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BFW digitaal / RBF numérique 2021/05

  • Monday 17/5/2021
    Geert Gielens

    Belgium used to be known as a country with a high tendency to save. The banking sector managed to inject this savings mass into the real economy. There is hence no systematic savings surplus. However, since the beginning of the COVID crisis savings increased strongly and part of these savings must be placed overnight with the ECB. The COVID pandemic thus shows that supply and demand in our financial markets are not well aligned and that there are some missing links in our financial landscape. 

  • Monday 17/5/2021
    Georges Hübner

    The coronavirus crisis has created two bottlenecks in the financial circuit. On the lending side, there is a surplus of idle household savings for many - but not all - households, while there is a potentially large unmet need for capital increases at affordable conditions for those companies that have suffered from the crisis. To redirect savings into an alternative financial instrument, the latter must be (i) safe, (ii) liquid, (iii) non-loss-making, and (iv) socially meaningful. To persuade companies to open their capital to external investors, they should be able to issue securities that are (i) equity-like, (ii) non-diluting, (iii) non-voting, and (iv) self-destructing. It is not easy to link these two incompatible needs, but we believe that, thanks to the current economic conditions with low interest rates but a positive expected economic growth rate, some adequate financial engineering could bridge the gap. For households, we advocate the issuance of liquid bullet bonds with a variable coupon and guaranteed capital. On the corporate side, the proceeds of these bonds would be invested in callable, cumulative, convertible preferred shares. A proper asset & liability management governance can ensure a smooth management of the maturity, credit and liquidity risks of the structure. Based on the feedback of many knowledgeable actors of the Belgian economy, we list several potential hindrances that need to be overcome to succeed with this project, but we believe that none represents a crippling obstacle.  

     

  • Monday 17/5/2021
    Ben Granjé

    The organisation wants to stress the crucial role that small to medium sized investors play in our national economy, by financing the small & medium sized enterprises. These Belgian-sized companies lack attention and liquidity from the larger and institutional investors, which drains the lifeforce from the Brussels exchange ever more and consequently of our national economy.             
    This year, again, the amount of dormant savings in Belgium has reached record highs: over 600 billion euros. To boost the economic revival in Belgium, it is vital to activate these reserves.  
    In this article, VFB proposes several elements to achieve this activation, thereby creating multiple benefits towards the financial health of this country, its economy, and its population. Essentially, VFB promotes equity investment through better financial education, (employee) share ownership in both listed and unlisted companies to gain experience and alleviate social unrest, and fiscal incentives to overcome a long history of populist storytelling (painting investors as a load on society in stead of the engine). A small initial cost should yield significant ROI for all stakeholders.

  • Monday 17/5/2021
    Van den Broele, Baeten, Ernaelsteen, Roosens

    The actual policy measures taken by the different governments focus mainly on the liquidity needs of the companies. The actual situation of the companies reveals the increasing solvency challenges. Some 20% of the companies who were healthy before the crisis, are now facing huge difficulties. Fiscal measures are needed to restore and pump up the solvency. This can be done via the company tax: recuperation of fiscal losses, self financing, deductibility of risk capital, tax credit for the increase of own funds. But the mobilisation of risk capital and savings is also needed via the launching of a COVID-19-taxshelter, a new version of the “Cooreman - De Clercq” stimulus in favour of investment in equities, the creation of quasi-own funds. Of course, an increased deductibility for investments or an acceleration of amortisations could be also helpful. 

  • Monday 17/5/2021
    Boekbespreking "De laatste gouverneur"

    Boekbespreking: “De laatste gouverneur. Alfons Verplaetse en de politiek” Rik Van Cauwelaert

    Standaard Uitgeverij, 2021, ISBN 9789002269271, 272 p.

    (door Carlos Bourgeois, Lid van het Redactiecomité Bank- en Financiewezen)