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Big investment hubs dodge a bullet in global tax overhaul – Reuters

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Commuters make their way into work in the morning in the financial district of Dublin, Ireland October 18, 2018. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

  • Global tax overhaul agreed by 136 countries
  • Same countries still seen competing for investment
  • Oxfam says agreement is “a rich country stitch-up”

DUBLIN, Oct 8 (Reuters) – Ireland may have done the once unthinkable by giving up its prized 12.5% corporate tax rate in a global shakeup but it and other developed nations appear set to continue dividing up the spoils of foreign direct investment.

Some 136 countries on Friday agreed the first major overhaul in a generation of the rules for taxing multinationals, with measures including a global minimum rate of 15% intended to discourage them from booking profits in low tax countries. read more

Ireland’s dropping of its opposition on the eve of the deal handed efforts a major boost. But many developing countries say their interests have been sidelined, while charity Oxfam called the agreement “a rich country stitch-up”.

“We will continue to compete with largely the same jurisdictions,” said Martin Shanahan, the head of IDA Ireland, the state investment agency that has convinced the likes of Apple (AAPL.O), Facebook (FB.O), and Pfizer (PFE.N) to set up European headquarters in the country of just 5 million people.

Adding future technology giants to that list is still likely to mean going up against Berlin and London. For pharmaceuticals and medical devices, the toughest competition will come from Switzerland and Singapore.

Shanahan has also pointed to Spain and parts of Eastern Europe in recent years as increasingly competitive in the race for multinational investments that directly account for one in six Irish jobs.

“SHAMEFUL” DEAL

Many of those competitor countries have corporate tax rates well above Ireland’s current 12.5% and the incoming 15% global minimum. Dublin has long argued that it takes more than just low taxes to attract investment, pointing to Ireland’s young, highly educated workforce and European Union membership.

Announcing the opening of a new European headquarters in Dublin this week, U.S. online gifting platform Sendoso said corporate tax was a very small factor and that the global deal did not change Ireland’s strategic advantages of as a location.

The head of Ireland’s National Treasury Management Agency said on Thursday that digital payments giant Stripe had never brought up tax when discussing rapid hiring plans in Ireland. The Irish sovereign wealth fund, which the NTMA manages, invested in the U.S. startup’s latest funding round in March. read more

Nevertheless, low tax countries could have suffered a far worse outcome. The United States, which led the recent charge to strike a deal, initially wanted a 21% minimum rate and the draft OECD agreement struck in July settled on “at least 15%”.

Dublin lobbied hard to remove the “at least”. On succeeding, the government said it had maintained the stable business environment required to compete for investment.

“If we had a rate of ‘at least’ 15%, it would have created a lot of uncertainty about the attractiveness of our regime and that could have limited new investment and even a potential outflow of existing investment,” said Peter Vale, a tax partner at Grant Thornton in Ireland.

“We played a strong hand and I think it’s ended well.”

The effective preservation of the status quo – albeit with multinationals coughing up more of their profits – has angered developing countries that see few gains.

Argentine Economy Minister Martin Guzman said on Thursday the proposals forced developing countries to chose between “something bad and something worse”. Argentina had reluctantly signed up to the previous version of the deal.

“It is shameful that the legitimate concerns of developing countries are being ignored while countries like low-tax Ireland are able to water down the already limited aspects of the deal,” Oxfam’s Tax Policy Lead Susana Ruiz said in a statement.

“The proposal for a fixed global rate of 15% will overwhelmingly benefit rich countries and increase inequality.”

Ireland knows how long it takes to catch up. As recently as 1980, when Apple founder Steve Jobs arrived to open its first plant outside the United States, Ireland was one of the poorest countries in Europe, with a jobless rate heading towards 17%.

“We opened up the economy in the 1950s and prior to that we were probably inward-looking, protectionist and poor,” IDA Ireland’s Shanahan said, looking even further back.

“It takes a long time to build up the capability and the offering.”

