I have recently stumbled upon a very interesting investment idea. It appears that it is possible to acquire shares in the National Bank of Belgium, which is the central bank of Belgium. Its shares are publicly traded on the Euronext.

Now, in order to assess the value of a company, I understand that the basic assumptions are regarding its future cash flow and the profit maximalization behavior of the company in question. However, based on my current knowledge, both of these assumptions do not seem to hold:

  1. The central bank is not maximizing their profits. At least, I do not believe that it is their goal and should be their goal.
  2. They are printing money, so it appears that the company cannot really fail unless the government of Belgium or the Euro collapses.

Therefore, my question is:

  1. Why does the stock price fluctuate?
  2. How would one assess the value of such a company?

It does look like “free” money, but as with everything, there is no free lunch I presume.


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