Sustaining Growth through Innovation in Capital Markets. Report of the 2018 ECMI Annual Conference

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Publication Date December 2018
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Well-functioning, deeper and highly integrated European capital markets are expected to play a greater role in providing alternative corporate funding, better savings/investment opportunities and enhancing private risk-sharing mechanisms. At the Annual Conference organised in Brussels on 10 October 2018, policy makers, industry representatives and academics contributed to the public debate about the capacity of capital markets to enable long-term value creation in the real economy, namely supporting innovative companies and sustainable economic growth. As the end of the five years of the Juncker mandate approaches, European capital markets are at a very important intersection. The Capital Markets Union (CMU) project should aim beyond the actions set for end-2019, towards a revamped strategy for EU-27. However, before setting priorities for the future, it was necessary to take a critical look backwards on what has been promised and what has been achieved. Despite the huge demand for capital, innovative companies and small enterprises are tending to prefer staying private longer or not going public at all. Although the Commission is committed to unlocking the full potential of sustainable finance, current ESG investment represents a very niche part of the total fund market. Last but not least, capital markets across Europe, and particular in the CEE region, remain significantly less developed, both in terms of size and liquidity. For ECMI, pursuing a path traced 25 years ago, this means an even more active and vital role in steering the discussion and engaging in strategic thinking about Europe’s capital markets.

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