Sun, Aug 09, 2015 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

FINANCE

Greece deal on schedule

Greece is on track to complete a draft deal with international creditors on a third bailout by Tuesday, with a possible first disbursement by Aug. 20, a source familiar with a conference call of senior EU finance officials said on Friday. Talks are proceeding smoothly and might be completed over the weekend, the source said. If a draft memorandum of understanding and an updated debt sustainability analysis are ready on Tuesday as planned, the Greek government and parliament would be expected to approve them by Thursday. Eurozone finance ministers could then meet or hold a teleconference on Friday to endorse an up to 86 billion euro (US$94.33 billion) three-year loan program for Athens, the source said.

IRELAND

Fitch says outlook ‘positive’

Fitch Ratings Inc raised its outlook on Ireland to “positive” from “stable,” citing the country’s strengthening economy after exiting an international bailout in 2013. Fitch highlighted that tax revenue increased by 11.7 percent in the first half of this year compared with the same period a year ago, notably on strong corporate tax receipts. Revenue from value-added tax and personal income tax grew by 8 percent and 6 percent respectively. Ireland also benefited from a low interest rate environment, which has allowed it to make an 18 billion euro repayment of its IMF loan ahead of schedule, resulting in interest savings, Fitch said.

TAXES

Thailand to tax inheritance

Thailand is to start collecting inheritance tax for the first time in February next year. The Inheritance Tax Act 2015 stipulates that a 5 percent tax is to be imposed on inherited assets worth more than 100 million baht (US$2.85 million) for parents or direct descendants and 10 percent for others. The act became law with its publication this week in the Royal Thai Government Gazette, after passage in May by the interim National Legislative Assembly. The gazette said the purpose of the law was to combat social injustice arising from economic inequality, and to use the revenue to develop the country.

MEXICO

Debt collection gripes triple

Complaints about harassment by debt collectors have more than tripled in Mexico, with Mexicans unhappy over late-night or early-morning telephone calls dunning them for debts they often do not even owe. The head of the country’s agency for protecting bank clients, Mario di Costanzo, on Friday said that it has levied about US$12 million in fines against collection agencies that work for banks or other financial entities. Di Costanzo said 16,201 complaints were registered in the first six months of this year, compared with 4,997 in the same period last year.

NIGERIA

FIRS targets tax evaders

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on Friday said it would crack down on tax evaders by denying access to banking facilities for individuals and companies that failed to join its register. FIRS Chairman Sunday Ogungbesan told a news briefing in Lagos there were more than 440,000 companies in the country, which has Africa’s biggest economy, but only about 120,000 paid taxes. Tax evasion can be punished with up to five years in prison.

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