PENSION FUNDS GIVEN FULL SCOPE BY LAW
Pension funds will get the dreamt liberalization of the investment regime, it became clear during the economic forum, held in Sofia last week. The problem which these companies face now is if this won't be accompanied by tightening of control. It is possible to subject mandatory funds to a strickter regime than voluntary funds, the Chairman of the State Agency for Insurance Supervision Bisser Petkov commented. It is already clear that pension funds will be allowed to invest the bulk of their money abroad (according to the effective legislation 10% of of their assets can be invested in foreign markets). This percentage will be probably changed to 30% by the amendments to the Act on Additional Pension Insurance. At the same time, however, requirements to the professional qualification of the members of management boards and investment managers of the funds will be increased. It is important that companies find a balance between profitability and security, Deputy Minister of Trade and Social Policies Valeri Apostolov commented.One of the ways to give pension funds certain freedom is the new draft bill on companies with a special investment purpose, to be moved to Parliament by the National Movement Simeon II (NMSII) in the coming weeks. The draft will include the rules by which the funds will be able to make the so-called securitization of assets. Securitization means transformation of the ownership on certain tangible assets (a building for example) into ownership of securities (shares). This operation practically means transferrence of certain assets on potential investors, experts commented. These funds' securities will be a liquidity instrument, Stoyan Danchiisky, curator of Bulgarian-American Credit Bank, specified.This procedure shall not be separate for each asset, because it is labour-consuming. A special purpose company will be set for effecting the transaction. The company will be managed by a board of directors. Special purpose companies will offer securities in compliance with legal provisions.It is expected that after the liberalization of the investment regime pension funds will be among the first to take advantage of the new legislative act, experts commented.