Amazon Japan must pay taxes
Japanese authorities told a sales affiliate of US retail giant Amazon.com to pay about US$119 million in tax for unreported income over a three-year period, a newspaper said yesterday. Amazon Japan and Amazon Japan Logistics are responsible for operations in Japan, but the income has been reported in the US by the company’s Seattle-based affiliate — Amazon.com International Sales, the Asahi Shimbun said. The Tokyo tax bureau reportedly judged that the company should have paid tax in Japan for the income made in the country during the three years to 2005, the daily said. Amazon has asked for the case to be negotiated between the Japanese and US tax authorities, saying the taxation was “inappropriate,” the Asahi said.
Samsung wins refinery bid
South Korea’s major builder Samsung Engineering said yesterday it had won an order of US$2.6 billion to renovate an oil refinery in Algeria. The company said a contract was signed Saturday with Algeria’s state-run oil company Sonatrach. Under the deal Samsung Engineering will upgrade facilities at the refinery over the next three years, it said. It was the single biggest contract Samsung had received, Yonhap news agency said. “The contract also brightens the prospects for winning more orders from Sonatrach,” Samsung Engineering CEO Jeong Yeon-ju told Yonhap.
Economy to shrink 3 percent
French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said Europe’s third-largest economy would shrink 3 percent this year. Speaking at a conference at Aix en Provence, Lagarde said France’s recession had not been as bad as those elsewhere. Lagarde also said that stress tests for banks need to be standardized across borders and as transparent as possible. “I tend to prefer throwing daylight,” she said. “But transparency won’t give much, if the tests don’t allow us to compare what is happening.” As for China’s call to rethink how international foreign exchange reserves are managed, Lagarde said authorities should better coordinate currency policies.
Nationalization plan looms
President Evo Morales on Saturday said that parts of the country’s energy and rail sectors, currently backed by foreign capital, could soon be nationalized. “It is true we have not fulfilled all our promises, we still have railways and we still have energy,” Morales said in reference to vows of nationalizing the industries. The leftist leader said the government did not have enough money to allow nationalization to take place immediately, but hinted a move in that direction might be in the offing. the nation’s electricity sector is dominated by Spanish firms Iberdrola and Red Electrica, French firm GDF Suez and the UK’s Rurelec.
Porsche, Qatar outline deal
Porsche SE and Qatar have agreed on the general outlines of a deal that would give the emirate stock options equivalent to a 20 percent stake in Volkswagen AG and an investment in Porsche’s European holding company, the Euro am Sonntag reported, citing unnamed officials involved in the talks. Three more bidders are also interested in taking a stake in Porsche, rivaling investment plans by Qatar, German magazine Focus reported on Saturday. In an advance release of remarks due to be published today, Focus said without citing sources that a Chinese and a Russian sovereign wealth fund as well as a hedge fund were interested.