The Business Matrix: Monday 28 January 2013


Apple's offshore pile rises by £7bn

Apple swept $11bn (£7bn) into offshore tax havens in the last three months of 2012 as it stock-piled its profits outside the United States — in places such as the British Virgin Islands. The maker of the iPhone and iPad paid only 2 per cent tax on its overseas profits last year by using this legal strategy. Apple has sheltered as much as $94bn from the US tax man.

Bosses who travel have more success

University of Exeter Business School has found managers widely exposed to more than one culture during their formative years – until the age of 23 – are more successful than those that have not. The study looked at more than 2,000 "acquisition decisions" at 561 UK companies and found a link between travel and willingness to make difficult strategic decisions.

Blankfein: media caused tax U-turn

Goldman Sachs's chief executive, Lloyd Blankfein, has admitted that media pressure forced the Wall Street bank to drop its plan to save its British employees millions in bonuses through tax avoidance. "We were very, very influenced by the press, and that's certainly not embarrassing," Mr Blankfein said at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The Independent on Sunday

Accountants to be grilled by MPs

Tax experts at KPMG, Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young are set to be grilled this week by MPs on the Public Accounts Committee about tax-avoidance schemes. It comes in the aftermath of criticism of firms such as Amazon and Google and following David Cameron's demand for companies to pay more corporation tax.

The Mail on Sunday

Rothschild faces Bumi opposition

Nat Rothschild has tabled a proposal to sack 12 of the 14 directors at Bumi, the London-listed Indonesian coal empire he created. But the chief executive, Nick von Schirnding, is expected to unveil a boardroom shake-up this week that he hopes will convince investors that Mr Rothschild's coup is unnecessary.

The Sunday Times

Carney signals prices 'tolerance'

Mark Carney, the incoming Bank of England Governor, has signalled that he is willing to see higher inflation. He said that there were "tolerances" concerning the speed with which inflation would be brought down if the economy were struggling. Economies need to reach "escape velocity", he said.

The Sunday Telegraph

Ryanair benefits from rivals' woes

Ryanair reveals its third- quarter update today, following budget airline rival easyJet's 9.2 per cent quarterly sales rise. Liberum Capital scribes think Ryanair will benefit from the troubles of other weaker players in Europe, and they rate it a buy with a share-price target of €6.

Skyscraper firms scrap it out

British Land is building the Cheesegrater (Leadenhall Building) in the City, and it is now more than half-full with pre-lettings – as is rival Land Securities' Walkie-Talkie (20 Fenchurch Street). Both will be completed next year. British Land will release its third-quarter update tomorrow.

Thirsty for news at United Utilities

The water group United Utilities has been the subject of takeover rumours for months, but traders have been getting thirsty waiting for any bid to emerge. Will the market ease off the takeover speculation on Wednesday, when it will update the City with a trading statement?

Analysts get taste for Tate & Lyle

Sweet-toothed analysts at Berenberg Bank rate the sweetener specialist Tate & Lyle a buy ahead of its trading statement on Friday. Investors have been concerned about sweetener pricing, but Berenberg thinks there is plenty of scope for growth in 2013, and gave it a 950p-share-price target.