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The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of two Bills

The Bill on Amendments to the Investment Funds Act (15 SE), initiated by the Government, will allow the funds of pension funds to be invested in unquoted securities to the extent of up to 30 per cent instead of the current 10 per cent. “Also, as a result of the amendment, pension funds will be allowed to acquire a holding of over 10 per cent and controlling holdings in enterprises. Under the current Act, a pension fund may not own more than 10 per cent of the shares of an enterprise,“ the Minister of Finance Sven Sester said in explanation.

Aivar Sõerd who made a report on behalf of the Finance Committee gave an overview of the discussion that had been held in the committee. It had been stated that better investment opportunities needed to be created for pension funds.

Sõerd noted at the debate that the funds of pension funds are one of the important sources of long-term capital. The availability of capital increases employment, productivity and innovation. “Investments of pension funds in the local capital market would enliven the market here. The larger the local capital market, the larger the variety of investment alternatives, especially for starting and rapidly growing enterprises,” Sõerd said. He added that the entry into force of the amendment would not mean that the investments of pension funds in assets in Estonia would begin to grow immediately and rapidly. Thus additional steps will be needed to achieve this goal. Offering of investable assets, greater activeness of market participants, and a general enlivening in the Estonian securities market could be increased considerably if the minority shareholding of a company owned by the state was taken to the stock exchange. The larger and more attractive the enterprise that the state can bring to the stock exchange, the greater the impact on the stock exchange.

The Bill on Amendments to the Water Act (23 SE), initiated by the Government, will fully transpose the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive. It provides for the obligation of Member States to develop marine strategies with the aim of achieving good environmental status in the marine environment. On the basis of the Estonian Maritime Policy 2012‒2020, the Ministry of the Environment will draw up a marine strategy that will become part of the maritime policy approved in 2012. One aim of the strategy will be to improve the state of the marine environment. In the course of the development of the marine strategy, an initial assessment of the state of the marine environment will be carried out, and the good environmental status of the marine environment and environmental targets will be defined. The marine strategy will be updated every six years as of approval.

Video recordings of the Riigikogu sittings can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu

(NB! The recording will be uploaded with a delay.)

Riigikogu Press Service

Gunnar Paal, 631 6351, 5190 2837

[email protected]