|"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award||ICC WTO||London|
Airbnb, the accommodation website, paid less than £200,000 in UK corporation tax last year despite collecting £657m of rental payments for property owners.
The commissions the company earns in the UK are booked by its Irish subsidiary, but it also has two UK subsidiaries.
One unit made a pre-tax profit, but the other did not incur UK corporation tax because deductions resulted in a loss.
Airbnb said in a statement: "We follow the rules and pay all the tax we owe."
One of the British subsidiaries, Airbnb Payments UK, handles payments between landlords and travellers for countries other than the United States, China and India.
That unit made a pre-tax profit of £960,000 and paid £188,000 in UK corporation tax - £8,000 less than in 2015.
The other British subsidiary, Airbnb UK, markets the website and app to British consumers. It reported a £463,000 pre-tax profit last year but because it gave shares to staff, which are tax-deductable, there was no corporation tax bill.
Airbnb said: "Our UK office provides marketing services and pays all applicable taxes, including VAT. The Airbnb model is unique and boosted the UK economy by £3.46bn last year alone."
The tax arrangements of other technology giants have come under under closer scrutiny in recent years.
One of the most vocal critics has been EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager. She has taken aim at the likes of Apple, Amazon and others for where they book the revenues and profits of their European activities.
Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister, has also asked why Airbnb paid tens of thousand of euros in French corporation tax despite a turnover in the millions.
The company, founded in San Francisco in 2008, has disrupted the hotel industry by linking travellers with landlords who generally want to rent out a spare room or an entire property for short-term stays.
It has become one of the most successful examples of the digital economy, with an estimated value of about $24bn.
However, Airbnb has faced a growing backlash in cities including Barcelona, Berlin and Paris, where politicians have taken steps to stop landlords renting properties to tourists rather than local residents.
While Airbnb has long been linked with a stock market listing, it remains privately owned.
It takes a 3% commission from landlords for each booking, and also charges fees to travellers.
In the UK last year Airbnb catered for 5.9m travellers and had 168,000 listings.
Japanese trade minister Hiroshige Seko has asked Abu Dhabi National Oil Company to renew a Japanese firm's concessions in Abu Dhabi oil fields. The concessions are set to expire in March next year.
Seko met with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company CEO Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber on Sunday in the United Arab Emirates.
Japan relies on the UAE for a quarter of its crude oil imports. The Japanese firm has a 12-percent stake in the UAE's main offshore oil fields.
The national oil enterprise is aiming to increase the number of its clients. It has been negotiating with more than 10 companies, including those from China and France.
These companies are working to enter the market, or expand their share of oil concessions.
As the competition over oil fields intensifies, Japan's negotiations with the UAE are expected to reach a crucial point around the end of this year.
During this trip, Japanese delegates have concluded a memorandum with the Abu Dhabi National Oil to allow the country to cooperate in the company's plan for overseas and other projects.
After the talks, Seko told reporters that Abu Dhabi officials have shown a certain degree of appreciation for Japan's sincere contribution. He said the future of the negotiations remains uncertain.
Seko said he will work hard with the private sector in such areas as cooperating with the local industry in its diversification.
He also expressed hope that the UAE will further appreciate Japan's dedication.
Coal is dead. Coal mining is a sunset industry. Donald Trump is crazy if he thinks he can revive Big Coal. While all these statements have become part of global consciousness when it comes to the future of the much-maligned fossil fuel, a report by Urgewald, a Berlin-based environmental group, casts doubt on at least the first two assertions.
Citing data gleaned from the world's biggest developers of coal-fired power plants, Urgewald found that of all the new coal generation expected to go online over the next decade, Chinese companies will build nearly half of it. Specifically, that means 700 new coal plants, with most to be built in China, and about a fifth outside the country, according to figures provided by Urgewald and reported by the New York Times:
Overall, 1,600 coal plants are planned or under construction in 62 countries, said Urgewald, which uses data from the Global Coal Plant Tracker portal. The new plants would expand the world's coal-fired power capacity by 43 per cent.
The fleet of new coal plants would make it virtually impossible to meet the goals set in the Paris climate accord. Electricity generated from fossil fuels such as coal is the biggest single contributor globally to the rise in carbon emissions, which scientists agree is causing the earth's temperatures to rise.
Shanghai Electric Group, one of the country's largest electrical equipment makers, has announced plans to build coal power plants in Egypt, Pakistan and Iran with a total capacity of 6,285MW – almost 10 times the 660MW of coal power it has planned in China.
