CONFERINȚA "Viitorul pieței de capital românești" - Ediția a VI-a
BURSA 04.07.2017

Adina Ardeleanu (translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)
 
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     *  A new blunder, trademark Toma Petcu: "Energy companies do not have investments in the pension funds "
       While Agriculture Minister Petre Daea causes amusement through his speeches about sheep, Energy Minister Toma Petcu seems to be the champion of blunders.
     Very sure of himself, the Energy Minister yesterday explained how the stocks of companies in his ministry's portfolio shouldn't have been affected by the statements of Finance Minister Ionuț Mișa concerning the elimination of the Second Pillar of private pensions, which were later retracted. The reason that Toma Petcu provided was mind-boggling: because the energy companies do not have investments in the Second Pillar pension funds.
     With such an explanation, you don't know whether to laugh or cry.
     You're just left stunned.
     But Toma Petcu, doesn't ask questions, he just utters nonsense nonchalantly. He even seems proud to be tackling such a difficult topic as finance.
     The Energy Minister was asked about the effects of the statements made by Ionuț Mișa on the stocks of energy companies.
     We hereinafter reproduce the answer of Toma Petcu, which he could have kept brief in order to avoid the point where he started talking nonsense: "This is not the first time when the stock market developments of all the companies, not just those in the energy sector, may have significant drops or rises.
     During these two days, today is the third (ed. note: since the statement of Ionuț Mișa), I have no knowledge of transactions having been made, in other words sales of shares in companies in which the ministry is a majority and maybe even a minority shareholder, therefore we can't speak about concrete losses at the moment, out of the price difference.
     I hope and I am convinced, that the stock market will slowly get back to the previous values and maybe even go higher, as far as the stocks of energy companies are concerned.
     I think that we would have actually seen a significant impact if major transactions actually existed. Sure, we don't want the evolution of the stock market to be a fluctuating one and especially one with negative fluctuations. If those statements affected anything, they should have probably affected first of all those companies that have investments in Second Pillar pension funds. I don't know any companies in the portfolio of the Ministry of Energy having that kind of investments. I think it was a chain reaction, of all the companies, of the stock market in general. It was a reaction. I am convinced that this week, that thing will get resolved".
     Thursday, specialists criticized the statement of the new Finance Minister, Ionuț Mișa, concerning the elimination of the 2nd Pillar Private Mandatory Pensions, and the subsequent retraction by Mihai Tudose, Liviu Dragnea and by Ionuț Mișa himself, especially since those blunders actually took place while the trading session was open and led to significant drops.
     Toma Petcu didn't understand what it was about and apparently didn't ask for clarifications.
     Mr. Toma Petcu, 2nd Pillar is the name given to the privately managed pension system, with set contributions, which are mandatory for people below 35 years of age, and optional for people aged 35 to 45.
     Meaning it is citizens that have "investments" in the 2nd pillar pension funds, not companies.
     The private pension fund proposes for the participants' money to be invested in the long term and not spent right away, and the participants have the right of ownership over the personal account in which their retirement money is being collected.
     In other words, the employees contributions' are collected by the private pension funds and invested by the fund managers in various assets.
     On May 19th, exactly 9 years after the actual launch of the 2nd Pillar, the number of participants in these funds has reached almost 6.9 million Romanians, and the net assets under management have exceeded 35.1 billion lei (7.7 billion Euros), according to the APAPR.
     At the end of April, 20% of the assets of 2nd Pillar pension funds were invested in shares listed on the Stock Exchange, meaning also in shares that were part of the portfolio of the Energy Ministry.
     The elimination of the 2nd Pillar, as Ionuț Mișa initially announced, meant the liquidation of the private pension funds, meaning the sale of all the assets in their portfolios. Just to make it clear to Mr. Toma Petcu, that meant a selling pressure on the shares of those companies. That is why investors who chose to sell immediately after the statement of the Finance Minister chose to sell.
     No, Mr. Toma Petcu, the companies didn't lose anything. Their market value dropped. Meaning, anybody looking to sell, hypothetically speaking even the Energy Ministry, will find buyers at lower prices. 
 

 
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