China International Star and Actress Fan Bingbing Probed for Evading Tax 

China International Star and Actress Fan Bingbing Probed for Evading Tax 

China’s most recognised international star and 36 year-old-actress Fang Bingbing is being investigated by China tax authorities in the city of Wuxi in Jiangsu province for possibly using dual-contracts to reduce income tax.

“China International Star and Actress Fan Bingbing Probed for Evading Tax”

A former CCTV anchor had posted screenshots of 2 contracts on his social media account, Weibo, triggering investigations into dual-contract practices in the entertainment industry.  Both contracts were implied to belong to Fan Bingbing, with one contract showing a 60 million yuan ($9.36 million) contract and another showing a 10 million yuan ($1.56 million) contract.  Dual-contracts are sometimes used to reduce legal risks, tax payable or to evade tax.

In the 2017 Forbes China Celebrity list, she is listed as the highest paid actress in China earning an estimated 300 million yuan ($46.82 million).  Already China’s superstar,  she starred in Hollywood movie X-Men: Days of Future Past in 2014.

Source: Yicai, Caixin, SCMP, Forbes

 

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World Largest Travel Luggage Company Samsonite CEO Resigns after Short-Seller Releases Report

World Largest Travel Luggage Company Samsonite CEO Resigns after Short-Seller Releases Report

The world’s largest travel luggage company Samsonite CEO Ramesh Tainwala has resigned after a US short-seller released a report of Samsonite’s questionable accounting practices and CEO academic credentials as a PhD holder.  The United States short-seller Blue Orca Capital had released a research report on 24th May 2018, providing analysis that valued the Hong Kong listed company (SEHK: 1910) at nearly half its stock price (23/5/18: HKD 34.05, Short-seller valuation: HKD 17.59).

” World Largest Travel Luggage Company Samsonite CEO Resigns after Short-Seller Releases Report “

On 1st June 2018, Samsonite CEO Ramesh Tainwala announced his resignation and CFO Kyle Gendreau took over as CEO.  The Samsonite Board of Directors has reviewed the allegations contained in the Short-Seller Report and has determined them to be one-sided and misleading.  Prior to the report, the stock traded at HKD 34.05 on 23/5/18 (Wed) and fell to HKD 26.90 (Fri) on 25/5/18.  The stock closed at HKD 29.55 on 1/6/18 (Fri) following the resigning of the CEO, down 13% for the 7 days trading period.

Samsonite International S.A. is the world’s largest travel luggage company, with a heritage dating back more than 100 years.  The US headquartered and Hong Kong listed company was founded by Jesse Shwayder in 1910 in United States and had began business as a trunk manufacturing company.  In 1941, the company introduced Samsonite and it became one of the most well-known travel luggage brands in the world.  The company owns many leading brands including American Tourister,  Tumi, High Sierra and Hartmann.

Source: SCMPSamsonite, Blue ORCA Capital

 

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14 Billionaires Including Founder of Infosys and Linkedin Pledged More than 50% of their Wealth to Charitable Causes

14 Billionaires Including Founder of Infosys and Linkedin Pledged More than 50% of their Wealth to Charitable Causes

14 billionaires including Nandan Nilekani, Chairman and co-founder of Infosys, India’s top 10 largest company and co-founder of Linkedin Reid Hoffman have pledged to give more than 50% of their wealth to charitable causes in their life or will.  Their commitment to pledge 50% of their wealth is part of the Giving Pledge that began in 2010 with 40 American philanthropists.

” 14 Billionaires Including Founder of Infosys and Linkedin Pledged More than 50% of their Wealth to Charitable Causes “

In August 2010, 2 of the world’s richest individuals Bill Gates & his wife Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett created the Giving Pledge together with 40 of America’s wealthiest.  The Giving Pledge gathers billionaires or those who would be billionaires to give more than half of their wealth to charitable causes during their lifetimes or in their will.

