Blue economy 17.4.2018

Alongside the "High-Level Conference: Financing Sustainable Growth" held by the European Commission on the 22th of March, the European Federation of Investors (Better Finance) President, Ms. Jella Benner-Heinacher, and Better Finance Managing Director, Mr. Guillaume Prache, met with the European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Mr. Karmenu Vella.

The working visit from the Vice-President of the European Commission (EC), responsible for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness, Mr. Jyrki Katainen, was kicked off yesterday with a joint session of the EU Affairs and Economy Committees of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia. Mr. Kristjan Verbič, President of the PanSlovenian Investors' & Shareholders' Association (VZMD), participated at the session as the only representative of the public. He has already met with Vice-President Katainen in Brussels, and he took this opportunity to share a few words with him. Mr. Katainen visited Slovenia as part of the European semester, the EU's annual cycle of budgetary, economic and reform processes coordination between the member states. In addition to the session at the National Assembly, the European semester will include talks with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, a working lunch with the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Slovenia and a reception with the President of the Republic of Slovenia.

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After Tuesday's work meeting of the members of the Slovene business delegation with the Minister of Economic Development and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia, Mr. Zdravko Počivalšek, and the reception with the Slovene Prime Minister, Mr. Miro Cerar, a "Business forum" was held in Skopje yesterday, organized by the Economic Chamber of Macedonia (ECM) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (CCIS). The PanSlovenian Investors’ and Shareholders’ Association (VZMD) President, Mr. Kristjan Verbič, participated in the high-level meeting mostly to present the activities and opportunities offered by the international business-investor programs of the VZMD: Invest to Slovenia – investo.si and International Investors' Network – invest-to.net

In Brussels, Belgium, at the headquarters of the Federation of European Securities Exchanges (FESE), a conference on investor education "Investor Education in a Digital World" was organized last Friday by the European Federation of Investors and Financial Services Users (BETTER FINANCE), in which the VZMD President, Mr. Kristjan Verbič, who is a member of the executive board of this influential European federation, also actively participated. In the morning, Mr. Verbič introduced the participants from 22 European countries to the VZMD's "Share SUPPORT" scheme (English VIDEO), which received support from the European federation since it was established in September 2016. With this presentation the "Share SUPPORT" again received great interest which was also shown for such ownership arrangement (and shared sales) regarding securities in other EU countries. At the same time, a concern was expressed regarding the renewed (VIDEO) attempts at amending the legislation - with the intent of abolishing the only alternative to (too) expensive services of financial intermediaries - and subsequent eradication of small shareholders in Slovenia, in spite of exceptional demonstrated success, when the shareholders of many companies were able to sell their securities at all, often at a several times higher price than offered.

On Monday, the Slovene business delegation arrived to Pristina, accompanying the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, Mr. Karl Erjavec, on his official visit, at the invitation of the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, Mr. Behgjet Isa Pacolli. The visit was organized jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the public agency SPIRIT Slovenia, the Slovenian Business Club in Pristina (EAC), and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (CCIS). In addition to the meeting of the joint commission for economic cooperation between Slovenia and Kosovo, Monday and Tuesday saw a number of events and activities aimed at fostering the economic cooperation between the two countries. The individual presentation programs were followed by a reception at the residence of the Slovene ambassador in Pristina, while Tuesday was dedicated to the resounding Kosovo-Slovenia Economic Forum.

In the procedure for the review of the constitutionality, initiated by brokerage firm ALTA INVEST, d.d. (in collaboration with ILIRIKA d.d., GBD BPD d.d., and NLB d.d.), the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia decided to repeal the Book Entry Securities Act (ZNVP-1) in the part limiting the expenses for trading account management for natural persons to a maximum of 0.5% of the average share price on the account. This is yet another serious and possibly crippling blow to over 100,000 minority shareholders in the Republic of Slovenia, mostly those, who had to transfer their shares from free-of-charge registry accounts to payable trading accounts due to the amendment of ZNVP-1. It was also thanks to the PanSlovenian Investors' & Shareholders' Association (VZMD) protest and appeal that in September 2015 members of the Parliament included in the Act at least the limitation on the amounts charged by financial intermediaries, which the latter have now abolished through the Constitutional Court!

Last week, Mr. Kristjan Verbič, President of the PanSlovenian Investors’ & Shareholders’ Association (VZMD), sent an official letter to the Speakers of the National Assembly and the National Council of the Republic of Slovenia, leaders of deputy groups, and presidents of parliamentary parties. The letter included his well-supported objections to the proposal for the change of Paragraph 10 of Article 296 of the amendment to the Financial Instruments Market Act (ZTFI-1) as proposed by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia. The experts from VZMD firmly believe that the suggested change, which came only a year after the last aggravation of the situation, is evidently a new attempt to suspend the successful program called "Share SUPPORT" (VIDEO) and a step towards implementing additional unreasonable limitations to the lawyer's trust account of securities used for executing shared sales. These sales proved to be an extremely efficient part of the "Share SUPPORT" (VIDEO). In December 2017 alone, resounding shared sales were executed for shares, which up until that moment were considered worthless, yet brought to 1,100 shareholders collectively more than EUR 260,000 from sales. The realized values of such shares always significantly exceeded (sometimes even by six times) the previous market values attained by "professional" financial intermediaries.

THE GOVERNOR PULLS UP STAKES ‒ After the institutional robbery of the century in Slovenia, the Governor retreated to a sinecure with the higher authorities, where he would be as a Board member of the Single Resolution Board ‒ the central resolution authority within the Banking Union ‒ in charge of resolution planning and decision-making, of "bank bailouts with minimum consequences for taxpayers" – AN OVERVIEW OF HIS OUTSTANDING REFERENCES for the EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

The past weekend, the president of the Republic of Malta, Her Excellency Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, has hosted the Slovene delegation ‒ the representatives of the Hiša Sonca society and the Druga Violina restaurant, who were on a three-day official visit to the presidential palace. On Saturday, they organized a high-profile charity dinner and formal reception together with the Maltese "Malta Community Chest Fund Foundation" society (MCCFF). The reception took place in support of efforts by Maltese hosts to follow the successful Slovene example and establish a concept of a restaurant which also employs special needs persons.

Last Thursday, accompanying the visit from a high-level business and political delegation from the Republic of Serbia, and following the joint meeting of both governments in Brdo pri Kranju, an important business conference took place at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (CCIS), attended by more than 200 of the most prominent representatives from Slovene and Serbian enterprises, numerous ministers, and other prominent guests from both countries.

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