Euronext and APFIPP call on tax incentives for investment
Isabel Ucha, the President of Euronext and João Pratas, President of the Portuguese Association of Investment Funds, Pensions and Patrimony (APFIPP) have called on the government to provide tax incentives for investment.
In an interview with the online news source ECO on financial literacy, both spoke about the role of technology in efforts to increase the low level of financial literacy in Portugal relative to the rest of Europe.
They also stressed the importance of improving literary finance, not just in relationship to individual investors, but also companies so that they can learn how to raise finance through the capital markets, avoiding increased borrowing from more traditional sources such as banks.
In relation to the government, they were disappointed that ideas of introducing tax measures to encourage the Portuguese to invest their savings had fallen on deaf ears. Isabel Ucha and João Pratas also highlighted the need to stimulate savings to reform a social security system because pensions for the next generations will necessarily have to fall.
They also criticised the fact that the task force report that had resulted from studies made by the OECD on Portuguese companies and accessing financing on the capital markets, has been ignored by the government and shelved.
In terms of increasing financial and digital literacy both for investors and companies, Isabel Ucha said that Euronext had a pre-IPO programme called IPO Ready, which is an international programme that is free for companies, and whereby every year 10 to 12 companies are put in direct contact with investors and financial intermediaries. In June, Euronext also launched its Elite programme; a programme that is broader than the capital markets alone, and acts as a growth driver.
João Prata said that for 20 years the APFIPP had been asking for a level playing field between investment and financial insurance. Financial insurance, he agreed, was excellent because at the end of five years IRS falls 20%, and for those who maintain their policy to maturity, they get a further reduction of 20%, which encourages savings.
However, he said that the fact that investment funds didn’t have that was unbelievable. “We initially interpreted what we’ve just read in the annex to the State Budget for 2024 as a promise that is under consideration. Reading carefully, however, this was already in previous budgets.
Three years ago the two entities did a lot of work developing detailed suggestions for a task force with important ideas on tax incentives, but so far the government has shelved the whole idea.