G20 ministers set to green light global tax reform

G20 ministers set to green light global tax reform
The minimum rate is expected to affect fewer than 10,000 major companies, those with an annual turnover of more than 750 million euros ($890 million). (File/Shutterstock)
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Updated 10 July 2021

G20 ministers set to green light global tax reform

G20 ministers set to green light global tax reform
  • The framework for reform, including a minimum global corporate tax rate of 15 percent, was agreed by 131 countries earlier this month and could be in place by 2023

VENICE: Finance ministers from the G20 richest nations resumed discussions in Venice on Saturday to give the green light to a historic deal to tax multinational companies more fairly.
The framework for reform, including a minimum global corporate tax rate of 15 percent, was agreed by 131 countries earlier this month and could be in place by 2023.
Hailed by those involved as historic, it aims to prevent a race to the bottom as countries compete to offer the lowest tax rates to attract investment, with many multinationals as a result paying derisory levels of tax.
“This minimum tax on companies must be ambitious,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told AFP on Friday, adding that the meeting of the G20 — the countries with the 19 biggest economies and the European Union — represented a unique opportunity.
The countries representing 85 percent of global wealth were seeking a deal “for the 21st century, which will allow for the fair taxation of digital giants which largely escape taxation, which nobody can accept,” he said.
Final agreement on the minimum rate is not expected until the run-up to the G20 leaders’ summit in Rome in October.
But the Venice talks are an opportunity to thrash out further details and exert pressure on those who have not yet signed up to the deal, struck under the auspices of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) — a club of 38 wealthy economies.
The United States, France and Germany are among several countries pressing for a higher rate, while aid agencies including Oxfam also argue that 15 percent is too low.
But with some nations opposed even to this — EU member Ireland lured Apple and Google to Dublin with its low tax rates — there is not likely to be any change to the rate.
“We are really now on the way” to a deal that “will be finalized shortly,” German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told CNBC television.
The minimum rate is expected to affect fewer than 10,000 major companies, those with an annual turnover of more than 750 million euros ($890 million).
It is one of two so-called pillars of global tax reform that have been under negotiation for years, and have been given new impetus under US President Joe Biden.
The other would give countries the right to tax multinationals on profits they earn from their activities in the nation, and would initially apply to the top 100 or so companies.
It is targeted at technology giants such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple, but could also affect companies like energy giant BP, which is present in 85 countries.
According to a draft obtained by AFP of the final statement, which is still being discussed, the G20 ministers will “endorse” the OECD’s “historic agreement on a more stable and fairer international tax architecture.”


France’s OVHCloud takes first step toward IPO and hopes to raise around $470m

France’s OVHCloud takes first step toward IPO and hopes to raise around $470m
Updated 5 sec ago

France’s OVHCloud takes first step toward IPO and hopes to raise around $470m

France’s OVHCloud takes first step toward IPO and hopes to raise around $470m
PARIS: French cloud computing services provider OVHcloud said it was hoping to raise 400 million euros ($468.64 million) via the issuance of new shares as part of a planned initial public offering (IPO) on the Paris stock market.
OVHCloud hopes the IPO will “accelerate its growth trajectory and consolidate its European leadership position while continuing to expand in North America and Asia,” the company said, as it released its IPO registration document.
The family-owned company added on Monday that it was targeting a revenue growth of 10-15 percent for 2022 and an organic revenue growth rate in the mid-twenties by 2025.
These growth targets would be achieved while maintaining an adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) margin in line with the fiscal 2020 level.
No dividend payments were anticipated in the mid-term with cash-flows expected to be re-invested in line with the company’s accelerating growth trajectory, it added.
Following the IPO, the Klaba family will retain a substantial majority stake in OVHcloud.
The company had initially announced its IPO plans in March, two days before a major blaze destroyed one of its data centers in eastern France — a disaster that had raised concerns about its capacity to go public.
In June, OVHCloud re-committed to an IPO but provided no timetable.

Pakistan banks move to close gender gap

Pakistan banks move to close gender gap
Updated 4 min 34 sec ago

Pakistan banks move to close gender gap

Pakistan banks move to close gender gap
  • The policy titled “Banking on Equality: Reducing the Gender Gap in Financial Inclusion” identified five key pillars

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) launched a gender mainstreaming policy, which aims to reduce the gender gap in the financial industry and improve women’s access to financial services, a statement said.