The astounding numbers go against the trend that has been happening throughout the year in China, where dangerously high pollution levels have forced the closure of hundreds of coal mines and a curtailment of steel mill output. Examples of China's domestic aversion to coal include:
Two days ago Taiyuan, the capital of China’s northern province of Shanxi, which is known for its coal production, banned the sale, transport and use of most coal as it tries to cut air pollution
In May Shanxi province decided to suspend or hold back the development of mines until 2020, which effectively will take out of the market about of 120 million tonnes of the fossil fuel.
Also in May provincial authorities announced they will close 18 collieries and cut 17 million tonnes of coal capacity by the end of the year.
In January Beijing announced it plans to shut down 800 million tonnes of outdated coal capacity by 2020.
Forget Bitcoin, think IMFcoin. The head of the International Monetary Fund has been musing about the future of money, and thinks there is a decent chance it will come from the guardian of the world’s monetary system.
Christine Lagarde, IMF managing director, held up the organization’s special drawing rights (SDRs) as having a possible digital future at a Bank of England forum last week, and put what she said was a “question mark” over whether SDRs could replace existing international currencies. “It’s not a far-fetched hypothetical,” she said, and the IMF needs to be ready.
The SDR is a long way from the digital disruption that cypherpunks hope cryptocurrency can deliver. Dreamed up in the 1960s, SDRs are a kind of artificial currency whose value depends on other currencies. Dollars are a part of it, but so are euros, sterling, renminbi and yen. An SDR is a bit like a currency mutual fund for central banks.
For decades it has been an afterthought in the global financial system, but the IMF has spent the past year thinking about how to give SDRs a broader international role. So could some sort of crypto-SDR eventually replace the dollar as the world’s money?
The idea has heavyweight support from those who want to diminish the dollar’s status, notably in China. People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan called in 2009 for wider use of the IMF’s money to “gradually replace existing reserve currencies with the SDR,” one reason for the latest review.
The reasons are well-rehearsed, and not digital. China—and other emerging markets—would like to diversity their risk away from dollars. They also worry about the inherent problem of using national money for global reserves. When the U.S. faces a conflict between domestic and international needs, it is likely to favor its voters over the world economy.
So what would digital SDRs add? When monetary economists are drawing up dream scenarios, they often come up with something similar to the “bancor” presented by John Maynard Keynes at the 1944 Bretton Woods conference. International trade would be conducted in bancors with rules about the size of overdrafts allowed, preventing imbalances getting too big.
SDR or IMFcoins would allow a much wider group to use the currency, supplanting the dollar in international trade and reducing both the big currency swings that can destabilize countries and the dangers of large current account deficits. Instead of representing a basket of currencies, the digital SDR would be a currency of its own, albeit one only used for international transactions.
A more limited alternative would try to speed global growth. At the moment, countries hold big piles of dollars as a form of insurance against a balance of payments crisis, damping growth and distorting the world economy. If the IMF was empowered to act more like a global central bank, whisking up new SDRs on its own blockchain in a crisis, it would reduce the need for countries to hold reserves.
José Antonio Ocampo, a Colombian central bank board member also on the IMF’s expert group considering the future of the SDR, thinks annual SDR issuance could be worth $200 billion to $300 billion a year.
“Countries would not have to accumulate reserves, [which] generate a general contractionary effect on the global economy,” he says.
The prospect of giving the IMF the ability to execute global helicopter drops of money worries believers in strong currencies.
Jim Rickards, an author and former general counsel for failed hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management, thinks SDRs will be issued to reflate the system in the next crisis, hurting the dollar’s reserve status. “It’s all converging on a world where the dollar will just be a local currency like the Mexican peso,” he says. He is a longstanding advocate of using gold to back money to limit the supply.
The real opposition to an IMFcoin is likely to come not from fans of gold, but from defenders of the dollar’s central role in the global system. Sterling once held the role of global reserve currency, and spent decades in decline once it was abandoned in favor of the dollar, reducing demand for pounds.
The benefit of having the reserve currency is obvious, and much-envied: Americans can offer to buy real things from the rest of the world with money the Federal Reserve creates out of nothing, and other countries have little choice but to accept. The U.S. gets lower interest rates than it otherwise would and can run a permanent current-account deficit with impunity—just so long as it remains the reserve currency.
There is a downside to having the reserve currency, though. The purchase of dollars by the rest of the world makes it harder for the U.S. to devalue to support its own economy. When the banking crisis hit in 2008 investors piled into the reserve currency, and the dollar soared 21% against its trading partners before the panic abated in March 2009. Instead of the weaker currency central banks usually aim for in a recession, the U.S. got a stronger currency.
There is little chance U.S. politicians will want to give up what a French finance minister once called the “exorbitant privilege” of the dollar, no matter what Ms Lagarde, another former French finance minister, might suggest. As she noted, the IMF would need a “geopolitical situation that would be propitious” for the changes she is speculating about to happen.
