Overseas tax rules published
The Treasury published final rules on Thursday for a new global tax enforcement regime targeting the assets of US taxpayers abroad. The announcement finishes the rule-writing process for the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act which Congress passed in March 2010. The final rules spare certain foreign pension funds and mutual funds information-reporting requirements. The Treasury rejected a request by businesses, banks and foreign investment funds to delay a start date of January next year for big penalties imposed on individuals and financial firms that do not comply with the law.
China steel output up 3.1%
China, which produces almost half the world’s steel, boosted production by 3.1 percent last year as economic expansion spurred demand for roads and railways. Steel output increased to 716.5 million tonnes last year, the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday. Production climbed 7.7 percent last month from a year earlier to 57.66 million tonnes, the bureau said. It is the 31st annual increase in steel production. China will spend 650 billion yuan (US$105 billion) this year on railway construction, more than the 631 billion spent last year, the Xinhua news agency said on Thursday.
Amex income drops 47%
American Express (Amex) says its net income fell 47 percent in the fourth quarter last year, as the credit card issuer racked up hefty charges related to restructuring costs and other one-time expenses. The New York-based company said on Thursday that it posted net income of US$637 million, or US$0.56 per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31 last year. That compares with net income of US$1.2 billion, or US$1.01 per share, in the same period last year.
Barclays mulls fine payment
British bank Barclays PLC is considering using its bonus pool for last year to help pay fines for its role in LIBOR interest rate rigging, the Financial Times reported. The bank might recoup part or all of the ￡290 million (US$465 million) it was fined from the bonuses it pays investment bankers, the paper said, without citing sources. Part state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC is already preparing to slash bonuses to help pay for its LIBOR-related fines, according to a source. Barclays is currently finalizing bonuses for last year and overall compensation is expected to fall between 10 percent and 20 percent on average, two sources said earlier this week.
Commerzbank may cut jobs
Commerzbank, Germany’s second-biggest bank, is likely to propose next month cutting as many as 6,000 jobs, about 18 percent of the workforce, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing sources. Different sources told the business daily the cuts could range from 5,000 to 6,000 workers, but the bank declined to comment on numbers. The jobs cut proposal is likely to be made in talks with unions due to begin next month.
Procter & Gamble to cut jobs
Procter & Gamble is cutting about 150 jobs in Spain and Portugal following the decision to integrate hygiene company Arbora & Ausonia into its existing operations. P&G acquired 100 percent of the firm last year after food company Agrolimen sold its 50 percent stake in the firm.