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Catherine Evans

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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New York directs two cryptocurrency lending platforms to cease activity

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Two cryptocurrency lending platforms were asked to cease activities in New York by the state’s attorney general on Monday and three other platforms were directed to provide information about their business.

The move comes weeks after New York Attorney General Letitia James won a court order forcing the closure of cryptocurrency exchange Coinseed.

In a redacted version of a letter dated Monday, James said the Office of the Attorney General “was in possession of evidence of unlawfully selling or offering for sale securities and/or commodities”.

Regulators in the U.S. have been ratcheting up scrutiny of a world that has so far existed in a regulatory gray area, against the backdrop of rising tension between the crypto industry and regulators worldwide.

James filed a lawsuit in February to shut down Coinseed for allegedly defrauding thousands of investors, including by charging hidden trading fees and selling “worthless” digital tokens.

The state’s attorney general warned investors about “extreme risk” when investing in cryptocurrency and issued warnings to those facilitating in the trading of virtual currencies.

“Cryptocurrency platforms must follow the law, just like everyone else, which is why we are now directing two crypto companies to shut down and forcing three more to answer questions immediately,” James said on Monday.

 

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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Breakdown of China's Jan-Sept property investment – Financial Post

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BEIJING — Following is a breakdown of China’s real estate investment for the year to September, published by the National Bureau of

Statistics on Monday.

Actual investment in the sector (bln yuan, pct

change y/y):

Jan-Sep Jan-Aug Jan-Jul Jan-Jun Jan-May Jan-Apr Jan-Mar Jan-Feb Jan-Dec Jan-Nov Jan-Oct Jan-Sep

Level 11256.8 9806 8489.5 7217.9 5431.8 4024 2757.6 1398.6 14144.3 12949.2 11655.6 10,348.40

Change 8.8 10.9 12.7 15 18.3 21.6 25.6 38.3 7 6.8 6.3 5.6

Floor space under construction (mln

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sqm, pct change y/y):

Jan-Sep Jan-Aug Jan-Jul Jan-Jun Jan-May Jan-Apr Jan-Mar Jan-Feb Jan-Dec Jan-Nov Jan-Oct Jan-Sep

Level 9280.65 9099.92 8918.8 8732.51 8399.62 8185.13 7983.94 7706.29 9267.59 9024.25 8801.2 8,598

Change 7.9 8.4 9 10.2 10.1 10.5 11.2 11 3.7 3.2 3 3.1

Floor space newly started for construction (mln

sqm, pct change y/y):

Jan-Sep Jan-Aug Jan-Jul Jan-Jun Jan-May Jan-Apr Jan-Mar Jan-Feb Jan-Dec Jan-Nov Jan-Oct Jan-Sep

Level 1529.44 1355.02 1189.48 1012.88 743.49 539.05 361.63 170.37 2244.33 2010.85 1807.2 1,601

Change -4.5 -3.2 -0.9 3.8 6.9 12.8 28.2 64.3 -1.2 -2 -2.6 -3.4

PROPERTY SALES

Property sales measured by floor space (mln sqm,

pct change y/y):

Jan-Sep Jan-Aug Jan-Jul Jan-Jun Jan-May Jan-Apr Jan-Mar Jan-Feb Jan-Dec Jan-Nov Jan-Oct Jan-Sep

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Level 1303.32 1141.93 1016.48 886.35 663.83 503.05 360.07 173.63 1760.86 1508.34 1332.9 1,170.70

Change 11.3 15.9 21.5 27.7 36.3 48.1 63.8 105 2.6 1.3 0 -1.8

Property sales by value (bln yuan, pct

change y/y):

Jan-Sep Jan-Aug Jan-Jul Jan-Jun Jan-May Jan-Apr Jan-Mar Jan-Feb Jan-Dec Jan-Nov Jan-Oct Jan-Sep

Level 13479.5 119040.7 10643 9293.1 7053.4 5360.9 3837.8 1915.1 17361.3 14896.9 13166.5 11,565

