The Belgrade Stock Exchange International Conference UPGRADE IN BELGRADE 2018 is a recognized and well established international event, organized for 17th year in a row now. Like in previous years, influential Serbian and regional decision makers, representatives of financial markets, banks, universities, media and other institutions will gather this November to discuss most recent trends in stock exchange business locally and globally.
“This year’s Conference agenda will focus on topics directly affecting the development of capital markets, macroeconomics, as well as expected impacts new technology developments can have on access to finance for small, medium- sized and large businesses. We are also glad to announce the special presentation about the crypto
currencies current trends and expectations in time to come” says Siniša Krneta, CEO of the Belgrade Stock Exchange.
You mentioned that one of the topics of the Conference will be funding access for companies. This topic seems to be quite interesting for the Serbian economy at the moment as well. Can you tell us more about the aspects that connect stock exchange business and funding access for Serbian companies?
— In developed market economies capital market is considered one of the main vehicles for fostering economic growth. Serving its’ primary goal, to finance growth of companies and enable capital transfer, capital markets simultaneously contribute to other important subjects, including: growth of GDP and employment rate, improvement of corporate governance and management systems, reporting, competitiveness, efficiency, etc. Unfortunately, Serbian capital market is less developed than other relevant peers. Since Stock Exchange reestablishment until today none of the Serbian companies had collected capital on it, and it has mostly served as a privatization vehicle in one period of time. Capital market principles are not recognized, and can be said that are fairly unknown to Serbian business community. In order to facilitate economic development, stimulate growth and new employment it is cruical to overcome existing information asymmetries and introduce new financing alternatives to local private companies, as it is not possible to have efficient economy without capital market financing.
Does Belgrade Stock Exchange have any activities that are aimed at overcoming these problems faced by local entrepreneurs?
— For years now we have been actively engaged in promoting financing through stock exchange to local managers, as well as decision makers. Part of our efforts has resulted in establishing the Serbia IPO Go project, that started
this year, and we expect to see first results at the beginning of 2019. The project is funded by the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund and is aimed at developing capital market in Serbia through raising awareness and introducing companies to the possibility of raising capital through the initial public offering and advantages of listing on the Belgrade Stock Exchange, as well as building capacity and providing advisory assistance and support to companies for going public. Moreover, in the following month we expect first Serbian IPO to take place at the Belgrade Stock Exchange. Details about it are already published in media, but I will be happy to announce it officially for your readers once these securities are admitted to the Belgrade Stock Exchange Listing.
Are there any additional info our readers should know about the forthcoming Belgrade Stock Exchange International Conference?
— An integral part of the Conference is also Investor Conference that will be organized in Belgrade for eight year in a row. This part of the Conference is organized in the form of direct 1-to-1 meetings between the management of the best listed companies from Serbia and the region, on one side, and institutional investors, on other side.
At this moment we expect over 15 companies from the SEE region to join us at this event and meet representatives of international investment community. This part of our Conference gives opportunity to the local and regional companies to attract long-term investors by presenting their operations and business plans to professional portfolio investors, hoping that they will be interested in investing in their business.