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Procedure : 2015/0268(COD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0238/2016

Texts tabled :

A8-0238/2016

Debates :

PV 14/09/2016 - 20
PV 04/04/2017 - 17
CRE 04/04/2017 - 17

Votes :

PV 15/09/2016 - 11.6
CRE 15/09/2016 - 11.6
Explanations of votes
PV 05/04/2017 - 9.8

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2016)0353
P8_TA(2017)0110

Debates
Tuesday, 4 April 2017 - Strasbourg Revised edition

17. Prospectus to be published when securities are offered to the public or admitted to trading (debate)
Video of the speeches
PV
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  Przewodniczący. – Kolejnym punktem porządku dnia jest sprawozdanie sporządzone przez Petra Ježka w imieniu Komisji Gospodarczej i Monetarnej w sprawie wniosku dotyczącego rozporządzenia Parlamentu Europejskiego i Rady w sprawie prospektu emisyjnego publikowanego w związku z ofertą publiczną lub dopuszczeniem do obrotu papierów wartościowych

(COM(2015)0583 – C8-0375/2015 – 2015/0268(COD)) (A8-0238/2016).

 
  
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  Petr Ježek, rapporteur. – Mr President, Vice-President, colleagues, one and a half years after the Commission published its Capital Markets Union Action Plan, we now have a concrete example of how we will build it.

The Commission’s proposal aimed to modernise the Prospectus Directive by making it less costly for businesses to raise funds publicly, review regulatory barriers to small firms listing on equity and debt markets, and support the listing activities of small firms. In the European Parliament, we took these objectives seriously and came forward with a number of innovations to make the Prospectus Regulation more fitting to the current environment. These included increasing the thresholds under which issuers would benefit from exemptions from the regulations, as well as the concept of an EU growth prospectus, a lighter regime which will help facilitate cross-border issuances for smaller companies. During the trilogue negotiations under the Slovak Presidency, we were able to fine-tune our positions and come to an agreement on a text which, I believe, will be of benefit to all issuers who want to raise funding on the markets.

In particular, we increase to EUR 1 million the amount under which issuers would be exempted from the requirements of the Regulation. This will benefit growth funding ventures in Europe, in particular helping them to raise capital without red tape standing in their way. We agreed on the EU growth prospectus, a bold new concept which will reduce costs for SMEs wishing to raise funds on a cross-border basis. The EU growth prospectus will facilitate access to capital for small issuers and encourage them to seek funding from capital markets, rather than a continued over-reliance on bank funding. We supported a shorter prospectus and summary. Under the new regime, we will reduce costs for issuers and increase readability and relevance of information for investors, leading to increased investor protection. We made it simple for companies to carry out secondary issuances with a streamlined procedure. We minimise national exemptions and discretion, which will increase harmonisation and competition within the internal market. In my view, this is what capital market union should be about. We need to have harmonised measures across the EU, reduce red tape for companies, ensure investor protection, and, most of all, stimulate the growth of capital markets in Europe. Unlocking finances for SMEs and making it easier for them to access capital markets will benefit the European economy as a whole and help it to grow, which is something we desperately need in these uncertain times across the globe.

May I conclude by thanking the shadow rapporteurs, the Commission and the Slovak Presidency for their hard work and dedication to completing an ambitious reform of the prospectus regime.

 
  
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  Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, your endorsement of the political agreement will be an important step in enabling cross-border investments, in providing companies with easier access to capital markets and in delivering better and more concise information to investors. The reform of the prospectus rules delivers on a key element of the Capital Markets Union Action Plan.

After 12 years of a harmonised set of prospectus rules, it was time to make the EU prospectus fit for the Capital Markets Union. In preparing the 2016 prospectus reform we have listened to issuers, investors and market operators and decided to go much further than the last reform that took place in 2010. The new rules that you will hopefully agree to will introduce an entirely new EU growth prospectus, a higher threshold while Member States can rely on local listing rules only, a new registration document for frequent issuers and enormous simplification for secondary issuances.

Let me briefly present the key achievements introduced by the new Prospectus Regulation. The EU Growth prospectus is designed as a key ingredient for developing the SME growth markets introduced by MiFID II. Both SMEs and mid-caps can use this simple prospectus to raise capital on SME Growth Markets. Many well-functioning ‘junior’ markets of today can become the SME Growth Markets of the future.

The new prospectus threshold will be almost doubled to EUR 8 million, compared to the previous EUR 5 million. For offerings below that threshold, Member States can rely on local listing rules issued by the operators of junior growth markets, which can support the development of local or regional stock exchanges for small companies.