Change 16.6 22.8 30.7 38.9 52.4 68.2 88.5 133 8.7 7.2 5.8 3.7

SOURCE OF MONEY INTO

PROPERTY

Sources of funds raised (bln yuan, pct

change y/y):

Jan-Sep Jan-Aug Jan-Jul Jan-Jun Jan-May Jan-Apr Jan-Mar Jan-Feb Jan-Dec Jan-Nov Jan-Oct Jan-Sep

Total 15148.6 13436.4 11897 10289.8 8138 6354.2 4746.5 3056 19311.5 17109.9 15307 13,637.60

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Change 11.1 14.8 18.2 23.5 29.9 35.2 41.4 51.2 8.1 6.6 5.5 4.4

Loans 1877 1691.8 1540.2 1346.5 1087.3 904.3 722.2 520.1 2667.6 2425.6 2237.8 2,048.40

Change -8.4 -6.1 -4.5 -2.4 1.6 3.6 7.5 14.4 5.7 5.4 5.1 4

Own fund 4721.2 4077.3 3553.3 3015.3 2268.6 1716.7 1301.5 826.8 6337.7 5666.6 5004.5 4,448.50

Change 6.1 9.3 10.9 11.9 12.8 15.4 21 34.2 9 7.9 6.5 5.9

Foreign 5.9 5.3 4.4 4.2 2.5 1.7 1.1 1 19.2 15.4 11.1 9.4

funds

Change -36.9 -47.5 -44.4 -9.1 -26.5 -28.3 -41 -14 9.3 -4.7 -15.2 -9.5

Mortgage 2412.4 2149 1895.3 1635.5 1340 1073.8 784.3 496.1 2997.6 2698.3 2431.2 2,178.30

Change 10.7 13.4 17 23.9 32 41.3 50 63.7 9.9 10.6 9.8 9.5

OUTLOOK INDEX

Property outlook index (Real Estate

Climate Index)

Sept Aug Jul Jun May Apr Mar Feb Jan Dec Nov Oct Sep

100.74 100.85 100.99 101.07 101.19 101.3 101.33 101.44 101.11 100.87 100.63 100.57 100.47

(Reporting by Liangping Gao and Ryan Woo)

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Crypto investment in mutual funds style: Mudrex launches 'coin sets' – Economic Times

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New Delhi: Aimed to woo retail players, crypto asset management platform Mudrex has launched ‘coin sets’ allowing investors to invest in a variety of mutual-fund style crypto products.

It is the first time that such a product has been launched for retail investors. Such investment products were earlier available but accessible only to HNIs and institutional investors.

Y Combinator and Nexus VP-backed Mudrex is trying to simplify crypto investment by building an easy-to-use product for smaller investors.


Coin Sets are the basket of crypto tokens, which will be based on a particular theme and investors believe this idea can gradually play on it, growing wealth in the long run.

For example, the coin set named as ‘DeFi 10’ will include top 10 DeFi (Decentralised Finance) tokens. Similarly, the coin set of ‘NFT’ will be a basket of the top NFT projects.

The coin sets are created and managed by experts from the Mudrex team. The team will take care of fund allocation, weightage, order execution and periodic rebalancing.

The product will help investors manage potential risks by diversifying their portfolios into different cryptocurrencies and reap above-average returns.

Edul Patel, CEO & Co-founder of Mudrex, said the platform is looking to bring ease and simplify investing in crypto for new investors. Coin Sets is a product that will allow investors to mitigate risks by diversifying investment in cryptocurrencies.

“It is a mutual fund-like product with a better risk-reward ratio, curated suitably for investors who look at crypto investments as a long-term wealth creation option. The product is likely to boost retail participation in cryptos,” he added.

With an asset under management of more than $15 million, Mudrex recently raised $2.5 million funding from Nexus Venture Partners, Village Global, Kunal Shah and others. Launched in 2018, Mudrex has a user base across 90 countries.

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