Bled – The VZMD Slovenian association of small shareholders and Better Finance will organise an investment conference on Monday to discuss ways of encouraging small shareholders to invest more in the capital market. Around 100 representatives of decision-makers, regulators and shareholders are expected to attend.
The conference will discuss the position of small shareholders on European capital markets and ways of increasing their participation, investment opportunities in Slovenia, and pension saving in Europe at three different panels.
It will feature Slovenian Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek and Minister for Digital Transformation Mark Boris Andrijanič, a former central bank governor, representatives of the World Federation of Investors, the European Commission, Slovenia’s SPIRIT agency and other institutions.
The conference has been organised to coincide with Slovenia’s EU presidency when the country has tuned into “one of the most important centres from the aspect of finance or capital markets and economic decisions”, VZMD president Kristjan Verbič said as he presented the conference on Friday.
He referred specifically to the informal meeting of EU finance ministers which took place at Brdo pri Kranju on Friday and Saturday, while Ljubljana hosted a financial forum of the European think-tank Eurofi.
Guillaume Prache, executive director of Better Finance – the European Federation of Investors and Financial Services Users, said it was “a true miracle” that they had managed to organise such a large-scale conference amid the pandemic.
Both Verbič and Prache said there was still a lot of potential for small shareholders to become more active, which the EU should encourage by adjusting its regulation.
Stressing that the numbers of both listed companies and small shareholders are decreasing, Verbič believes more activity by small investors would be beneficial to the financial market and the entire economy; in Slovenia alone, residents have EUR 24 billion in bank deposits.
Prache believes the EU shareholder rights directive is not working, arguing that small shareholders have a rather limited impact in companies in Europe, especially when they hold stock in a company in another country.
In this respect, he pointed to the great potential of Share Support, a VZMD project which offers counselling and representation to small shareholders as they seek that their rights are implemented, which will now be available in other European countries.