China wants it, and has been encouraging the issuance of SDR-denominated bonds to try to create a true alternative to the deep and liquid markets of the U.S. (China’s had little success so far, with only two SDR bonds outstanding, according to Thomson Reuters). Ms. Lagarde’s paean to the future suggests she likes the idea. Luckily for those holding dollars, the geopolitical situation is still tilted in favor of the U.S., and there is little prospect we all be trading in IMFcoins any time soon....
Green Climate Fund to fund Mongolian solar park
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has approved funding for 11 climate finance initiatives, including USD 8.65 million (EUR 7.4m) for a solar project in Mongolia.
The 11 projects and programmes, with a total value of USD 392.86 million, were approved at a three-day meeting of the fund's board in Cairo that concluded on Monday.
The Mongolian project, called Renewable Energy Programme #1 – Solar, involves the financing of a 10-MW solar park in Sumber soum of Govisumber province, southern Mongolia. The funding proposal comes from KhasBank LLC.
According to GCF documents, the plant will supply about 15,400 MWh of electricity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 12,270 tonnes per year. Mongolia has a goal of supplying 20% of its energy through renewables by 2020 and 30% by 2030 under its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC), these being linked to its Paris Climate Accord commitments.
At first, bitcoin was a way to make payments without banks. Now, with more than $100 billion stashed in digital currencies, banks are debating whether and how to get in on the action.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein tweeted Tuesday that his firm is examining the cryptocurrency. Other global investment banks are looking into facilitating trades of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, according to industry consultants. Bitcoin has surged more than 300 percent this year, drawing the attention of hedge funds and wealthy individuals.
“They’re clearly receiving interest from their clients, both from retail investors and on the institutional side,” said Axel Pierron, managing director of bank consultant Opimas. “It’s highly volatile, it’s highly illiquid when you need to trade large volumes, so they see the opportunity for a new asset class which would require the capability of a broker-dealer.”
But bitcoin presents Wall Street with a conundrum: How do banks that are required by law to prevent money-laundering handle a currency that’s not issued by a government and that keeps its users anonymous?
The debate has played out in the open recently, with JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon and BlackRock Inc. CEO Larry Fink saying that bitcoin was mostly used by criminals, while Morgan Stanley chief James Gorman took a more measured stance, saying it was “more than just a fad.” On Wednesday, UBS Group AG Chairman Axel Weber, a former president of Germany’s central bank, said he was skeptical about bitcoin’s future because “it’s not secured by underlying assets.”
There’s even tension within some banks. On the same day Dimon trashed bitcoin, calling it a “fraud,” his firm’s private bank hosted a panel stocked with cryptocurrency investors.
Bitcoin Was Cool, But Its Blockchain May Be Useful: QuickTake
Handling bitcoin would invite scrutiny from every major U.S. regulator, according to Joshua Satten, director of emerging technologies at Sapient Consulting.
“From the perspective of the U.S. Treasury, do you classify it as an asset class or a currency?” Satten said. “If banks are starting to manage and hold bitcoin for their clients, you would have the OCC and the FDIC looking at how they classify the assets on their balance sheet and how they state the assets for the portfolio of a client.”
And banks need to avoid antagonizing governments that are increasingly concerned about this area. For instance, China is cracking down by shutting cryptocurrency exchanges.
Then there’s the risk that stems from its high volatility and lack of correlation to other major assets. “What are they going to do if bitcoin drops for a given client and they’ve given that client a ton of leverage on margin, and that client only has assets in bitcoin?” Satten said.
Derivative contracts could help. CBOE Holdings Inc., the owner of the Chicago Board Options Exchange, announced in August that it plans to introduce bitcoin futures this year or next. That could help traders hedge positions. Banks are also exploring creating derivatives and using bitcoin in international trade finance to avoid exchanging currencies, Pierron said.
What isn’t in doubt is the interest from some investors. Hedge fund manager Mike Novogratz plans to start a $500 million hedge fund to invest in cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings and related companies, which would be the largest of a growing group. There are 75 funds investing in the space, according to Autonomous Research.
Bitcoin already has a toehold in mainstream finance. In July, Falcon Private Bank said it was the first Swiss bank to offer bitcoin asset management to its clients. In the U.S., both Fidelity Investments and USAA let clients view their bitcoin balances if their accounts are linked to the Coinbase exchange.
The qualities that have made bitcoin the payment form of choice for drug deals and ransom demands -- it runs on a decentralized web of computers around the world that sidesteps regulators and banks -- are also what makes it hard to control by governments. Further adoption of bitcoin may require central banks and regulators to come to a consensus on how the new digital currencies fit into the existing framework.
