The sole Romanian broker at the 'greenest' exchange

In a time when Romanian brokerage market is at the edge of survival, in the midst of a crisis that forces companies to look outside of their business for other profit making opportunities, Adrian Simionescu and securities division of Vienna Investment group have geared 75% of the financial and human resources towards the world’s greenest exchange: Bluenext, the leading environmental trading exchange in the world, founded by NYSE Euronext.

The most optimistic broker at the greenest market

For more than a year, the stock market has been facing some high volatility, investor confidence falling on a bear market while liquidity remaining feeble. Brokers were thus forced to look outside and seek new opportunities that could keep them afloat. The general trend indicated a positioning to external markets, as a mature and cash-generating alternative for investors.

In these circumstances, Adrian Simionescu, manager of Vienna Investment Trust, also known as the most optimistic Romanian broker, has found a market that combines passion for trading with care for the environment.

He is thus a full-right member of the world’s greenest exchange: Bluenext, the environmental trading exchange founded in 2007 by NYSE Euronext and state-owned French Caisse de Depots.

Bluenext enables trading of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emission, and offers spot and futures contracts through European Union Allowances and Certified Emission Reductions.

In an interview to Wall-Street, Simionescu said the membership process started in early 2008. The reason of this reorientation: the dire state of the Romanian financial market.

“The lack of a financial culture is visible now and relevant progress in financial markets come at a significant delay. In first quarter last year, we started the necessary process to access the developed markets. Access is limited, players are well established and afford to keep admission requirements at high level, from financial and human resources to organizational and educational background”, said the manager.

In this process, the company followed three directions: member with full rights at Euronext, introducing broker to one of the largest brokerage firms already active or through existent broker dealers.

“We were admitted with full member rights, we have access to all financial markets and we offer services similar to those in the West. Among all the markets under Euronext there is also Bluenext, the world’s leading environmental trading”, said Simionescu.

This exchange has currently 104 active members, international market dealers, such as Barclays, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, E.On Energy Trading, Gazprom, Fortis, JP Morgan, Merril Lynch, Nomura, Morgan Stanley or Royal Bank of Scotland.

Romania, attractive for renewable energy investors

Adrian Simionescu said he is one of the advocates to stop global warming, the climate change being more and more visible.

After Vienna Investment Trust achieved full member rights for trading on Bluenext, it established contacts with large energy-focused companies and investment banks, especially since it is the sole Romanian member.

“Central and Eastern Europe is an area of great interest for investors who are now inching back to emerging markets lured by prospects of high returns and surveys suggesting high potential in renewable energy. On one hand, CEE has its own tradition on energy production and meets all the conditions of investors. But the progress is delayed by the years-old power installations and authorities’ failure to stimulate production of renewable energy and reduce CO2 emission”.

In addition, in the midst of a cash flow crisis, large energy giants have billions of euro earmarked for renewable energy investments.

The manager of Vienna Investment said he started a campaign across the country, to educate energy producers and other large polluters in iron and steel industry, cement and lime.

“It is a new market, a still untapped field, given that Romania has been largely pushed to act in reducing greenhouse gas by European Commission”.

After the accession to European Union, Romania observes the same regulations of the community as all the other Member States, namely to reduce greenhouse gas by 8% under the provisions of Kyoto protocol, an international environmental treaty that 160 countries voted in 1997.

The Kyoto agreement aims to lower overall emissions from a group of six greenhouse gases by 2008-12 by a minimum 5% against 1990 level. The European Union has committed to lower greenhouse gas by 8%. Cuts in the three most important gases - carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N20) - is measured against a base year of 1990.

For Romania, after additional intervention of specialists, 2000 has been taken as base year, as the allocations would have been too large, if 1990 had been considered as reference year.

The aim of greenhouse gas certification under the treaty was to enable producers, polluters to be exact, to take profits from certificates, and invest it in technologies to reduce carbon dioxide emission, for which they receive another certificate, to minimize pollution and ramp up renewable energy production, said Simionescu.

In April this year, the Romanian National Securities Commission has made the necessary adjustments in current regulations to make greenhouse gas certificates subject to securities legislation of Romanian capital market, after the decision of Sibiu Exchange to establish and administrate an alternative platform for greenhouse gas certificate trading.

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