The current approach to increase the stamp duty on stock market transactions contradict investment stimulation efforts especially that it comes days after reducing fees on trading collected by the Financial Regulatory Authority and the Egyptian Exchange (EGX), said Abu Bakr Imam, head of research department at Sigma Capital.
He added that the timing of the decision is not appropriate, as it comes in a period when the EGX is suffering from low trading and investors’ reluctance to buy. More incentives, instead of more burdens, were actually expected.
The Parliament’s planning and budget committee raised on Wednesday the stamp duty on stock market dealings as part of a draft law submitted by the government and scheduled for discussion in a plenary session next Sunday.
New amendment has increased the stamp duty on EGX transactions to EGP 0.75 per 1,000 for the resident trader on sale and purchase operations, from EGP 0.5 per 1,000, making the prices of both the resident and non-resident very close.
The parliamentary committee kept the tax applied on transactions conducted in the same session and reduced it from EGP 1.5 to EGP 0.5 per 1,000 only for residents. It also cancelled the tax exemption on the same day transactions.
Mohamed Maher, chairperson of the Egyptian Capital Market Association, said the decision, if approved, would reduce the expected tax revenues on EGX transactions. Everyone expected the tax either to be reduced to EGP 0.5 per 1,000 for Egyptians, or to be completely abolished and be replaced by the capital gains tax, as there was no need to increase it to EGP 0.75 per 1,000 now.