“Can it be sanitized for the reserve banks and regulators and compliance departments of banks around the world so that you can root out the gray money, the stuff that you hear about coming from darknet markets?” Jesse Chenard, CEO of blockchain startup MonetaGo, said Tuesday at a conference held by Columbia Business School. Banks need “to have some assurances of who they’re transacting with and the provenance of that coin.”...
Copper futures trading on the Comex market burst higher in New York on Thursday after an earthquake in the main copper producing region of Chile prompted traders to chase the metal higher.
Copper for delivery in December jumped over 3% from yesterday’s close to 3.05 a pound ($6,724 a tonne) in midday trade. Last month copper touched a three-year high just shy of $3.18 a pound (more than $7,000 a tonne) and year to date gains are in excess of 20%.
Chile accounts for nearly 30% of the world’s copper output and some of the world’s biggest mines are located near the city of Calama in the Antofagasta region where the 5.4 magnitude earthquake occurred.
State-owned giant Codelco which operates the Radomiro Tomic and Ministro Hales mines in the region and London-listed Antofagasta, owner of the Centinela mine reported no significant damage to property or injuries and the mines were operating normally.
Chilean production declined by 9% or 245,000 tonnes during the first half of the year due to an extended strike at the BHP-operated Escondida mine, the world’s largest copper operation, and lower output from Codelco mines according to the International Copper Study Group.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ E.Odbayar, Ambassador-at-Large and Interim Director of the International Think Thank for Landlocked Developing Countries (ITTLLDC), has met with Fekitamoeloa Katoa Utoikamanu, High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, at the UN House.
Utoikamanu congratulated the Ambassador-at-Large E.Odbayar on their initiatives and hard work in the last five years and on becoming an independent inter-governmental organization.
After emphasizing ITTLLDC’s effort in involving LLDCs in the multilateral agreement on establishing the organization, the High Representative expressed her gratitude towards ITTLLDC for conducting international-level researches for LLDCs on overcoming their difficulties.
Also, she expressed that the High Representative’s Office is ready to cooperate with ITTLLDC on overcoming the transitional period of becoming an independent inter-governmental organization effectively and in a short time, and providing financial support to conducting joint researches and organizing events.
Ambassador-at-Large E.Odbayar congratulated Fekitamoeloa Utoikamanu on her appointment as the Deputy Secretary General of the UN and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, and presented ITTLLDC’s works in details, handing out the five researches conducted by ITTLLDC in 2017.
Also, Ambassador-at-Large expressed his interest in jointly presenting ITTLLDC’s studies focused on LLCDs with High Representative’s Office at international events and developing mutually beneficial cooperation.
At the end of the meeting, the sides agreed on co-organizing opening conference of ITTLLDC, which is expected to take place in Ulaanbaatar in 2018, and opportunities for organizing High Representative’s official visit to Mongolia within the frames of the conference.
Russia and Saudi Arabia have reached a deal allowing the production of the iconic Kalashnikov assault rifle in the Gulf Kingdom.
The initial licensing agreement between the Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport and Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) was signed in Moscow on Thursday.
According to Rosoboronexport, the deal allows “production of Kalashnikov AK-103 assault rifles and cartridges for various purposes.”
SAMI also confirmed the signing of the Kalashnikov deal with Russia to Reuters.
The agreement was one of the multitude announced by Moscow and Riyadh during King Salman’s visit to the Russian capital.
Among them was a preliminary deal to purchase S-400 air defense systems and receive “cutting edge technologies” from Russia, SAMI said as cited by Arab News.
The Russian contracts are “expected to play a pivotal role in the growth and development of the military and military systems industry in Saudi Arabia,” SAMI said in a statement.
AK-103 is an offshoot of the iconic AK-47 rifle, which was designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov back in 1947.
The AK-47 has been the standard issue assault rifle of the Soviet and then Russian Army since 1949.
Its durability, low production cost, availability and ease of use promoted the AK-47 to becoming the most circulated weapon in the world.
The militaries of more than 100 nations are armed with Kalashnikovs, with an estimated 100 million working AK-47s currently in circulation.
Besides Russia, the Kalashnikov rifles are being produced in more than 30 countries, including China, India, Poland, Ukraine and the US.
However, Kalashnikov Concern has been complaining on numerous occasions that their product is being copied without proper licensing by many foreign manufacturers.
On October 5, 2017, 70,814 shares worth MNT 64.17 billion of 18 firms listed as Tier I, II, and III were traded. 8 firms’ shares increased, 7 decreased in price and 3 remained unchanged. Sharyn Gol JSC was the top performer, increasing 7.78 percent, whereas Shivee Ovoo JSC was the worst performer, decreasing 10.02 percent.
The MSE ALL Index rose 00.41 percent to stand at 1076.29. The MSE market cap stands at MNT 2,078,528,353,028.57.