Europe, Middle East and Africa Oil and Gas Correspondent
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Jun 9, 2014

Britain becomes haven for U.S. companies keen to cut tax bills

LONDON, June 9 (Reuters) – Nothing about the narrow
cream-coloured lobby at 160 Aldersgate Street in the City of
London financial district gives a hint of its role at the centre
of the offshore oil industry.

That’s because the building is occupied by a law firm. Yet,
on paper at least, it is also home to Rowan Companies, one of
the largest operators of drilling rigs in the world.

May 13, 2014

Western corporate bosses pull out of Russian economic forum

MOSCOW/LONDON, May 13 (Reuters) – Around a dozen chief
executives and chairmen of major U.S. and European corporations
have withdrawn from an economic conference in Russia as pressure
between Moscow and the West grows over the crisis in Ukraine.

Eleven business leaders who were listed in late March as
scheduled to attend the May 22-24 St. Petersburg International
Economic Forum are no longer on the forum’s website.

May 13, 2014

Western bosses withdraw from Russian economic conference

MOSCOW/LONDON, May 13 (Reuters) – Around a dozen chief
executives and chairmen of major U.S. and European corporations
have pulled out of an economic conference in St Petersburg as
pressure between Russia and the West grows over the crisis in
Ukraine.

Eleven business leaders who were listed in late March as
scheduled to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic
Forum from May 22-24 are no longer on the programme on the
forum’s website.

May 13, 2014

North Sea tax change to end drillers’ 20-year tax holiday

LONDON, May 13 (Reuters) – A planned change in the way
Britain taxes North Sea drillers exposes the loophole in a
system that allowed an industry with annual revenues of 2
billion pounds to pay almost no corporation tax for two decades,
prompting accusations that the UK tax authority is falling down
on the job.

The change, announced by Finance Minister George Osborne in
March, caps the amount a UK company can deduct from profit for
leasing drilling rigs from an overseas unit in the same group.

May 12, 2014

Take That star’s tax avoidance condemned by Britain’s Cameron

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday criticized a tax avoidance scheme used by one of Britain’s biggest pop stars, but rejected calls to strip Gary Barlow of a state honor.

Barlow, two other members of his group Take That and their manager may have to pay more than 9 million pounds ($15 million) to the state after a judge found an investment scheme they had used was aimed primarily at avoiding tax.

May 12, 2014

Barlow’s tax avoidance condemned by Cameron

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday criticised a tax avoidance scheme used by one of Britain’s biggest pop stars, but rejected calls to strip Gary Barlow of a state honour.

Barlow, two other members of his group Take That and their manager may have to pay more than 9 million pounds to the state after a judge found an investment scheme they had used was aimed primarily at avoiding tax.

May 9, 2014

Amazon’s UK tax bill 10 million pounds on $7 billion sales

LONDON (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc filed accounts on Friday showing a UK tax bill of 10 million pounds despite $7.3 billion sales in Britain, because the company reports most of its European profit in a tax-exempt Luxembourg partnership.

Amazon.co.uk Ltd reported a 56 percent rise in profit to 17 million pounds during 2013 on a 13 percent rise in UK revenues, which one academic said could mean the company came under pressure from the UK tax authority to change its tax arrangements.

May 9, 2014

Amazon’s UK tax bill 10 mln stg on $7 bln sales

LONDON, May 9 (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc filed
accounts on Friday showing a UK tax bill of 10 million pounds
($16.95 million) despite $7.3 billion sales in Britain, because
the company reports most of its European profit in a tax-exempt
Luxembourg partnership.

Amazon.co.uk Ltd reported a 56 percent rise in profit to 17
million pounds ($28.82 million) during 2013 on a 13 percent rise
in UK revenues, which one academic said could mean the company
came under pressure from the UK tax authority to change its tax
arrangements.

Apr 27, 2014

Publicis, Omnicom seek to resolve leadership spat over CFO job: sources

PARIS/LONDON (Reuters) – The chief executives of advertising companies Publicis (PUBP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Omnicom Group (OMC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) are working together to resolve a seven-month-old struggle over who will be chief financial officer of their combined group if the $35 billion merger is completed, three people close to the deal said on Sunday.

John Wren, the head of New York-based Omnicom, and Maurice Levy, his opposite number at Paris-based Publicis, are in regular contact to try to settle the CFO choice, which has fuelled tensions between the two sides since September as they seek to secure regulatory approvals for the blockbuster deal, the people said.

Apr 24, 2014

Insight: Push for tax-avoidance curbs in G-20 threatens Publicis-Omnicom deal

LONDON (Reuters) – International pressure to curb corporate tax avoidance is behind delays to a $35 billion merger of French advertising group Publicis and U.S. rival Omnicom, and could even scupper the deal, tax advisers and sources close to the deal said.

Last July, Paris-based Publicis and New York-headquartered Omnicom announced plans to create the world’s biggest advertising group. The new company would be registered in the Netherlands and tax resident in the UK.

    • About Tom

      "Tom leads our coverage of the oil and gas industry in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and is also author of 'Spills & Spin: The Inside Story of BP'. A former oil broker who turned to journalism 12 years ago, he is regularly interviewed on CNBC and other TV and radio stations on energy matters. Tom has reported from over twenty countries including Iran, Iraq, India, Pakistan, Tanzania, the U.S. and Russia. As Europe, Middle East and Africa Oil & Gas Correspondent, he has chartered the rise in oil prices to record levels, interviewed oil ministers and the CEOs of ..."
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