Macron Said to Unveil Insurance-Friendly Business Bill in May

(Bloomberg) -- President Emmanuel Macron is set to unveil legislation aimed at leveraging the more-than 200 billion euros ($248 billion) in French public funds to boost investments in small- and medium-sized companies, according to two government officials.

The omnibus bill, prepared by Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, will ease regulations on access and use of France’s life-insurance funds and corporate savings plans, according to one of the officials, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private. The legislation will come before the cabinet in Paris on May 2, the official said.

The bill seeks to help small French companies grow and to bolster the competitiveness of the eurozone’s second-largest economy, which has fewer mid-sized firms than either Germany or Italy. The legislation will also encourage savers to invest in funds directed at these smaller firms, according to the official.

The bill would also scrap a series of thresholds, including giving firms more versatility when they change size to avoid encumbering tax treatments, one of the official said. This would help companies invest in their industry and to possibly grow faster.

Macron spokesman Christophe Castaner said on France Inter radio Tuesday that the government hasn’t decided yet whether to use the executive order process, which would allow the president to bypass regular legislative channels making for faster ratification. Macron has been criticized for using the abridged process in the past.

The bill also will allow the state to cut its stake in companies such at Aeroports de Paris, according to the official. Since the businesses are regulated, the government believes it’s no longer necessary to have major shareholdings.

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