Amazon offered billions in tax breaks for second US headquarters

Amazon said it will announce a decision for its second campus, in addition to its Seattle headquarters, next year. (Reuters)
Updated 19 October 2017
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Amazon offered billions in tax breaks for second US headquarters

SAN FRANCISO: US cities are offering Amazon.com Inc. at least as much as $7 billion (SR26.25 billion) in tax breaks ahead of a Thursday deadline as they compete to house its second headquarters.
The world’s largest online retailer has won promises from elected officials who are eager for the $5 billion-plus investment and up to 50,000 jobs that will come with “Amazon HQ2.”
New Jersey proposed $7 billion in potential credits against state and city taxes if Amazon locates in Newark and sticks to hiring commitments, according to a Monday news release from the governor’s office.
Across the Hudson River, New York City made a proposal without incentives special for Amazon, though the state is expected to offer some, a spokesman for the city’s economic development corporation said on Wednesday.
And across the country, California is offering some $300 million in incentives over several years and other benefits, the governor said in an October 11 letter to Amazon’s Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, published online by the Orange County Register.
Dozens of cities and states have expressed interest in HQ2. Credit ratings and research company Moody’s has ranked Austin as the most likely to win based on its labor pool, costs of doing business and quality of life, among other criteria.
Austin is also the headquarters of Whole Foods Market, which Amazon recently acquired.
The city’s chamber of commerce said in a Twitter post on Wednesday that it submitted its bid for HQ2.
Amazon has said it will announce a decision for its second campus, in addition to its Seattle headquarters, next year.


Oil prices rise on Libyan export interruption, but markets remain weak

Updated 11 December 2018
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Oil prices rise on Libyan export interruption, but markets remain weak

  • The rise came after crude prices dropped by 3 percent the session before amid ongoing weakness in global stock markets and concerns that slowing oil demand-growth could erode supply cuts
  • Crude futures have lost around a third of their value since early October amid the financial market slump and an emerging oil supply overhang

SINGAPORE: Oil prices edged up on Tuesday after Libya’s National Oil Company declared force majeure on exports from the El Sharara oilfield, which was seized at the weekend by a local militia group.
Despite that, overall sentiment on oil prices remained weak amid worries over global stock markets and doubts that planned supply cuts led by producer club OPEC will be enough to rein in oversupply.
International Brent crude oil futures were at $60.19 per barrel at 0336 GMT, up 19 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $51.16 per barrel, up 16 cents, or 0.3 percent.
Libya’s National Oil Company (NOC) late on Monday declared force majeure on exports from the El Sharara oilfield, the country’s biggest, which was seized at the weekend by a militia group.
NOC said the shutdown would result in a production loss of 315,000 barrels per day (bpd), and an additional loss of 73,000 bpd at the El Feel oilfield.
The rise came after crude prices dropped by 3 percent the session before amid ongoing weakness in global stock markets and concerns that slowing oil demand-growth could erode supply cuts announced last week by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some non-OPEC producers including Russia.
Crude futures have lost around a third of their value since early October amid the financial market slump and an emerging oil supply overhang.
In a show of no confidence, money managers cut their bullish wagers on crude to the lowest in more than two years in the week ending Dec. 4, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Monday.
The financial speculator group cut its combined futures and options position in New York and London by 25,619 contracts to 144,775 during the period. That is the lowest level since Sept. 20, 2016.
In physical markets, Kuwait and Iran this week both reduced their January crude oil supply prices to Asia
“There remains a lot of uncertainty if the production cut is thick enough to make a significant dent in global supply,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at futures brokerage Oanda in Singapore.
“The general risk-off tone in global markets and the stronger dollar ... are contributing to the selling pressure.”
The OPEC-led group of oil producers last Friday announced a supply cut of 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in crude oil supply from January, measured against October 2018 output levels.