Issuers already admitted to the regulated markets and SME growth markets will benefit from a lighter prospectus for their ‘follow-up’ – or secondary – issuances. The alleviations for follow-up issuances reflect the fact that these companies are well-known in the market. About 70% of all equity prospectuses approved annually concern follow-up, so-called ‘secondary issuances’. Our impact assessment estimates potential savings for well—known issuers to amount to no less than EUR 130 million annually.

Finally, the introduction of a Universal Registration Document (URD) for frequent issuers will trigger a ‘fast track’ approval of five days, instead of the statutory limit of 10 days. The URD, therefore, has the potential to decrease approval times considerably and allow issuers to seize market windows at short notice. Mr President, honourable Members, I would like to thank you once again for the excellent work done on this file.

 
  
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  Tom Vandenkendelaere, namens de PPE-Fractie. – Door het vertrek van het Verenigd Koninkrijk verliest de EU haar grootste kapitaalmarkt. We kunnen daar angstig op reageren, of we kunnen deze wake-upcall aangrijpen om twee versnellingen hoger te schakelen in het opzetten van een Europese kapitaalmarktunie. Europa heeft nood aan investeringen. Maar daarvoor moet allereerst het investeringsklimaat ingrijpend verbeteren.

De nieuwe prospectuswetgeving vormt een belangrijk stuk van deze puzzel. Europese ondernemingen zijn vandaag nog al te zeer afhankelijk van bankfinanciering. Slechts 20 % van hen haalt geld op bij investeerders. Dat is een sterke onderbenutting van het groeipotentieel dat extra middelen via de kapitaalmarkten biedt. Vooral voor kmo's lijkt de stap naar de kapitaalmarkt vaak te groot. Een belangrijke drempel daarbij is de hoge kost van een prospectus. Onder de huidige regels zijn prospectussen uitgegroeid tot ware telefoonboeken waarin ook de kandidaat-investeerders hun weg niet meer terugvinden. De nieuwe wetgeving zal het opstellen van een prospectus een hoop eenvoudiger en goedkoper maken. Uitgiftes onder de 1 miljoen zullen zelfs helemaal vrijgesteld zijn. Voor kmo's, mid-caps op kmo-groeimarkten en bepaalde kleinere uitgiftes tot 20 miljoen komt er, zoals al aangehaald, een lichter EU-groeiprospectus. Hiermee helpen we beloftevolle bedrijven om de financieringsladder te beklimmen en het kapitaal op te halen dat ze nodig hebben om te kunnen doorgroeien.

De prospectusverordening biedt een unieke kans om het een flink stuk eenvoudiger te maken voor kmo's en doorgroeiende bedrijven om geld op te halen. Maar daarmee is ons werk voor een Europese kapitaalmarktunie verre van gedaan. Zo moet ook het voorstel voor efficiëntere insolventie- en herstructureringsprocedures, waar ik in de Commissie ECON verantwoordelijk voor ben, met dezelfde eendracht en snelheid worden aangepakt.

Bovendien zal in het streven naar een diepere, échte Europese kapitaalmarkt de discussie over een pan-Europese regulator vroeg of laat onvermijdelijk zijn. Maar laten we morgen alvast een eerste horde nemen en stemmen voor efficiëntere prospectusregels.

 
  
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  Neena Gill, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, I would firstly like to congratulate the rapporteur, Petr Ježek, on this report. For me and my group it fulfils many of our priorities: reducing legal costs and red tape, reducing fragmentation of practices amongst Member States, unlocking liquidity from institutional investors, harmonising investor protection rules and avoiding a race to the bottom across Member States.

A key proposal that my group was instrumental in getting agreed is the proposal of the SME growth prospectus, which means that SMEs in the EU will be able to use one standard harmonised document to raise capital, a major step forward compared to the current system. Based on this simple document, SMEs will be able to follow an easy process to raise funds across the EU. Importantly, this legislation will also allow for crowdfunding and other new forms of financing to develop European capital markets.

Prospectuses are a gateway to the capital markets. However, it is also vital that issuers based in third countries can continue to access EU capital markets. To enable the Capital Markets Union (CMU) to be a success, non—EU Member States should be able to invest. Critically, given the impending departure of the UK, it could be detrimental to availability of capital for SMEs, given that the UK accounts for 60% of the EU capital markets business. This is a serious consequence and CMU is in danger of becoming CMU-lite in terms of delivering jobs and growth in the future of the EU 27. Therefore prospectuses approved by non-EU countries fulfilling equivalence requirements could be used in the future in the EU.

 
  
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  Miguel Viegas, em nome do Grupo GUE/NGL. – Senhor Presidente, esta proposta de diretiva sobre o prospeto representa um passo na construção da chamada “União dos Mercados de Capitais”. Subjacente a esta proposta está esta visão das nossas PME, financiadas através do mercado de capitais, promovendo a emissão pública de títulos de capital destinados a serem transacionados em bolsa. Esta visão, tirada dos manuais de economia financeira não assenta, infelizmente, na nossa realidade económica e social.

