Luxembourg welcomes 60 finance firms because of Brexit

Luxembourg welcomes 60 finance firms because of Brexit
Buildings in the Kirchberg quarter are seen behind people standing in roman ruins in the city of Luxembourg, Luxembourg. (Reuters)
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Updated 29 January 2020

Luxembourg welcomes 60 finance firms because of Brexit

Luxembourg welcomes 60 finance firms because of Brexit
  • Landlocked low-tax Luxembourg, a Grand Duchy in the heart of Europe, has a reputation for financial services
  • According to accountants KPMG, Luxembourg has welcomed 65 firms owing to Brexit, ahead of Ireland on 64

LUXEMBOURG: More than 60 financial firms have moved some operations to Luxembourg to insulate themselves from the effects of Brexit, a industry group said Wednesday.
As EU lawmakers voted in Brussels to confirm Britain’s departure from the bloc, public-private agency Luxembourg for Finance released its figures.
According to the group, 60 firms “have publicly announced the relocation of activities to Luxembourg due to Brexit,” and at least ten more will do so.
“Since the Brexit referendum in 2016, Luxembourg has seen a spike in interest from firms planning for their future EU and cross-border activities,” it said.
“A further Brexit outcome has been that Luxembourg law is increasingly being chosen by international institutions active in financial markets.”
The City of London is by all measures the biggest financial center in Europe, and is likely to remain powerful after the United Kingdom leaves the EU.
But the City’s ability to freely provide financial services within the remaining member states will depend on a future cross-Channel trade deal.
This will be negotiated during an 11-month transition period after Brexit, and some firms are already looking to move some or all of their business.
Landlocked low-tax Luxembourg, a Grand Duchy in the heart of Europe, has a reputation for financial services — and discreet bankers.
According to accountants KPMG, Luxembourg has welcomed 65 firms owing to Brexit, ahead of Ireland on 64 and the Netherlands and France on 30 each.
These companies include banks and their departments, insurers and stock brokers shifting operations from the City toward continental locations.
Luxembourg for Finance CEO Nicolas Mackel said the duchy would be “an EU hub for firms considering their post-Brexit plans.”


‘The worst is behind us’: Aramco CEO

Saudi Aramco President and CEO Amin Nasser, this year’s winner of the annual Chemists’ Club Kavaler award. (Supplied)
Updated 59 min 39 sec ago

‘The worst is behind us’: Aramco CEO

Saudi Aramco President and CEO Amin Nasser, this year’s winner of the annual Chemists’ Club Kavaler award. (Supplied)
  • Amin Nasser points to oil industry recovery after accepting prestigious chemists’ award

RIYADH: The oil industry is recovering from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and “the worst is behind us,” Saudi Aramco’s President and CEO, Amin Nasser, told an award ceremony in Riyadh on Thursday.

“April was by far the worst month for our industry when oil demand fell. Such a massive drop was never seen at any time in the industry. But I believe the worst is behind us. At this moment there is a recovery taking place,” Nasser said after he was announced as this year’s winner of the annual Chemists’ Club Kavaler award.

The award, which recognizes Nasser’s work in the petrochemical industry, was presented at a virtual event on Dec. 3 and included a discussion with the official about Aramco’s strategy, outlook and key industry trends.

Accepting the award, Nasser praised Saudi Aramco’s employees, saying he wanted to share the prestige with them.

“I am proud to accept this award on behalf of the thousands of men and women of Saudi Aramco who are showing great determination and resilience in a year that has been unlike any in our lifetime. This is definitely their award, too,” he said.

During the fireside chat, Nasser spoke about projects currently underway at Saudi Aramco.

“Despite COVID-19 and all its challenges, our work is going on at Aramco. We have continued to pursue our long-term strategy to be a bigger player in chemicals, to projects here in the Kingdom and around the world. In fact, the progress we have made is just the beginning of a major transformation positioning Aramco for the future,” he said.

In a statement ahead of the ceremony, Joseph Chang, global editor of the ICIS Chemical Business publication, praised Nasser for his achievements.

“Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser has made huge advances in petrochemicals with the $69 billion acquisition of SABIC, the construction of mega-projects worldwide and the development of crude oil-to-chemicals technology. The level of project activity for Aramco is unprecedented for any company. Its global ambitions and investments in petrochemicals will create waves in the industry for years to come,” he said.

The Chemists’ Club, a private organization in New York, offers memberships to research and industrial chemists working in all areas.

The Kavaler prize, presented for the first time to a recipient outside Europe and North America, was awarded for “outstanding achievement.”

Profitability, innovation, acquisition activity, and commitment to environmental and social issues are taken into consideration when choosing the recipient.

Voting is carried out by the recipient’s peers in the ICIS Top 40 Power Players, a global ranking of industry leaders making the greatest positive impact published in ICIS Chemical Business magazine.

Previous winners include LyondellBasell CEO Bob Patel, BASF CEO Kurt Bock, Ineos chairman Jim Ratcliffe, former Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris, former LyondellBasell CEO Jim Gallogly, and former PPG CEO Charles Bunch.