The Euronext Brussels Stock Exchange is more than happy with the last six months’ performance, as much in terms of new capital investments as transaction volume, we learned on Tuesday during a press conference. Between the beginning of the year and the end of August, the average daily transaction volume increased to 522 million euros, which is comparable to the volumes seen during the turbulent crisis year of 2008, and more than the average of 360 million euros a day during 2014. The first-half figure represents more than 75,000 daily transactions, which is indeed a record. The total market capitalisation on the Brussels Stock Exchange reached another record high of 3.4 billion euros at the end of last month.
From January to the end of June, 1.74 billion euros were raised or invested through shares and 1.64 billion euros through bonds. “The first half of 2015 was highly intense, one of best periods investment bankers have seen since the crisis,” summarised Alain Baetens, responsible for listings within Euronext Bruxelles.
For his part, Vincent Van Dessel, the CEO of the Brussels Stock Exchange, repeated his criticisms of the Capital Gains Tax related to speculation on shares held for less than six months, which the Federal Government has decided to instigate from 2016. This tax should raise 28 million euros next year, a drop in the ocean in comparison to the negative effects feared, particularly for small businesses, warns M. Van Dessel.
The measure is also considered too cumbersome from an administrative point of view. Consequently, it will discourage small investors and particularly affect small businesses, in M. Van Dessel’s opinion. He is calling for an exception to be made for the shares of the latter. “We are the oil in the machine,” he continues, considering that short-term buying and selling supply liquidity but should not be considered speculation and as such be taxed. “A speculator is someone who borrows to subsequently invest in the long term,” concludes Vincent Van Dessel, referring to the stock exchange setbacks in China.