During the weekend, the six Belgian political parties reached an agreement about the budget which paves the way for the formation of a Belgian Government. One of the many measures of the austerity plan that retained our attention is the taxation on stock market transactions that is to be raised from 0.17% to 0.22% (to be confirmed).
Such a tax may go at the expense of online stock market transactions and hence slow down BinckBank’s growth in the Belgian markets, which was already lagging targets. The only positive thing to be said is that all players on the Belgian market will be submitted to the same (undisclosed) tax.
We can at this stage not yet gauge what could be the impact on BinckBank’s business model though the most profitable market (Netherlands) and the fastest growing market (France) are unaffected by the Belgian measures to be introduced. Belgium also represents only 9.4% of the 3Q11 net fee and commission pool.
BinckBank has several options to cope with the raised tax. It can entirely pass on the tax raise to clients. It can leave prices unchanged for Belgian clients but decide to pass on less of the TOM benefits to the Belgian clients to compensate for the higher tax. It can leave the prices for Belgian clients unchanged and compensate for the tax raise with the TOM benefits.
We maintain our Accumulate rating and € 14 target.