Greenvolt founder calls on tax incentives
The president and founder of Portuguese green energy company Greenvolt which has raised €500 million from investors on the Lisbon stock market, said that more companies might float on the market if the government gave more tax incentives.
Wading into the recurrent discussion in Portugal’s financial sector and asked why there were not more companies with scale floating on the capital markets, João Manso Neto said at the annual CMVM stock market regulator conference that the government needed to “take bolder measures” to encourage this, like reducing the tax burden on investors and reducing taxes on the issuers”. (of securities and shares)
“We’ll probably be having the same conversation a year from now when there are excellent Portuguese companies that could access the capital markets”, said Manso Neto. “If we want to really make changes, its not by tinkering around the edges; there have to be concrete positive measures. Is that logical? Perhaps not. Is it necessary! Probably.”
Greenvolt was the most recent company to float on Lisbon’s stock market Euronext, beginning trading in September 2021. Manso Neto said at the conference: “It is said that Portugal is very complicated when it comes to getting (trading) licenses. In our case I wasn’t. There was a constructive dialogue with the CMVM (Portugal’s stock market regulator) and Euronext. We were able to attract international and Portuguese capital, the latter of which we do have in Portugal,” adding “It’s a myth that Portugal doesn’t have capital”.
Manso Neto was speaking at the conference whose core theme this year was “A Future more Open to the Market” and whose aim was to educate and open up a discussion about the capital markets and the part they play in corporate growth and sustainable development.
Also speaking at the conference was the President of the Navigator Company (a fine quality paper manufacturer), António Redondo who said that being on the stock market (i.e., the capital markets) made a company behave in a more self-disciplined way, as well as in terms of corporate governance, which was vital when competing in international markets.
While Navigator has not been so active of late on the shares market, it did issue securities (bonds) in both 2021 and 2022.
The paper and paper paste company is listed on over 30 indices and included in over 70 investment funds in areas such as environmental, social and ESG. Redondo agreed with Manso Neto that there was capital available, and not just in these areas.
The landscape was somewhat different for startups, with the general partner of Indico Capital Partners, Cristina Fonseca emphasising that the Venture Capital market was “relatively new” in Portugal and that the US was the “natural path” (for Portuguese technology startups) when seeking capital.
“One of the main goals for a startup is to go to the capital markets (meaning venture capital companies), and there is some capital in Portugal for its initial investment rounds, but the capital market (in Portugal) is small for a company with potential. There are many studies that show that Europe does not have sufficient capital to finance companies which have to go to the US for funding, get listed there and make their returns there,” she said.