On Wednesday September 19th Ageas held its Investor Day. Ageas’ Management presented the company’s new strategic plan
Ageas intends to pay a regular annual dividend in cash, based on the profit made on insurance activities. Ageas is aiming at a dividend distribution ratio of around 40 to 50 % of the net profit on insurance activities. The exact percentage will depend on the circumstances at the time, and in particular on developments as regards the growth plans and the resources available to finance them.
In 2009, ageas SA/NV obtained a cash settled call option on BNP Paribas shares acquired by the Federal Holding and Investment Company (Federale Participatie- en Investeringsmaatschappij / Société Fédérale de Participations et d'Investissement) (FPIM). This call option was sold by Ageas to FPIM for an amount of EUR 144 million
In accordance with its commitment to the European Commission, the Board of directors of Ageas proposed to the shareholders’ meeting held in September 2013 to distribute this amount to the shareholders by way of a capital reduction, increased to EUR 1.00 per share. This amount of EUR 1.00 (net to gross) was paid to shareholders on 13 December 2013.
In the context of the further simplification of the legal structure of Ageas, the merger between ageas N.V. (acquired company) and ageas SA/NV (acquiring company) was decided upon at the Extraordinary General Meetings of Shareholders held in Utrecht on 28th June 2012 and in Brussels on 29th June 2012. At the same time, the “twinned share” principle (a "Unit" consisting of one ageas SA/NV share and one ageas N.V. share) was withdrawn. As a consequence whenever Ageas pays a dividend, this will now always be a Belgian dividend, and in principle a Belgian withholding tax of 30% is due on the gross dividend.
Belgium entered into tax treaties with a large number of countries which may allow for the reduction of the withholding tax on dividends for residents of those countries, subject to certain conditions, such as the size of the participation and the fulfilment of specific identification formalities. Shareholders should consult their own tax advisor as soon as possible to determine whether they are eligible for a reduction in the withholding tax on the payment or granting of dividends, as well as to learn more about the procedural requirements for obtaining a reduction in withholding tax at the payment of dividends, or to apply for a refund.
Applying for a reduced rate on the basis of a tax treaty can be done by means of the form_276_Div_Aut;
Under certain circumstances, the reduced rate can already be applied at source if form no. 276 Div.-Aut is timely submitted by the shareholder.
Applying for the reduced rate after the dividend payment (claiming excess tax withheld) can be done by submitting the above form to the Belgian tax authorities (at the latest before the expiry of a period of three years as of 1 January of the year following the year of the dividend payment).