The policy titled “Banking on Equality: Reducing the Gender Gap in Financial Inclusion” identified five key pillars, according to the statement issued on Friday.

It will aim at improving gender diversity in financial institutions and their access points; developing and marketing women centric products and services; creating women desks at bank branches for improved facilitation for women customers; cgathering gender-disaggregated data and target setting; and institutionalizing a policy forum on Gender at SBP.

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Abdullah bin Zaraa appointed as head of Saudi Arabia’s executive office at the IMF

Abdullah bin Zaraa appointed as head of Saudi Arabia’s executive office at the IMF
Updated 15 min 28 sec ago

Abdullah bin Zaraa appointed as head of Saudi Arabia’s executive office at the IMF

Abdullah bin Zaraa appointed as head of Saudi Arabia’s executive office at the IMF
  • Bin Zaraa was chief operating officer and chief executive officer of the National Debt Management Center

RIYADH: Saudi Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan has appointed Abdullah bin Zaraa as head of the Saudi executive fffice at the International Monetary Fund, Argaam reported.

Bin Zaraa was chief operating officer and chief executive officer of the National Debt Management Center.

Saudi Arabia's executive office is a permanent member of the IMF executive board, where it represents the Kingdom independently. 


Saudi Ground Services signs $27.2m handling services deal with Fly Dubai

Saudi Ground Services signs $27.2m handling services deal with Fly Dubai
Updated 20 min 54 sec ago

Saudi Ground Services signs $27.2m handling services deal with Fly Dubai

Saudi Ground Services signs $27.2m handling services deal with Fly Dubai
  • SGS will undertake ground handling services for Fly Dubai in all the Kingdom’s airports

RIYADH: UAE's Fly Dubai has signed an agreement for handling services with the Saudi Ground Services Company (SGS) for a period of five years, with a value exceeding 100 million Emirati dirhams ($27.2 million), Al Bayan paper reported.

Under the agreement, SGS will undertake ground handling services for Fly Dubai in all the Kingdom’s airports SGS will undertake ground handling services for Fly Dubai in all the Kingdom’s airports, including the 11 airports in which the airline operates.

Flydubai has expanded its network to more than 95 destinations, including many unserved destinations such as Minsk, Salzburg and Tirana.

The carrier also recently announced the start of operations to Ankara in Turkey, Ljubljana in Slovenia and Warsaw in Poland.


Egypt to sell minority stake in state payments firm e-finance

Egypt to sell minority stake in state payments firm e-finance
Updated 19 September 2021

Egypt to sell minority stake in state payments firm e-finance

Egypt to sell minority stake in state payments firm e-finance

CAIRO: Egyptian state-controlled payments firm e-finance for Digital and Financial Investments said on Sunday it would offer up to 14.5 percent of its capital in an initial public offering in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Founded in 2005, e-finance said in a statement it is the sole entity authorized to operate the government’s financial network, including processing and settling payment and collection transactions.

The sale is one of several planned for this year.

In May, Egypt sold a 51 percent stake in state-owned Arab Investment Bank to privately owned EFG Hermes, its first sale of a majority bank stake since 2006.

The government announced in 2018 it intended to sell minority stakes in nearly two dozen companies, but those sales have been delayed repeatedly by market downturns and more recently by the coronavirus pandemic.

e-finance said it would float 177.8 million new shares on the stock exchange and 80 million shares owned by current shareholders, to both institutional and retail investors.

Among its shareholders are three state-owned banks: National Investment Bank, with 63.64 percent, and the National Bank of Egypt and Banque Misr, each with 9.09 percent, according to e-finance’s 2019 annual report.

Egyptian Banks Co., a payments operator led by the central bank, and a firm called Egyptian Company for Investment Projects each own another 9.09 percent.

e-finance's revenue rose to 1.23 billion Egyptian pounds ($78 million) in 2020 and 904 million pounds in the first half of 2021, a 2018-20 compound annual growth rate of 30 percent, it said.

The sale is subject to market conditions and regulatory approvals, the statement added.