Capital market: another missed opportunity?

More savings and investment would result in a society that is less dependent on the State, with freer citizens and companies. Who wants that?

The State Budget (OE) proposal for 2021 does not, as we know, have significant measures to support companies. But more serious than the OE2021 does not include a relief from the tax burden of companies is the fact that, once again, it ignores the need to revive the Portuguese capital market.

The capital market is fundamental so that savings can be put at the service of the economy, financing and capitalizing companies so that they can create jobs and wealth, as João Leão himself argued in a presentation of an OECD report that took place few days before the submission of your OE2021 proposal.

"In the current context of supporting the recovery of our economy, the capital market can and should play an essential role in the capitalization and financing of companies and in attracting savings for that purpose", said the Minister of Finance, on October 2 last .

However, the OE2021, presented a few days later, does not have a single measure to boost the capital market. This means that, despite the promises of the Government (which announced the creation of a task force to find solutions to this issue), OE2021 is, it seems, yet another missed opportunity.

The reasons why Portuguese companies do not use the stock exchange will be several, starting with the fact that for the majority it is easier to finance themselves in banking. There may also be cultural factors, among others. To face these obstacles, measures are needed to encourage financing through the capital market, as well as reducing bureaucracy and easing regulatory requirements.

However, despite the beautiful words, the Governments of António Costa have never shown great sensitivity to the theme, which is understandable if we take into account that the parties that support it - including a good part of the PS - do not die of love by any measure that dynamises the capital market.

It is not just an ideological prejudice against the so-called “speculators” (who are very helpful when it is necessary to find those who continue to finance the chronic deficits of the Republic), but also a question of coherence. In the end, more savings and investment would result in a society that is less dependent on the State, with freer citizens and companies. Who wants that?

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