Press Release

BME launches White Paper with 56 measures to boost the competitiveness of Spanish capital markets

9 January, 2024
  • The White Paper presented today analyses the situation of capital markets in Spain and suggests legal, fiscal and regulatory measures to gain momentum
  • The study, one of the most ambitious to take the pulse of the competitiveness of financial markets, has gathered the opinions of listed companies, institutions and investors
  • Javier Hernani stresses that financial markets are a key element for Spain to gain in efficiency and competitiveness

BME today presented the White Paper on boosting the competitiveness of Spanish capital markets at the Madrid Stock Exchange. David Jiménez-Blanco, Vice-Chairman of BME; Javier Hernani, CEO of BME; Jorge Yzaguirre, of BME, and María Guinot, partner at Deloitte Legal, explained the highlights of the report, in an event that was closed by Rodrigo Buenaventura, Chairman of the Spanish Securities Market Commission (CNMV), and which was attended by senior representatives of listed companies, as well as the most important firms and institutions in the Spanish and international financial sector.

BME decided to draw up this White Paper to analyze the current state of Spain's financial markets as a pillar of the economy and the possible measures that could boost their competitiveness.

It is an analysis of a long-term project based on the conviction that financial markets contribute to the financing and soundness of the business community, while at the same time helping to finance the transition towards a sustainable economy. The White Paper concludes that the Spanish capital market needs a concerted effort to improve its competitiveness. A size deficit has been detected and also that Spain's current regulatory and fiscal regime puts its capital market at a disadvantage compared to other countries in a global competitive environment.

The study, prepared with the support of Deloitte, has benefited from the opinions of some thirty entities, including the main financial authorities and a large number of participants and players in the Spanish capital markets: Abante Asesores, AEAT, AEB, AIREF, Alantra, Bank of Spain, Bank of America, Citigroup, Clifford Chance, CNMV, Cuatrecasas, the Directorate General of the Treasury, Spanish Issuers, FEDEA, FinReg360, Garrigues, Goldman Sachs, IEA-FEF, Inverco, KPMG, Linklaters, Morgan Stanley, Panza Capital, Pérez-Llorca, Pontegadea, Renta 4, Spain Investor Day and Uría Menéndez.

In its White Paper, BME proposes specific measures and actions whose implementation would enable Spanish capital markets to be positioned at the level of competitiveness, presence and attractiveness that corresponds to them at European and international level, according to Spain's true economic weight.

The 56 proposed measures are divided into four main blocks:

  • Encourage the incorporation of companies in the Spanish stock markets, with measures such as:
    • Simplify and streamline the listing process.
    • Maintain the application of tax incentives under the start-up law when companies begin trading on multilateral trading systems such as BME Growth.
    • Eliminate the obligation to move from the multilateral trading system to the main market when a capitalization threshold is reached.
    • Streamline product authorization processes in derivatives markets and clearing houses.
    • Implement the measures contained in the proposed DEBRA Directive in Spanish corporate income tax legislation.
  • Enhance the channelling of investment to companies, with measures such as:
    • Develop formulas to encourage the participation of retail investors in Spanish securities markets.
    • Make more flexible and encourage investment in listed Spanish SMEs through collective investment vehicles.
    • Modify the marketing regime for hedge funds to encourage their use as an alternative investment product for private savings.
    • Encourage IPOs as a means of divestment for investees of venture capital and private equity firms.
    • Apply the non-resident exemption on dividends received by UCITS funds to EU AIFs and securities traded on MTFs.
  • Attract the circulation of savings and investment in domestic markets, avoiding their delocalization, with measures such as:
    • Eliminate the Financial Transaction Tax in Spain.
    • Develop a strategy to achieve a real increase in the volume of fixed income issuance by large Spanish companies.
    • Extend non-resident income tax exemption to capital gains on securities listed on markets for growing SMEs (BME Growth).
    • Improve and broaden retail investors' access to the primary (issuance) and secondary (trading) markets for government debt securities.
    • Modify the regulation of ETFs.
  • Support the effective development of new regulated investment and financing ecosystems, with measures such as:
    • Expedite the creation of structures to take advantage of the simplified MiCA regime.
    • Establish an incentive tax regime for digital asset activities.
    • Design a national Financial Education Plan aimed at improving the diversification of the savings and investment structure of Spanish households and converging with Europe.
    • Adapt regulation and taxation for the creation of an individual investment product in the form of an "umbrella" account or fund that allows transfers between eligible assets.
    • Promote the creation of a national roundtable to monitor and continuously improve the competitiveness of Spanish capital markets.

Javier Hernani, CEO of BME, explained that "in the last decade, the markets have channelled financing to companies in the form of capital to the tune of 217 billion euros, which gives a clear indication of their importance. If we add the contribution of fixed income, which includes public debt, the figure rises to 1.5 trillion euros channelled through the markets managed by BME". For this reason, he stressed that "promoting the activity and size of Spanish capital markets is a matter of State that requires the implementation of various strategic actions. Spain has enormous potential and all parties involved must pull in the same direction. We need to be more efficient and become more competitive as a country, and the financial markets are a key element in achieving this”.

Related documents:
* Link to the Whitepaper
* Link to the speech
* Link to the photos.  

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