Since 2010 and in the 8th year in 2018, there are 183 billionaire givers from 22 countries to the Giving Pledge with the announcement of the 14 new pledges from billionaires around the world.  Ranging in age from their 30s to their 90s, they come from 22 countries in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland and Taiwan), Cyprus, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Monaco, Norway, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, South Africa, Tanzania, Turkey, Ukraine, UAE, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

14 new billionaires announced on 30th May 2018:

  1. Aneel and Allison Bhusri, United States | Aneel Bhusri is co-founder and CEO of Workday
  2. David G. Booth, United States | David Booth founder of Dimensional Fund Advisors
  3. Charles Butt, United States | Charles Butt CEO of H-E-B
  4. Garrett Camp, Canada | Garrett Camp Founder and CEO of Expo
  5. Candy and Charlie Ergen, United States | Charlie Ergen co-founder and Chairman of Dish Network and EchoStar
  6. Mario and Regina Gabelli, United States | Mario Gabelli Chairman and CEO of GAMCO Investors
  7. Orion and Jackie Hindawi, United States | Orion Hindawi co-founder of Tanium
  8. Reid Hoffman and Michelle Yee, United States | Reid Hoffman co-Founder of LinkedIn and Partner at Greylock Partners
  9. Badr Jafar and Razan Al Mubarak, UAE | Badr Jafar CEO of Crescent Enterprises and President of Crescent Petroleum
  10. Richard and Melanie Lundquist, United States | Owners of Continental Development Corporation
  11. Rohini and Nandan Nilekani, India | Nandan Nilekani co-Founder and Chairman of Infosys
  12. Ernest and Evelyn Rady, United States | Ernest Rady President and CEO of American Assets Trust
  13. Dr. B.R. Shetty and Dr. C.R. Shetty, UAE| Dr. B.R. Shetty founder of NMC Health plc
  14. Shamsheer and Shabeena Vayalil, UAE and India | Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil founder and MD VPS Healthcare

Source: Giving Pledge

 

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Top 5 Hedge Fund Managers Earned $6.875 Billion in 2017

Top 5 Hedge Fund Managers Earned $6.875 Billion in 2017

The top 5 hedge fund managers in the world earned a combined $6.875 billion in 2017.  James Simons, founder of Renaissance Technologies earned the most with $1.7 billion, while David Tepper, founder of Appaloosa Management earned $1.4 billion in 2017.  The 3rd highest earning hedge fund manager in 2017 is Kenneth Griffin, founder of Citadel with $1.3 billion.

” Top 5 Hedge Fund Managers Earned $6.875 Billion in 2017 “

With $6.875 billion earnings in 2017, the top 5 hedge fund managers are earning more than $18 million a day.

Top 5 Hedge Fund Managers Earnings in 2017:

  1. James Simons, Renaissance Technologies – $1.7 billion
  2. David Tepper, Appaloosa Management – $1.5 billion
  3. Kenneth Griffin, Citadel – $1.4 billion
  4. Ray Dalio, Bridgewater Associates – $1.3 billion
  5. Israel Englander, Millennium Management – $0.975 billion

Source: Institutional Investors

 

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Billionaire and Chelsea Owner Roman Abramovich Becomes Israel Citizen after Visa Delays in UK

Billionaire and Chelsea Owner Roman Abramovich Becomes Israel Citizen after Visa Delays in UK

Russian billionaire and Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich has become an Israel citizen after facing delays in renewing his visa in the United Kingdom.  Facing difficulties in renewing his visa, he decided to move to Tel Aviv in Israel 15 years after having first invested in English Premier League football club, Chelsea in 2003.

” Billionaire and Chelsea Owner Roman Abramovich Becomes Israel Citizen after Visa Delays in UK “

Roman Abramovich’s family is Jewish and are from Lithuania.  He is one of Russia’s richest man and now Israel’s richest man, with a personal fortune exceeding $10 billion.  A business tycoon, he is best known outside Russia as the owner for Chelsea .  He was also the governor of Chukotka in Russia from 2000 to 2008.  Since 2009, he has donated more than $2 billions to build schools, hospitals and infrastructure in Chukotka.

The Israel’s interior ministry has confirmed the citizenship on a local television.  Israel’s Law of Return passed on 5th July 1950, grants Jews the right to live and gain Israeli citizenship.  According to Al Jazeera, a major news network that is owned by the government of Qatar, any Jew can immediately received a Passport.

Source: Al Jazeera, The Guardian, Telegraph

 

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Deutsche Bank Cuts 7,000 Jobs, 7.2% of Global Headcount

Deutsche Bank Cuts 7,000 Jobs, 7.2% of Global Headcount

Deutsche Bank has announced a reduction of more than 7,000 jobs or 7.2% of global headcount, reducing Germany’s leading bank and world’s leading bank headcount from 97,000 to below 90,000.  In its Equities Sales & Trading business, about 25% of headcount will be reduced.

