Poland to offer incentives for issuers, investors in new strategy

Poland will offer tax incentives for issuers and investors, improve the operation of tax administration and supervision bodies and simplify regulations under the country's new Capital Market Development Strategy published by the Finance Ministry on Thursday.

The plan includes 60 activities that are aimed at reducing barriers to capital market growth.

"The Capital Market Development Strategy is the first such comprehensive project that has been created to meet the needs of participants in the Polish market, who have also contributed to the project. Its key goal is to improve access to funding for Polish companies by lowering the average cost of capital acquisition in the national economy," Finance Minister Teresa Czerwińska was quoted as saying on the ministry's website.

Proposed solutions include a reduction in direct and hidden transaction costs as well as fees and spreads. Poland's capital market institutions are to prepare a plan of how to reduce the cost of acquiring public capital to 2-6 percent of the acquired funds, depending on the size of the issue.

The strategy seeks to shorten the lengthy process of approving issue prospectuses and allows for the prospectuses to be submitted in English as well.

The Finance Ministry suggests the centralisation of tax processes for interested issuers in specialised Tax Offices to streamline tax interpretation.

Over the first two years of the strategy operation, some 20 barriers will be eliminated, with other obstacles to be removed in the following years, the ministry said.

One of the strategy's main goals is to eliminate so-called gold plating, or implementing EU regulations in a more rigorous way than it is required.

Financed by the European Commission and developed in collaboration with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the project is to be carried out in 2019-2023.

The strategy covers such areas as financial education and domestic savings, supervision and regulatory reforms, tax incentives and streamlining the operations of tax administration, capital market competitiveness, innovation and new technologies.

The draft has been sent to public and inter-ministry consultation. It is also to be assessed by financial market institutions. The consultation process will last until March 21.