James Moore: London listing allows Wolseley to ride waves
Outlook Tough times for Wolseley, the multinational plumbers merchant, whose upbeat performance in the UK and the US was tarnished by the continuing struggles of the construction industry in Europe.
If management doesn't get this sorted out, investors might start getting fractious. Their reaction to yesterday's numbers certainly blew some of the froth of the shares which had previously been merrily chugging along.
Shareholders in Switzerland, where the Jersey-registered company resides for taxation purposes, do things like rebel over the commodity closest to the heart of executives: pay.
Fortuitously, however, Wolseley's shares are listed in London, where investors have taken a much more relaxed view on this subject than have their counterparts in the country that gave us cuckoo clocks, chocolate, top class skiing and banking secrecy laws.
Thus it gets all the benefits of London's deep pool of capital and the visibility and prestige that holding a place in the FTSE 100 index confers while at the same time paying its tax in Zug.
Now you may think that the company is trying to have its cake and eat it with such a set up. And you'd be right. That's exactly what the Wolseley is up to.
The thing is, we've allowed it, and other multinationals, to get away with this sort of thing perfectly legally.
Until that changes, companies like Wolseley will carry on devouring their Swiss rolls along with their Lemon Drizzles and their Bakewell Tarts while thumbing their noses at us.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 1 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 2 Japanese plant experts produce 10,000 lettuce heads a day in LED-lit indoor farm
- 3 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Israel-Gaza conflict: Death toll tops 125 after overnight raids as Operation Protective Edge continues
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Ian Thorpe gay: Olympic swimmer comes out in Parkinson interview
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Gaza-Israel conflict: Pro-Palestinian demonstrators take to streets of London, Paris and New York in wave of protests
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
iJobs Money & Business
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...