ECONOMIC BRIEFS

Finance committee goes to work on law revisions

The Parliamentary Finances, Budget and Currency Committee approved a draft revision to the law on bonds on November 30. The bill further liberalizes the issuing of bonds in accordance with Slovakia's efforts to join the OECD.

The approval of the Finance Ministry will henceforth be required only for bonds with maturity of up to one year, with the exception of municipal bonds, according to the bill. Because municipal budgets are part of the general public sector budget, issuing bonds requires approval by the ministry.

One-third of the committee voted against a clause in the bill that would enable the issuer of a bond to change the terms of issue during the life of the bond, such as the name of the issuer and the place of pay-out.

The committee also approved draft revisions to the Foreign Exchange Act and the Act on Offenses, which will enable further liberalization of the foreign exchange regime. The revisions also change regulations regarding the acquisition of foreign securities by residents and of real estate by non-residents.

In the first half of 2000, an institution with authority over the capital market and insurance is expected to be established, with expansion to banking supervision in 2001.

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