” Deutsche Bank Cuts 7,000 Jobs, 7.2% of Global Headcount “

The restructuring will allow the German bank to accelerate the pace of cost reduction across the bank, and a decrease in leverage exposure in the Corporate & Investment Bank.  At the end of Q1 2018, the corporate & investment bank have exposure of over €100 billion, or approximately 10% of Deutsche bank €1,050 billion of leverage exposure.

Source: Deutsche Bank, Reuters, Bloomberg

 

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Kazakhstan’s Government Appeals to UK Courts to Unfreeze $22 Billion in Banks

Kazakhstan’s Government Appeals to UK Courts to Unfreeze $22 Billion in Banks

Kazakhstan’s government has appealed to the U.K. court to unfreeze $22 billion of assets in BNY Mellon.  The $22 billion assets represented almost 40% of Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund, Kazakhstan’s National Fund.  The $22 billion assets were frozen due to a legal dispute with Moldavian businessmen Anatolie Stati and Gabriel Stati.

” Kazakhstan’s Government Appeals to UK Courts to Unfreeze $22 Billion in Banks “

In late 2017, Moldova’s businessman & tycoon Anatolie Stati and Gabriel Stati, had both won a verdict for settlement in the U.K. court against the Kazakhstan government for harassing and forcing them to sell their investments in the Kazakhstan’s oil and gas industry cheaply.

Source: Reuters, Bloomberg

 

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Vontobel Buys Swiss Private Bank Notenstein from Raiffeisen for $707 Million

Vontobel Buys Swiss Private Bank Notenstein from Raiffeisen for $707 Million

Swiss private bank Vontobel have entered into an agreement to buy 100% of Swiss private bank Notenstein La Roche from Switzerland 3rd largest bank, Raiffeisen for around $707 million (CHF 700 million).

” Vontobel Buys Swiss Private Bank Notenstein from Raiffeisen for $707 Million “

Notenstein La Roche has client assets of CHF 16 billion in its wealth management and external asset managers businesses, with most of their clients in Switzerland.  Vontobel’s assets under management in combined wealth management (Wealth Management and EAM) had reached a new record level of CHF 54.0 billion, up from CHF 46.8 billion in 2016.

XR: USDCHF 0.99

Source: Vontobel, Reuters

 

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Pfizer to Pay US Authorities $23 Million to Settle Illegal Kickbacks to Patients

Pfizer to Pay US Authorities $23 Million to Settle Illegal Kickbacks to Patients

Pfizer, one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical co. and drug maker, has agreed to pay $23.85 million to U.S. authorities to settle claims of indirect kickbacks to patients.  The U.S. pharmaceutical co. was alleged to have donated and used a foundation to co-pay Pfizer drugs for patients to generate revenue and to increase the price of the drug.

” Pfizer to Pay US Authorities $23 Million to Settle Illegal Kickbacks to Patients “

Instead of providing Sutent and Inlyta under existing Pfizer free drug program, a third-party pharmacy company was used to redirect patient to a foundation in which the co. had donated to, for financial assistance to co-pay the use of the drug Tikosyn.   The actions prevented patients from accessing free drugs (Sutent and Inlyta), increasing the cost of co-pay for patients.  The drug price had also increased by over 40% in just 3 months in 2015, increasing revenue for the company.

The investigation was conducted by the Justice Department’s Civil Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts and other U.S. authorities.  The $23.85 million settlements are allegations and Pfizer claims no liability on the case.

Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Reuters, Bloomberg

 

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Xiaomi Targets $70 Billion Valuation and Hong Kong IPO in July 2018 

Xiaomi Targets $70 Billion Valuation and Hong Kong IPO in July 2018 

Xiaomi, the world’s 4th largest smartphone maker is targeting an IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in early to mid July 2018, raising $10 billion in capital for a rumoured $70 billion to $100 billion valuation.

” Xiaomi Targets $70 Billion Valuation and Hong Kong IPO in July 2018 ”

Xiaomi is founded in 2010 by Lei Jun and 7 other co-founders.  It  is the 4th largest smartphone player by market share, behind Apple, Samsung and Huawei.  In 2017, the smartphone maker sold 91.4 million smartphones, generated revenue of $18.09 billion (CNY 114.6 billion) and incurred a net loss of $6.93 billion (CNY 43.9 billion).

In the IPO filing under the new Hong Kong listing rule, Xiaomi will have weighted voting rights (WVR) structure, or dual-class shares.  The dual-class share will give greater power to founding shareholders, even with minority shareholding.  At the moment, Lei Jun owns 31.4%  shareholding of Xiaomi while Lin Bin holds 13.3%.

Source: Bloomberg, Reuters, The Wealth Insider

 

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