ENGLISH SECTION: The Three Seas region economy champions expect further years of growth

ENGLISH SECTION: The Three Seas region economy champions expect further years of growth

The representatives of leading companies from the Three Seas region, grouped in the CEEplus index, attended an expert debate during the 2nd Three Seas Stock Exchanges Conference in Warsaw. In their opinion, Central and Eastern Europe is one of the most attractive investment areas worldwide, although numerous challenges will need to be faced to keep the existing growth rate.

The CEEplus index groups over 100 leading companies listed in stock exchanges in Bratislava, Bucharest, Budapest, Ljubljana, Prague, Warsaw and Zagreb. It is a tool used by the Three Seas Initiative to build the visibility and attractiveness of the region among investors. The Warsaw Stock Exchange, the largest one in the region, is responsible for calculating and publishing the CEEplus index.

A debate entitled “Regional Index. Global Challenges. Regional Champions” during the 2nd Three Seas Stock Exchanges Conference in Warsaw featured the representatives of four companies listed in the CEEplus index. The debate moderator, Peter Niklewicz from the Warsaw Stock Exchange recalled that investors’ perception of this part of Europe was improving thanks to the success of the Three Seas Initiative. Additional funds are necessary, especially in the context of infrastructural projects whose costs are estimated to be approx. EUR 600bn by 2030.

“A growing number of investors are seeking opportunities of diversified investments in the avant-garde of companies operating in the Three Seas region countries. The Polish capital market belongs to the group of 25 most developed ones in the world, so our task is to promote the Three-Seas companies. I am glad that, together with other stock exchanges and PZU, the largest financial institution in the region, we can offer an innovative investment product”, said Peter Niklewicz.

Marius Dan, Vice-President of Fondul Proprietea stressed that companies from the Three Seas region did not fall behind their Western competitors in terms of management quality or openness to innovation, and at times they even managed to surpass their competition.

“In addition to the business model, which is surely one of the key aspects, the companies grouped in the CEEplus index have a number of qualities which are indispensable on the market: proper corporate governance, transparency and proactive approach when it comes to investor relations”, noted Marius Dan.

The establishment of the index was also accompanied by a decision taken by PZU, the largest insurance company in this part of Europe, to create a dedicated investment fund managed by TFI PZU SA.

“We wish to manage international partners; we have a proper brand and tools for that. Our intention is to focus on this task in the years to come. The success of the fund we have achieved so far reflects the ambitions of stock exchanges in our region. I sincerely believe in the potential of our developing part of Europe and I am convinced that our countries are perfect destinations for investors from all over the world”, said Robert Kubin, President of TFI PZU SA.

Marko Čižmek from Valamar Riviera pointed to the challenges arising from the implementation of ESG standards which define the rules for reporting environmental, social and corporate governance data. As he noted, Western companies had had much more time to prepare for reaching the goals set by ESG standards, in particular the costly transformation related to climate policies.

“On the other hand, uniform standards across the EU are also a perfect opportunity. They are a response not only to the needs of our planet, but also to the expectations of our investors and consumers whose awareness in recent year has grown considerably”, concluded Marko Čižmek.