”.
Concerns are expressed by Lucia Albano (parliamentary member of the Brothers of Italy in the Finance Commission in Montecitorio): “There is great concern in ascertaining the loss of the Italian stock exchange. It is not just a question of name, but also of weakening Italian governance with the risk of staff cuts. We presented a question to the government asking for an account of this operation ”.
“Unfortunately – he adds – we have not received a reply and we continue to believe that the then Minister Gualtieri directed the negotiations on the Euronext acquisition without protecting Italian interests. We should maintain a high degree of autonomy and monitor the aggressiveness of foreign capital, especially French capital towards us. The foreigner passes by and no one raises a barrier against speculation. Elsewhere – Albano brand – they do differently and defend their strategic assets. In Europe, governments work to support companies that will return to their homeland, for example. Here, on the contrary, high labor costs, bureaucracy, the tax burden among the highest in the world and poor controls are all contributing causes of business crises. On the sum of all this, the light must be kept on ”, he concludes.
Mattia Mor (deputy of Italia Viva in the Productive Activities Commission) expressed himself in favor of the Euronext operation: “It had to be done because the scale of the world stock exchanges is growing more and more in order to be attractive for investors. Investments must now be maximized. I don’t think there is a problem for Borsa Italiana which has entered a larger group. An inevitable and positive thing. Borsa Italiana did not have the same strength and broad shoulders to work alone internationally. Engaging with the French reality was the only way to avoid being progressively marginalized, also losing our companies over time. Rather, alternative markets and underdeveloped asset classes must be pursued by investors to raise capital. We have less developed venture capital than other markets. We are six or seven times smaller than our European competitors. Venture capital is a viable alternative for businesses to bank financing. We hope – Mor stresses – a higher rate of investment of pension funds and pensions in this sector in order to create a healthy and balanced system that helps the economy to grow and create jobs ”.
Optimism transpires from professionals even if caution is never too much as Andrea Bongi (accountant and statutory auditor) testifies: “The relationship between Italian companies and the ‘stock market’ has always been complicated. With this operation it is possible to triple the number of listed companies. Let us hope that there are no problems from an employment point of view. I am convinced of the need for incentives and simplifications for stock market listings. Many businesses are in limbo and need to be supported to take this step. Alongside this there are tools that allow you to invest your savings in Italy but they are not adequately known. Like PIRs and alternative PIRs. Also in this way it is possible to find new liquidity to support the restart of the country ”, he concludes.
Also for Pasqua Borracci (director of the National Institute of Accounting Experts) “Euronext has completed the acquisition of Borsa Italiana with the participation of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (there will be two members in the supervisory committee) and it is necessary to understand immediately if and what will change for investors. We all agree that small and medium-sized enterprises are at the center of the crisis, also due to the restrictions on bank credit. Further efforts are needed to promote transparency and company traceability to facilitate recourse to the alternative capital market. Here, too, the government’s action will be decisive in supporting businesses in this great step ”, concludes Borracci.
(Adnkronos – Work)