Re: Record dividends to be paid to foreign owners, Volume 12, Number 21, May 29 - June 04, 2006
The term "record dividends" sounds impressive. However, 'grade A' was sold off to foreign entities with ample funds and expertise available, while local [Slovak] private and institutional investors were almost totally disregarded. Sure, the Slovak investor can buy Deutsche Telekom shares in Frankfurt, but that stock hardly reflects the results of Slovak Telekom's growth.
The Slovak government is sitting on a minority share of various privatisations, but to do what? To collect dividends if the majority shareholder chooses to pay them out?
Without disturbing the flat tax in any way, Slovakia could easily wield a source tax [of 19 percent] on both interest accrued and dividends. Then the shares the government holds in various privatised entities could be lodged in a holding company, and 49 percent of the company could be floated on the stock exchange.
That would continue the flow of juicy dividend, while enabling the government to enjoy the proceeds (and perhaps even some profit), as well as the source tax. Then Slovaks would have at least a little slice of the cake.