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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.

  • Wednesday 27/6/2018
    Frank Lierman

    Report based on the panel debate “Rebuilding trust in Banks: the role of Leadership”, Belgian Financial Forum, Brussels, 18 January 2018.

  • Wednesday 27/6/2018

    This article is composed of excerpts from the 2017 annual report of the National Bank of Belgium (“Report 2017 - Economic and financial developments, NBB, March 2018), the FSAP results and recommendations published by the IMF on 8 March 2018 (Belgium : Financial System Stability Assessment”, IMF, March 2018) and the press release issued by the NBB at the time (IMF stress tests confirm that Belgian banks and insurance companies are able to withstand severe shocks, NBB, 8 March 2018).

  • Tuesday 17/4/2018
    Jeroen Dijsselbloem

    Report of the speech given by Jeroen Dijsselbloem, former Chairman of the Eurogroup, at the Belgian Financial Forum on the 29th of January 2018 in Brussels.

  • Tuesday 17/4/2018
    Johan Van Gompel

    In recent years, there was a broad-based recovery in Europe’s housing markets. Since the second half of 2016, a majority of EU countries are again recording annual house price increases of above 5%. The price rally has prompted public debate as to whether EU property markets are overvalued. In general, fundamental factors, such as disposable income, interest rates and demographics, can explain much of the recent rally seen in the EU28. The upturn can, in particular, be linked to the prevailing low interest-rate environment and to the economic recovery that started early 2013. Looking forward, the sustained positive growth environment will likely provide sufficient counterweight to rising interest rates. Therefore, further house price increases, albeit at a notably more modest pace than of late, are the most likely scenario for the coming years. The main risks facing Europe’s housing markets are to emerge in circumstances where there is: (1) a severe growth slowdown combined with rising unemployment, (2) an unexpectedly strong and sudden increase in interest rates, and (3) a decline in popularity of real estate as an investment. Based on our assessment of valuation metrics and household indebtedness indicators, vulnerabilities to such shocks seem the largest in Sweden, Luxembourg and Austria.

  • Tuesday 17/4/2018
    Werner De Bondt

    Article based on lecture at Lecture at Aula Rector Dhanis, University of Antwerp, Belgium, December 12, 2017.

  • Tuesday 17/4/2018
    Pol Tansens

    Both institutional and private investors can give priority to diversification, acquiring direct real estate on markets they know well, and operating (other) private and listed real estate vehicles in order to acquire greater exposure to those real estate markets with which they may be less familiar. Indeed, we deliberately embrace investments in REITs (or funds investing in REITs), as they provide access to the more international property markets. It is clear that listed real estate companies invest in real estate, but at the same time they operate in a market parallel to the physical real estate market, in other words the stock exchange.

    Thus, property stocks can have different risks (volatility) and yield characteristics, especially in times of high inflation. Therefore, investors' attention at present needs to be focused on future dividend yields. We believe that, in the near future, investors will 'demand' a higher real total return (before leverage) to offset increased property risk. Stable or higher cap rates moderate the total return, reducing the increase in value. We assume that the total return (before financing) for most property markets will not exceed 10% this year.

  • Tuesday 17/4/2018
    Frank Maet

    Speech based on presentation at Belgian Financial Forum, Lichtervelde, November, 30, 2017.

  • Tuesday 17/4/2018
    Gert De Mesure

    De Belgische residentiële vastgoedmarkt blijft hoge toppen scheren. Het streven naar een eigen woning zorgt voor een constante vraag naar woningen, de aangroei van de Belgische bevolking versterkt die vraag. Door de lage rente ontwikkelde zich een bijkomende vraag naar residentieel vastgoed als beleggingsobject. Of woningen vandaag hierdoor te duur zijn, dat laten we in het midden. We weten wel dat beleggen in vastgoed diverse voordelen heeft zoals een stabiele inkomstenstroom, een bescherming tegen inflatie, een hogere opbrengst dan het klassieke spaarboekje, terwijl het een mindere correlatie vertoont met andere activaklassen zoals aandelen en obligaties.

    Beleggen in vastgoed heeft ook nadelen. Het is minder liquide (het verkoopproces neemt meerdere weken in beslag), er zijn belangrijke transactiekosten, de instapdrempel ligt hoog en het risico is geconcentreerd in een actief.

    Beleggen in vastgoed via een beursgenoteerd fonds kan een alternatief bieden. We denken hierbij aan de GVV, of de gereglementeerde vastgoedvennootschap, vroeger beter bekend als de vastgoedbevak. De GVV geniet een gunstig fiscaal statuut en heeft diverse voordelen zoals een aantrekkelijk dividendrendement, een brede risicospreiding (over een groot aantal huurders, geografisch en tussen vastgoedsegmenten), een goede liquiditeit (kan op elk moment verkocht worden) en een heel professioneel beheer.

  • Tuesday 17/4/2018
    Book Review

    Book Review: Preparing for the Next Financial Crisis – Policies, Tools and Models / Edited by Esa Jokivuolle and Radu Tunaru. Review by Leonardo Iania, member of the BFW/RBF editorial board.

  • Thursday 8/3/2018
    José Manuel González-Páramo

    Report of the conference of mister José Manuel González-Páramo, Belgian Financial Forum, Brussels 04.12.2017.