The joy of owning

Belarus needs to improve use of laws on institution of property

In order to develop the institution of property in Belarus need to improve not as regulatory framework as practices of its use

This is the conclusion of the round table organized by the Union of nonprofit organizations «Belarusian Confederation of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (Employers)» in order to develop proposals and discuss the protection of property rights and corporate relations. These topics today are on hearing. It is clear that entrepreneur will not invest their «blood» money in the business, not knowing that his investment is safe. It is difficult to count on the development of the stock market in a situation where shareholders can’t influence the management of the company and receive tangible dividends.

This is whose?

It seems the debate about what kind of property there are more effective — public or private sounds today already not as prevalent. Practice has shown that the operating results do not always depend on the form of ownership. For example, on results of last year, as calculated Belstat, there were 4,8 % of all loss-making organizations in the country. Meanwhile among the small businesses in the «minus» goes over 20 %. And it`s not that they are less effective. Just the level of income for some owners is not the most crucial parameter. Experts explain: we have inherited from socialism such a «disease» as chronically low capitalization of the whole society, so private entrepreneurs are trying to work to ourselves to return all that was not obtained by past generations.

Such an opportunity for shareholders of Belarusian enterprises is almost no. It is estimated that only half of all corporations pay dividends, and that in a very modest amount. What is the reason? «…Businesses often unprofitable to be profitable because this entails a additional taxation», board member of the RPA «BCIE» Leonid Friedkin explains. In addition, the state withdraws part of the profits in without further authorization, therefore the state stocks are privileged of its kind». On the possibility of minority shareholders (owners of small blocks of shares) to influence the management of the company, too can speak with great reserve. «No one will buy assets if they do not give him any rights», Leonid Friedkin concludes.

Give an advice

Private conversation is about the system of corporate governance, which was formed at the Belarusian enterprises. This tool, which is designed to link the interests of the owner and the manager, is now almost not used. In international practice boards of directors or supervisory boards provide corporate governance. Herewith, the main principle is the independence of the majority of its members. There are competent managers, capable and good advice to give, if necessary, and monitor the progress of business processes. In Belarus, mostly employees of the company are in the board of directors. Why is not used this effective tool? International experts, including the IMF, tend to explain this by trivial underestimation. Meanwhile, the quality of corporate governance this is an advantage, for which investors are willing to even pay extra. Accordingly, such a business is valued much higher.

Carry your money

Today the property is formed in two main sectors the real and banking, Professor at the Institute of Continuing Education BSU Georgy Grits drew attention. Herewith, specificity of our economy is such that the bulk of the formation of GDP accounted for by the real sector. According to this indicator Belarus confidently overtake the majority of European countries. And what about investments? These streams are much more directed confident in the banking sector. Meanwhile today the real sector desperately needs in finance, because two key challenges are facing it: new job creation and productivity growth.

Where to get the necessary financial resources? Expert offers to look at the structure of deposits in commercial banks. So, on February, 1 of this year about Br 51,7 trillions lay on ruble deposits, of which Br 24,6 trillions belong to physical persons, Br 27,1 trillions to juridical persons. Currency deposits at that date amounted to $ 10.6 billion. «Money is like there. But  the banks do not build factories, not produce cars, economist noted.  Perhaps, in the real sector should create conditions which comparable to bank profitability.»

That, what is at hand

The common thread running through the entire discussion was the idea that, before initiating new documents of legislation, it is necessary to use the ones that are already taken. This view was support by the head of the UNDP project «Assistance to the Government of Belarus in the process of joining the WTO through strengthening by the institutional capacity and expertise» Alexei Vanin. He noted that in the framework of the project for the past two years were the studies of the Belarusian legislation for compliance with WTO requirements. «International experts concluded that a set of regulations we have enough to regulate property relations and corporate relations», Alexei Vanin said.

Which in this case is not enough? In this question, experts are almost unanimous: need to organize the process and improve the practice of application of law in this area.

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