Dutch electric car charging firm Fastned aims for Euronext listing

Dutch company Fastned, which is building a European network of fast charging stations for fully electric vehicles, has said it intends to list on the Amsterdam stock exchange in the first half of this year. Since its launch in 2012, Fastned has built a network of 91 fast charging stations, of which 80 are the Netherlands and 11 in Germany. The first UK station will open soon, the company said in a statement, and it also plans to open in Belgium, France and Switzerland, where it recently won a tender for 20 locations. 'With over five years of experience in building and operating a network of fast charging stations, we are well positioned to benefit from the accelerating transition to full electric vehicles,' said chief executive Michiel Langezaal. 'This listing will create additional funding flexibility and will offer more investors the possibility to invest in the mega trend towards electrification of mobility.' It is not yet clear how many shares the company intends to sell or how much capital it is planning to raise. The company is currently listed on the alternative trading platform Nxchange. Fastned, which has a workforce of 50, booked turnover of €1.6m in 2018 and made a loss of €6.3m.   More >

Dutch start-up women strike back

‘Pregnant and running a company with all those hormones? I feel sorry for your husband' and 'we must keep using your pretty face because it won't last for ever' - these are just two examples of sexist comments recently directed at female entrepreneurs in the Netherlands, the Financieele Dagblad said on Wednesday. A group of business women began collecting examples of the sexist behaviour of potential investors earlier this year, in reaction to a recent report about the financing of start-ups launched by women. That report concluded start-ups led by men are far more likely than those let by women or mixed teams to get funding from venture capital groups. The researchers analysed the investments made by 40 funds and found that just 1.6% of the start-ups they put money into were led by women. Just 6.8% had a mixed team at the helm. The comment list was started by Eline Leijten, who founded the artist booking platform Plugify and gathered 29 comments within a week, the FD said. The experiences ranged from unwanted sexual approaches to incredulity about a €1m turnover target and questions about children. The start-up research, published last September, also led junior economic affairs minister Mona Keijzer to take steps to change the male dominance of government committees set up to award grants and subsidies to start-ups.  More >

MPs back changes to corporate tax rules

There is majority support in parliament to change the rules governing corporate losses so that companies like Shell would have to pay tax on its profits in the Netherlands, the Financieele Dagblad said on Wednesday. The left-wing green GroenLinks, the socialist party SP and the Labour party PvdA have submitted a motion which would change the current rules and can count of the support of two coalition parties - D66 and ChristenUnie - the paper says. 'We are not angry with Shell, but we have to change the law,' GroenLinks MP Bart Snels told BNR radio. 'All multinationals do is use the laws which we make.' The move follows revelations made by Trouw last year in which it emerged Shell is unlikely to pay any corporation tax in the Netherlands, apart from via its 50% share in gas company NAM. Shell and other multinationals make use of a tax provision which allows them to write off losses incurred when liquidating a foreign subsidiary from their Dutch profits. But Snels argues this goes against other tax regulations aimed at preventing subsidiaries being held liable for tax in more than one country. The measure has now been put out to public consultation and MPs on the parliamentary finance committee will discuss the issue with industry representatives on Thursday.  More >

Gas imports outstrip domestic production

Gas imports outstripped Dutch produced gas for the first time last year, as the government continues to phase out production in the Groningen fields. Overall, energy consumption in the Netherlands fell slightly, due in the main to a reduction in the amount of coal used in coal-fired power stations, which fell for the third year in a row. Gas accounted for 40% of total energy usage, oil just under 40% and coal 11%. The rest came from renewable sources, nuclear power, waste processing and imports. Last year the amount of gas extracted from under Groningen province fell 16%, the fifth successive year of decline. The government is phasing out the use of Groningen gas because of the earthquakes caused as the ground settles. The government has also launched an ambitious but controversial plan to phase out the use of gas in the Netherlands. It has already removed the requirement that all new homes be connected to the gas grid.  More >

New rules on taxing savings on their way

The cabinet is looking into ways of cutting the amount of tax paid by people whose assets are primarily in the form of savings, tax minister Menno Snel has told MPs. The government currently uses 'fictitious interest rates' of upwards of 2% to decide how much income people have from their assets, and levies tax of 30% on that amount. Currently, most savings accounts have interest rates of around zero and people are paying tax on income they don't have. Snel told MPs he wants to try to remedy this. One option would be to levy tax based on the actual interest earned on savings, while continuing to tax property and other investments at the fictitious rates, Snel told MPs. Snel says he hopes to present the plans to parliament along with the rest of the budget in September.  More >

Dutch competition body probes App Store

Facebook app on mobile phone The Dutch competition authority ACM has launched an investigation into tech giant Apple for allegedly favouring its own apps in its online App Store. The ACM 'will investigate whether Apple abuses the position it has attained with its App Store' following 'indications' from other app providers given to the ACM while it was undertaking a survey of the app market. The investigation will focus initially on news apps. 'Apps have increasingly become important parts of our daily lives and businesses that provide apps depend on the app stores of Apple and Google,' the ACM said. 'Given the significant importance of these app stores to app providers, ACM expects Apple and Google to exhibit fair and transparent behaviour. The ACM is calling on app providers to come forward if they experience any problems with Apple’s App Store, but also if they experience similar problems with Google Play. Apple said in a statement it is confident that the review will confirm all developers have 'equal opportunity to succeed'.   More >