|Morgan Stanley tries to stave off downgrade so it can purchase Citigroup Inc brokerage|
|Thursday, 05 April 2012 08:30|
News round up: Citi, Morgan Stanley, Amazon, State-owned banks, Portugal, Tax and benefit changes, JJB Sports.
Amazon.co.uk, Britain's biggest online retailer, generated sales of more than £3.3bn in the country last year but paid no corporation tax on any of the profits from that income – and is under investigation by the UK tax authorities. Regulatory filings by parent company Amazon.com with the US securities and exchange commission (SEC) show the tax inquiry into the UK operation, which sells nearly one in four books sold in Britain, focuses on a period when ownership of the British business was transferred to a Luxembourg company, reports the Guardian.
Monopoly of state-owned banks
China's Premier Wen Jiabao has taken a leaf out of Vince Cable's book, calling for the monopoly of state-owned banks in the world's second largest economy to be broken. 'Frankly, our banks make profits far too easily. Why? Because a small number of major banks occupy a monopoly position, meaning one can only go to them for loans and capital,' the country's second highest ranking politician said, according to China National Radio, writes the Independent.
Political leaders should be ready to provide a further bail-out for Portugal within the next year, Europe's economic and financial affairs commissioner Olli Rehn has warned. Mr Rehn said Lisbon, which has received a €78bn (£64.5bn) rescue package, is likely to need more public support before it can return to the bond markets next year. "From the European Union side, it would be wise to be prepared. Some kind of bridge needs to be built when Portugal returns to the markets," he said, according to the Telegraph.
Tax and benefit changes
Families with children will lose an average of £511 a year under tax and benefit changes which come into effect tomorrow, the start of the new financial year. An analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) of austerity measures announced by George Osborne in the Budget last month underlines the scale of the squeeze faced by middle-income families.
Chris Ronnie, the former Chief Executive of JJB Sports, was yesterday charged by the Serious Fraud Office over an alleged £1m fraud relating to contracts entered into by the sportswear retailer in 2008. The SFO has also charged David Ball, an accountant and joint owner of Fashion & Sport, a supplier to JJB, with three offences of 'furnishing false information' contrary to the Theft Act 1968, the Independent reports.
Newer news items:
Older news items:
Follow @theSMExpert on Twitter
Latest From SME Web
- SSE plc's rise in profits angers customers
- Marks and Spencer Group plc looking to turn around clothing sales with new autumn and winter collection
- Yahoo! Inc's acquisition of Tumblr shows that the digital media company "means business"
- Majority of UK business owners would set out on their own again despite difficulties
- Rise in complaints from small businesses about bank loans
- Choosing a hosting company for your business