Considering that the oldest stock exchange is in Antwerp, Belgium, it is surprising that there aren’t more Belgium stocks available for trading in the United States.
Here are some interesting facts about Belgium:
1. The Antwerp Bourse, the oldest stock exchange in the world, was founded in 1460.
2. It hosts the headquarters of the European Union.
3. It is ranked number 13 in GDP per capita.
4. It is ranked number 13 in the Human Development Index..
5. It has the the third-highest proportion of 18 to 21 year olds enrolled in postsecondary education of all OCD countries.
6. It has three official languages: Dutch, French, and German.
7. It is one of the world's ten largest trading nations.
8. Its primary exports are are automobiles, food, iron, steel, finished diamonds, textiles, plastics, petroleum products, and nonferrous metals.
9. It was the first continental European country to experience the Industrial Revolution.
10. In 2006, their budget was balanced.
Below are some Belgium stocks that trade in the United States, and are worth examining:
Delhaize Group (DEG), is a Brussels-based company which trades on the New York Stock Exchange. It iis an operator of supermarkets in North America, Europe, and southeast Asia. In the U.S., it owns Food Lion, Bloom, Bottom Dollar, Harveys, Hannaford Bros., Kash n' Karry and Sweetbay. It has a P/E of 17.36, and pays a yield of 1.4%. Agfa Gevaert NV (OTC:AFGVF), is an imaging technologies company which develops, manufactures and distributes analog, and digital image products to businesses. Its consumer film and camera business, which was the company’s original business, was sold off in 2004, and later went bankrupt. The stock has a P/E of 23.1. Option NV SA ADR (OTCPK:OPNVY), develops and sells wireless communication devices, data cards, USB dongles, wireless routers and embedded modules. The stock has a P/E of 14.33. RHJ International SA (OTCPK:RHJIF), is a diversified holding company which has extensive investments in Japan. Its profit margins, and operating margins have been negative. Solvay S.A. ADR (OTC:SVYSY) , is a pharmaceuticals, chemicals and plastics company. It produces drugs for cardiometabolic, neuroscience, flu vaccines, pancreatic enzymes, gastroenterology, and hormone therapy. The stock has a P/E of 13.01, and pays a yield of 6.1%. Dexia SA Belgium (OTC:DXBGF), is a retail bank which serves individuals, and small and medium size businesses. It also provides asset management, insurance, and investor services. Its operating margin is 97.32%, and the return on average equity is 15.39%. iShares MSCI Belgium Index (NYSEARCA:EWK), is an exchange traded fund which allows you to play the Belgian stock market with diversification. It pays a yield of 1.59%.
Disclosure: The author does not own any of the above.