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A number of economic/financial articles about the banking and financial activities are made freely available on a periodic basis. The articles are published in their original language.

  • Friday 17/4/2020
    Paul De Grauwe

    It appears that the objective of the internationalization of the Renminbi (requiring convertibility) and the authoritarian credit allocation mechanism within China conflict with each other. If China pursues its ambition to make the Renminbi an international currency the authorities will have to abandon their ambition to control the domestic allocation of credit. It is unclear today how the Chinese authorities wish to resolve this conflict. It seems to me that they are more likely to continue to pursue domestic financial control. As a result, it is unlikely that the Renminbi will challenge the dollar as an international currency soon. I also conclude that the future clash between the dollar and the Renminbi is not something to be expecting soon.

  • Friday 17/4/2020
    Van Gompel - Mandra

    In recent decades, emerging markets have become more integrated into the global financial system. High-yielding emerging market government debt (‘emerging debt’) gained growing interest from investors, especially against a backdrop of historically low interest rates in developed markets. Given the higher risk typically associated with emerging market assets, and a general growing interest in socially responsible investing (SRI), it is important to be able to assess whether emerging debt meets certain criteria related to economic stability, good governance, and environmental and social impacts. In connection with the SRI funds offered by KBC Asset Management, in this research report we present the sustainability screening of a wide group of emerging markets (the KBC Emerging Markets Sustainability Barometer) to arrive at a ‘best in class’ sustainable investment universe. The Central and Eastern European countries score quite well in the ranking. Countries from the region secure the top 5 spots and 11 out of 18 emerging countries that are eligible for investment in KBC's SRI bond funds originate from the region.

  • Friday 17/4/2020

    In ‘Economie, de essentie zonder formules’ geeft Johan Lambrecht een helikopterbeeld van het uitgestrekte economische landschap. In acht hoofdstukken komen belangrijke basisbegrippen als inflatie, groei en overheidsschuld aan bod en worden ze gekoppeld aan de economische actualiteit. Dat er nog steeds nood is aan zo’n inleidend boek bleek recent nog uit het European Consumer Payment Report 2019. In deze studie scoren de Belgen onder het Europese gemiddelde qua financiële geletterdheid. Het bijbrengen of opfrissen van economische basisconcepten is dus zeker geen overbodige luxe.

  • Friday 28/2/2020
    Jef Van In

    Al jaren gaat de financiële sector gebukt onder een problematiek die zowel de banken als de verzekeraars tot actie dwingt. De lage renteomgeving, het prudentieel toezicht op de balans en de solvabiliteit, de regelgeving rond consumentenbescherming sinds de bankencrisis van 2007, die onder meer heeft geleid tot een ontstopbare groei van de spaarboekjes, … stuk voor stuk uitdagingen die er mee voor hebben gezorgd dat verzekeraars hun lineair businessmodel hebben moeten aanpassen. 

  • Friday 28/2/2020
    Raïsa Basselier

    Digitalisation is having a growing impact on our daily lives: it has changed the way we connect with others, the way we do business and how we consume. In recent years, electronic platforms have emerged that link individuals with one another, but also offer them the opportunity to share goods or assets or to exchange services. In what follows, we will refer to this phenomenon as the sharing economy. Besides increased digitalisation, other factors such as urbanisation, changing cultural values and social norms and financial motives can be identified as the main drivers of this new economy. While statistical data on the size of the sharing economy are still incomplete, there are plenty of indications that it is growing rapidly. Its rising popularity also raises several challenges in terms of adequate regulation, follow-up and taxation.

  • Friday 28/2/2020
    Jan Van Hove & Jill Van Goubergen

    International headwinds, like the US-China trade war, are a major concern for small open economies like Belgium that are sailing on the waves of globalization, free trade and open markets. We take a deeper dive into the recent trends in Belgian-Chinese trade in order to determine how this bilateral trade relationship has been affected so far by the adverse international circumstances and how both economies perform in each other’s market in an international comparison. Our analysis shows that Belgian-Chinese trade withstood the globally increasing protectionism relatively well. Moreover, our findings point to new opportunities that could boost Belgian-Chinese trade in the future. In particular, China and Belgium appear to be natural partners in sectors where Belgium possesses long-term experience, knowledge and innovation and where China is interested in for its further economic and technological development.

  • Friday 28/2/2020
    Koen De Leus

    Dit artikel is gebaseerd op de toespraak van Koen De Leus voor het Belgisch Financieel Forum in Gent op 14 januari 2020.


    De Chinese groei stond de voorbije periode onder druk als gevolg van het handelsconflict met de VS. Maar ook tijdens de voorbije decennia opgeblazen zeepbellen wegen op de groei.

    Van een investeringsgedreven groei moet China evolueren naar een consumptiegedreven economie. En het heeft daar de middelen voor met een nog hoge spaarquote die naar omlaag gehaald kan worden door de uitbouw van een betere sociale zekerheid en een doorgedreven urbanisatie. Ook de digitalisering speelt in heel de Chinese economie een almaar grotere rol. De Chinese reus is ontwaakt, en de wereld zal het geweten hebben.

  • Friday 28/2/2020
    Behavioural macroeconomics

    This is a very interesting book. It is very much a book about mathematical models, yet it is also an intelligible description of the models and how they work.

  • Thursday 6/2/2020
    Benoît Coeuré

    Key-note speech given by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the Joint Conference of the ECB and the National Bank of Belgium - “Crossing the chasm to the retail payments of tomorrow” – in Brussels on 26 November 2019.

  • Thursday 6/2/2020
    Jan Vermeulen - Michiel Van Acoleyen

    The last year may be marked as a tipping point for retail payments in Belgium and in Europe with the implementation of the Payment Services Directive (PSD2) and the wide range of innovative initiatives sparking off in the market. The changes these trends are inducing in business models, in combination with the emergence of instant payments, stablecoin systems and technological innovations, will increasingly shape the sector in the years ahead. Against this background of structural and strategic challenges, both public authorities and market actors need to carefully set out their future course. This article aims to facilitate this reflection by providing an overview of the key trends and innovations currently driving the transformation of the Belgian and European payments landscape.