Sun, Dec 05, 2010 - Page 10 News List

Business Quick Take

AGENCIES

TAXATION

Taiwan, Switzerland do deal

Taiwanese and Swiss companies attending exhibitions or engaging in business activities in either country can now apply for a refund of the value-added tax (VAT) they have paid to the host country, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday. The minnistry announced that from July 1, foreign enterprises with no regular venues to do business in Taiwan are eligible to request a VAT refund with local tax offices, as long as they have paid more than NT$5,000 in VAT for goods or services they purchased while attending trade shows or taking part in business activities in Taiwan. Following in the footsteps of Slovenia and Germany, Switzerland was the third country to have reached an agreement with Taiwan on this mutually beneficial measure. The measure is retroactive to July 1 this year.

RETAIL

Myer launches new site

Australia’s largest department store chain, Myer, will open an online business based in China in a bid to lure Australian customers with the promise of zero taxes on their goods, reports said yesterday. Myer said it would start up the Chinese site and ship goods from a warehouse in Shenzhen in a bid to dodge Australia’s 10 percent goods and services tax (GST). “We will take jobs offshore and we will ship product out of China through our Internet site,” Myer chief Bernie Brookes said, according to Fairfax newspapers. “It’s a bloody shame.” Brookes said the push aimed to give Myer a more “level playing field” with online shopping outlets, which are exempt from GST on purchases worth less than A$1,000.

AUTOMAKERS

Honda to sell Hero stake

Honda Motor Co plans to sell its stake in India’s top-ranked motorcycle maker, Hero Honda Motors, and instead focus on its wholly owned subsidiary in the country, a news report said yesterday. The Japanese automaker could earn some ¥100 billion (US$1.2 billion) from the sale of its shares in Hero Honda, founded in 1984 with India’s Hero Group, the Nikkei business daily said. Honda and the Hero Group reached a basic accord this week to dissolve their partnership, Nikkei said, adding that they will seek final approval from their respective boards of directors later this month for the breakup.

BRAZIL

New bank rules announced

Brazil’s central bank on Friday announced new bank sector requirements designed to rein in inflation by increasing the amount of money banks had to deposit with the institution. The central bank said the mandatory deposits would be raised from 15 percent to 20 percent for long-term placements and from eight percent to 12 percent for the rest. That would have the effect of withdrawing about US$36 billion from the market, thus limiting the amount of money the banks could loan to individuals.

ENERGY

Massey chairman retiring

Massey Energy Co says chairman and chief executive Don Blankenship is retiring on Dec. 30. The company said on Friday that current president Baxter Phillips will replace Blankenship. Blankenship, who joined the central Appalachian coal producer in 1982, said it was time to go after nearly 30 years with the company. The southern West Virginia native’s tenure with Massey has been marked by battles with labor and government regulators.

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