In Uncategorized on 24/09/2012 at 5:10 am
The US started kicking the Swiss banks in the head over US citizens evading US taxes via Swiss banks. Will the US “tighten the screws” on the likes of MS, and will S’pore get caught in the row? Watch and wait.
The hearing featured a case study involving Microsoft’s shifting of IP rights for software developed in America, and the earnings that flow from them, to divisions in lower-tax Puerto Rico, Ireland and Singapore. One witness, Professor Stephen Shay of Harvard Law School, pointed out that in 2011 these three units enjoyed an average effective tax rate of just 4% and managed to book $15.4 billion of pre-tax profit—55% of Microsoft’s worldwide total. Their 1,914 employees generated an eyebrow-raising $8m of profit each, compared with $312,000 each for the 88,000 working in the rest of Microsoft. Whether or not this apportionment of profits complies with transfer-pricing rules, it is “not consistent with a commonsense understanding of where the locus of Microsoft’s economic activity…is occurring,” said Mr Shay. The claim that fair transfer prices were paid is “just not credible given the bottom-line outcome,” he added.
In 2011, the Senate investigators asserted, Microsoft’s parent company was paid $4 billion by Ireland and Singapore for rights that the two subsidiaries used to generate three times that amount in royalty payments from other bits of the group … A Microsoft man who was grilled at the hearing said the staffers’ sums ignored hefty, regular “buy-in” payments that the foreign subsidiaries have to make to the parent.
In Energy, Temasek on 10/07/2012 at 6:50 am
Recently Lord Rothschild, a 70-something deal-maker and shrewd investor, teamed up with the Rockefeller* family office. He said the US was the place to invest in because of its growing oil production. The two charts in this link explains what he means.
Well Temasek is buying into North America, though its flagship investment is one dog with fleas http://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/05/27/temasek-the-gd-the-bad-and-the-ugly/
Interestingly Lord Rothschild, unlike Temasek, has no plans to invest in Europe. BTW, he has a palace on the Greek island of Corfu. Time to buy the island?
*The first rich Rockeffer made his fortune in oil refining and distribution.
In Banks on 04/10/2011 at 4:29 pm
In a new index on financial secrecy, S’pore is only ranked sixth. The Financial Secrecy Index 2011, puts Switzerland on top, followed by the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, Hong Kong and the USA.
The Tax Justice Network, the group behind the report, says, “[A] secrecy jurisdiction provides facilities that enable people or entities escape or undermine the laws, rules and regulations of other jurisdictions elsewhere, using secrecy as a prime tool.”
The government’s policy is to encourage the growth of wealth management here so that S’pore can be the Switzerland of the East. Well, the central bank and the Attorney-General’s Chambers have a lot of work to do to make S’pore a better secrecy jurisdiction. Hong Kong is a better secrecy juridiction than S’pore. And S’pore and Hong Kong are rivals in the race to be the leading wealth management centre in East Asia.
At least, this report shows S’pore is a better global citizen than Switzerland, Hong Kong and the USA. But where’s the money in being a responsible, decent chap?
In Economy, Japan on 15/03/2011 at 6:40 am
Higher US (and global) interest rates are in the offing as Japanese govt and investors sell US treasuries to raise funds for reconstruction. Remember Japan is the second largest investor in US government paper. China is the largest.
If so, S’pore’s interest rates could go up. What with Mah Bow Tan building more HDB flats and plenty of private supply coming on-stream, we could be in for some interesting times. And all these before factoring-in a possibility of a US recession as interest rates rise,