Com efeito é, no nosso entender, pouco expectável que as microempresas - espinha dorsal da nossa economia - venham a recorrer a este tipo de financiamento. Independentemente das dúvidas que subsistam sobre esta proposta ao nível das isenções, das emissões secundárias ou ainda da falta de disposições sancionatórias que imponham o seu cumprimento, continuamos profundamente em desacordo com as prioridades desta União Europeia.

O que as empresas necessitam não é de um mercado único de capitais. O que elas necessitam são de bancos sãos, de preferência públicos, que estejam comprometidos com estratégias de desenvolvimento e da criação de emprego e, já agora, com uma política de valorização dos salários que aumente o poder de compra das famílias e dê, de facto, confiança às empresas e à economia.

 
  
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  Ernest Urtasun, en nombre del Grupo Verts/ALE. – Señor presidente, deseo agradecer, una vez más, al ponente, el señor Ježek, la buena colaboración.

Mañana, el Grupo Verts/ALE no votará esta reforma de la Directiva. Nos vamos a abstener, entre otras cosas porque creemos que se establece un régimen para la publicación de folletos simplificados de empresas que son demasiado grandes, y lo que estamos haciendo, de alguna forma, es reducir la capacidad y la protección de algunos consumidores cuando se imprime el folleto.

Sin embargo, sí quiero agradecer al ponente y también celebrar —y esa es la razón por la cual no vamos a votar en contra— que se haya introducido en el artículo 7 y en el artículo 16 una obligación, por parte de todos los emisores, de decir en qué condiciones esos productos financieros pueden someterse a recapitalización interna, en aplicación de la Directiva sobre resolución bancaria.

Nos parece que esa era una parte muy importante, también por lo que ha ocurrido en el pasado con la venta de algunos productos financieros, que alguna gente, sin saberlo, compró y luego perdió todo su dinero.

Por lo tanto, por esa cuestión, que creemos que es positiva, mañana nos vamos a abstener.

 
  
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  Brian Hayes (PPE). – Mr President, the agreement on the Prospectus Regulation is a major step in the development of a genuine Capital Markets Union. I want to congratulate the rapporteur and all of the shadow rapporteurs for their work on this file and indeed their discussions with the Council and the Commission in the course of the last number of months.

Making it easier and cheaper for companies, especially SMEs, to raise capital within the markets and to go public ensures that European companies can grow and prosper in a sustainable way. We do have a real problem in Europe with our over-reliance on banking finance. As I have said repeatedly, 75% of lending in the EU comes from our banks and 25% from the capital markets. In the United States, it is the opposite.

This agreement signals a strengthening and deepening of our capital markets in Europe. For example, the new growth prospectus regime will boost the ability of small and growing companies to raise money across the whole single market, according to one common framework.

There are legacy issues from the previous Prospectus Directive. While it was working relatively well, it did not enable a truly strong functioning single market to exist. It created some legal uncertainty and imposed some burdensome requirements, leading to increased cost and the creation of inefficiencies. The existing regime allows Member States to transpose the directive in their own way, which led to 28 separate regimes, and I am glad the Commission decided to issue the new regime as a regulation. This created proper harmonisation because it was much needed.

I also want to welcome the different regimes that have been created for frequent users and for secondary issuances. This will ensure the entire industry benefits from a lighter prospectus regime. This is a good example of how the EU can actually help cut red tape where it is needed and a key component of the Capital Markets Union.

 
  
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  Pervenche Berès (S&D). – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, je crois que le Parlement européen a contribué à améliorer la proposition de la Commission sur un certain nombre de points, et en particulier la protection des investisseurs professionnels.

J’aurais cependant préféré que nous allions encore un peu plus loin et que nous fassions de ce fameux résumé un vrai outil d’accès à des investisseurs non professionnels en rapprochant son format de celui que nous allons utiliser pour ce qui est des produits d’investissement de détail dans le cadre de la législation sur les PRIP. Je crois qu’il y avait là un progrès que nous aurions pu accomplir.

Cela dit, je me réjouis de l’adoption d’un prospectus européen de croissance, qui permettra d’élargir les conditions d’accès aux marchés des capitaux pour des petites et moyennes entreprises qui souffrent trop de la politique de crédit restrictive menée par les banques.

Enfin, nous nous réjouissons de l’amélioration des conditions de collaboration et de travail entre les autorités de supervision et de contrôle du pays d’origine et du pays de distribution des prospectus.

 
  
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  Theodor Dumitru Stolojan (PPE). – Domnule președinte, voi susține acest proiect de regulament, așa cum voi susține orice măsură care contribuie la creșterea aportului pieței de capital, la finanțarea companiilor prin emiterea de acțiuni sau obligațiuni.

