Europe, Middle East and Africa Oil and Gas Correspondent
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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.

Apr 24, 2014

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

LONDON, April 25 (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.

Apr 24, 2014

Starbucks suffers first UK sales drop after tax criticism

LONDON, April 24 (Reuters) – Starbucks suffered its
first ever drop in UK sales last year, a period when the company
became the subject of boycotts and public criticism over its tax
practices.

Accounts for Starbucks’ main UK subsidiary, Starbucks Coffee
Company (UK) Ltd, showed turnover fell in the year to the end of
September 2013 to 399 million pounds from 413 million pounds in
the previous year.

Apr 23, 2014

CEOs back country-by-country tax reporting – survey

LONDON, April 23 (Reuters) – Most chief executives globally
would support the publication of country-by-country financial
information to help stamp out corporate tax avoidance, a survey
showed on Wednesday.

Campaigners have advocated requiring multinational companies
to disclose country-by-country information as part of reforms of
international tax rules, but the measure is opposed by many big
business groups and governments.

Apr 18, 2014

Amazon’s tax-free European profits drop after IRS clamp-down

LONDON (Reuters) – The amount of money Amazon.com Inc reports through a tax-exempt vehicle in Europe has dropped sharply in the past two years, even as European sales jumped, after the U.S. tax authority tightened rules it felt were being abused to shift profits.

Amazon (AMZN.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) minimizes its tax bill by having the U.S. unit which owns its technology licenses lease the rights to re-license the technology to a tax-exempt partnership based in Luxembourg.

Apr 17, 2014

Strong European currencies eat into company profits

LONDON (Reuters) – As European policymakers consider action to stop a strong euro holding back jobs growth, companies across the continent say the currency’s strength is already eating into their profits.

Some of Europe’s largest companies including Danone (DANO.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), SAP AG (SAPG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and L’Oreal (OREP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) have posted buoyant first-quarter sales volumes in the past week thanks largely to strong demand in emerging markets such as Brazil and in North America.

Apr 16, 2014

Starbucks to move European base to London, pay more UK tax

LONDON (Reuters) – Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will move its European headquarters to London from the Netherlands this year and pay more tax in the UK as a result, the company said on Wednesday.

The shift by the world’s largest coffee chain comes after its low tax contributions in Britain provoked widespread criticism, including Prime Minister David Cameron telling a meeting in Davos that companies that avoided paying tax needed to “wake up and smell the coffee”.

Apr 14, 2014

BG Group’s Singapore trading move seen cutting big UK tax bill

LONDON, April 14 (Reuters) – When BG Group Plc
announced last week it was shifting the headquarters of its oil
and liquefied natural gas (LNG) trading operation to Singapore
from Britain, it said the aim was to get closer to its
customers.

Analysts and consultants agreed that the growing importance
of Japanese and Korean utilities in the LNG market meant the
move would have clear logistical and commercial benefits. But
they also said another motivation was likely at play: tax.

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      "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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