Goldman Sachs expects $5 billion hit from tax overhaul in 4Q

A view of the Goldman Sachs stall on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (Reuters)
Updated 29 December 2017
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Goldman Sachs expects $5 billion hit from tax overhaul in 4Q

NEW YORK: Goldman Sachs expects to take a $5 billion hit to profits for the fourth quarter and year because of the tax overhaul signed into law last week.
As a result, the New York bank will likely report a loss for the last quarter of 2017. But Goldman and other banks will be among the largest beneficiaries of the new tax code.
Goldman on Friday became one of the first companies to release details on how changes in the tax code will affect how money parked overseas is handled. The bank said two-thirds of the $5 billion is related to changes in repatriation taxes, when funds are returned from overseas.
The new tax overhaul imposes a discounted one-time levy on overseas money returned to the US — 15.5 percent for earnings held in cash or other liquid assets and 8 percent for earnings held in harder-to-sell assets. Previously, companies had to pay a 35 percent corporate tax when they returned that money, so they left it parked overseas.
It has been expected that changes in the law would prompt many companies to return money to the US, potentially $2.5 trillion or more. Keefe Bruyette & Woods analyst Brian Kleinhanzl estimated that the repatriation part of Goldman’s charge equates to an 11 percent tax rate, based on the $32.6 billion in undistributed foreign earnings Goldman had at the end of 2016.
Goldman had been expected to post fourth-quarter net income of $2.07 billion, according to banking analysts polled by FactSet. The bank reports earnings in mid-January.
After taking a hit on repatriated earns, Goldman, and other banks, will operate in a much more favorable tax environment.
The tax measure signed into law by President Donald Trump this month spreads benefits across a wide array of American industry, including banks.
Finance and insurance companies would have paid an effective corporate tax rate of 26.1 percent next year. Now, it will be 14.3 percent. Analysts at Goldman Sachs have estimated that the tax law will boost big-bank earnings per share by 13 percent next year. The top beneficiary will be Wells Fargo, which has been dogged by scandals over cheating customers. It will enjoy an 18 percent earnings surge in 2018, Goldman estimates.
Economists believe the overall effect on the economy will be muted, however, because of those cuts to the US corporate tax rate.
Historically, repatriated profits have not had a broad effect on the US economy anyway.
A 2004 law temporarily cut taxes on repatriated profits to 5.25 percent, from 35 percent. That led 843 companies to bring back $312 billion. But those companies tended to use the money to buy back shares of their own stock, not to hire or expand operations.
Goldman also said part of the reduction to fourth-quarter earnings comes from recalculating the value of it deferred tax assets. Those are past losses that companies can use to lower future tax bills. Goldman and other banks suffered huge losses during the financial crisis. Those assets will now have less value because of the lower corporate tax rate.
The effect of the tax changes on Goldman Sachs was revealed in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission early on Friday.
The company did not say how changes in the tax law would affect its decisions on investments going forward, and did not immediately return messages left early Friday.
Shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. fell 1 percent to $254 in early trading.


‘Huge increase’ in crude prices not expected: IEA executive director

Updated 19 July 2019
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‘Huge increase’ in crude prices not expected: IEA executive director

  • The International Energy Agency is revising its 2019 global oil demand growth forecast down to 1.1 million barrels per day
  • IEA’s Fatih Birol: Serious political tensions could impact market dynamics

NEW DELHI: The International Energy Agency (IEA) doesn’t expect oil prices to rise significantly because demand is slowing and there is a glut in global crude markets, its executive director said on Friday.
“Prices are determined by the markets ... If we see the market today, we see that the demand is slowing down considerably,” said IEA’s Fatih Birol, in public comments made during a two-day energy conference in New Delhi.
The IEA is revising its 2019 global oil demand growth forecast down to 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) and may cut it again if the global economy and especially China shows further weakness, Birol told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.
Last year, the IEA predicted that 2019 oil demand would grow by 1.5 million bpd. But in June this year it cut the growth forecast to 1.2 million bpd.
“Substantial amount of oil is coming from the United States, about 1.8 million barrels per day, plus oil from Iraq, Brazil and Libya,” Birol said.
Under normal circumstances, he said, he doesn’t expect a “huge increase” in crude oil prices. But Birol warned serious political tensions could yet impact market dynamics.
Crude oil prices rose nearly 2 percent on Friday after a US Navy ship destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz, a major chokepoint for global crude flows.
Referring to India, Birol stressed the country could cut its imports, amid rising oil demand in the country, by increasing domestic local oil and gas production.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had set a target in 2015 to cut India’s dependence on oil imports to two-thirds of consumption by 2022, and half by 2030. But rising demand and low domestic production have pushed imports to 84 percent of total needs in the last five years, government data shows.
Meanwhile, the IEA doesn’t expect a global push toward environmentally friendly electric vehicles can dent crude demand significantly, Birol said, as the main driver of crude demand globally has been petrochemicals, not cars.
He said the impact of a serious electric vehicle adoption push by the Indian government would not be felt immediately.