Prospectele pentru investitori ar trebui să răspundă la trei cerințe: să asigure informația necesară investitorilor, în al doilea rând să nu devină o greutate pentru cei care emit prospectele și a treia cerință, să aibă aplicabilitate în întreaga Uniune Europeană.

Proiectul de regulament vine și răspunde la aceste cerințe printr-o serie de soluții de compromis, printre care faptul precizează mai bine informația necesară, dar vine și cu o serie de simplificări față de prevederile directivelor în vigoare, atât pentru întreprinderile mici și mijlocii, cât și pentru acele firme care vin să emită acțiuni suplimentare pe piață.

Apreciez în mod deosebit angajamentul Autorității europene de supraveghere a piețelor de capital de a asigura online toate prospectele emise și fără a se plăti vreo taxă, pentru toți cei care doresc să aibă acces la aceste prospecte.

 
  
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  Paul Tang (S&D). – Mr President, I am the last speaker in this graveyard shift. Nevertheless, I would like to say some words because, according to some, European rules are the nails in the coffin of SMEs. But if cross-border obstacles do not allow companies to do business or to raise capital, it is the lack of EU rules that makes life harder for them.

I therefore welcome the new harmonised prospectus legislation and the good work that has been done. For companies, the prospectus is a gateway to the capital markets, making them logical and to the point, understandable to potential investors, and by reducing red tape. That is good. This is a step towards a genuine Capital Market Union, but many more steps are needed. This includes, of course, securitisation, which could get stuck in trilogue, unless the Council is willing to discuss the issues that are raised by the European Parliament. I really look forward to that moment.

To conclude, the midterm review needs to come up with more, even bolder, steps to move towards agreeing a genuine Capital Market Union.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, ευχαριστώ για την τιμή που μου κάνετε να είμαι ο τελευταίος ομιλητής. Θεωρώ, βεβαίως, όπως και όλοι οι συνάδελφοι, ότι ο στόχος της ένωσης των κεφαλαιαγορών είναι να βρεθούν πηγές χρηματοδότησης, κυρίως για τις μικρομεσαίες επιχειρήσεις. Αυτό σημαίνει διαφάνεια και ενημέρωση του κοινού μέσω του ενημερωτικού δελτίου. Η εξάλειψη του γραφειοκρατικού άχθους έχει επίσης μεγάλη σημασία, ιδίως για δημόσιες προσφορές αξιών κάτω των 5 εκατομμυρίων ευρώ.

Όμως, κύριε Dombrovskis, ήθελα να σας θέσω μια ερώτηση, διότι στην αιτιολογική σκέψη 9 της έκθεσης αναφέρεται ρητά ότι μη μετοχικές κινητές αξίες που εκδίδουν κράτη μέλη, που εκδίδουν περιφερειακές αρχές, τοπικές αρχές, διεθνείς οργανισμοί όπου συμμετέχουν ένα ή περισσότερα κράτη της Ένωσης, άρα ο ESM, o EFSF και ενδεχόμενα o EFSM δεν έχουν υποχρέωση να τηρούν τον παρόντα κανονισμό, όπως και η Ευρωπαϊκή Κεντρική Τράπεζα και οι κεντρικές τράπεζες των κρατών μελών. Γιατί υπάρχει αυτή η εξαίρεση, κύριε Dombrovskis; Θα θέλαμε μία απάντηση. Δεν πρέπει να υπάρξει διαφάνεια και σε σχέση με τις εκδόσεις από πλευράς αυτών των οργανισμών;

 
  
 

(Koniec zgłoszeń z sali)

 
  
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  Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the European Parliament, in particular the rapporteur Mr Ježek, his predecessor, Philippe De Backer and other colleagues who have been working on this, for the smooth conduct of the trilogues and the excellent results achieved in those negotiations.

We are now looking forward to working with ESMA on prospectus schedules that will put the meat on the bones of our prospectus reform. We will work with the utmost urgency towards a new set of implementing schedules so that our rule book can be fully applied as of May 2019. To come specifically to a question raised by Mr Marias, central banks and similar institutions are always exempt in these kinds of cases.

 
  
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  Petr Ježek, rapporteur. – Mr President, I was not told that building the Capital Markets Union would be a night job. Therefore I will be very brief.

I am delighted that this first element of the Capital Markets Union garnered such broad support. I see it as a common achievement. I am glad, not only from the point of view of substance, but also because nowadays, when times are difficult, some may wobble. I think that this example clearly shows that the groups in the European Parliament and the EU institutions are able to work together very well and deliver.

 
  
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  Przewodniczący. – Zamykam debatę.

Głosowanie odbędzie się w środę 5 kwietnia 2017 r.

 
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