Saturday, September 23, 2023

LIVE NEWS: PwC Australia promises to name partners involved in tax leak -Dlight News

PwC Australia promises to name partners involved in tax leaks scandal

Pwc's office in Sydney.

Pwc’s office in Sydney. The consulting group sold its government business to Allegro Funds for A$1 (US$0.66) © Brent Levin/Bloomberg

PwC Australia acting chief executive Christine Stubbins said the consultancy would publicly name any partners found to be involved in the tax leaks scandal, saying the consequences would be “severe”.

In her first public appearance since the tax leaks scandal — in which a PwC tax partner leaked confidential government information to her colleagues — broke in May, Stubbins said the scandal probe would release its findings immediately. “We will name anyone who has done anything wrong,” she told a New South Wales state government hearing.

Kevin Burroughs was named on Sunday as the new head of PwC Australia to replace Stubbins, as the group sold its government consulting business to Allegro Funds for A$1 (US$0.66).

Oil prices have risen on supply concerns since the Russian uprising

Supply worries lifted oil prices and mixed stock markets after Wagner warlord Yevgeny Prigozhin stepped down in Russia, ending an armed uprising but raising doubts about the stability of President Vladimir Putin’s rule.

International benchmark Brent crude rose as much as 1.3 percent to $74.80 a barrel in early trading in Asia on Monday, while US marker West Texas Intermediate gained 1.4 percent to $70.11 a barrel.

The gain for the crude oil benchmark came after Prigozhin struck a deal with Moscow over the weekend to withdraw its fighters from southern Russia.

Japanese chip equipment maker JSR is weighing a state-backed acquisition

Semiconductor chips are found on circuit boards

A proposed government-backed buyout deal for Japanese chip-equipment maker JSR would value the company at around ¥1tn ($7bn) © Florence Lo/Reuters

Shares of Japanese semiconductor-equipment maker JSR were untraded in the first half hour of market Monday, after the company admitted it was mulling a deal to be bought by a state-backed investment vehicle.

Sources familiar with the matter said JSR is considering a buyout proposal from Japan Investment Corporation under the supervision of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

They said the deal would value the company at about ¥1tn ($7bn). The company’s market capitalization on Friday was $4.7bn.

Shares were untraded due to buy orders. The stock closed at ¥3,234 on Friday and Monday’s non-traded bid/ask price was ¥3,934, up 22 percent.

What to see in Asia today

Events: New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins completed his visit to China, while Mongolian Prime Minister Luvsannamasrain Oyun-Erden began his first trip to Beijing. Energy Asia Conference begins in Kuala Lumpur.

Markets: Chinese stock exchanges, including those in Hong Kong, resume trading after the Dragon Boat Festival long weekend.

Economic Data: Singapore released manufacturing data for May and ING analysts say the figures should remain in contraction, reflecting weakness in non-oil domestic exports. Taiwan releases industrial production figures for May.

Corporate Results: China Gas reports fourth-quarter earnings.

Next week

A rail bridge near Columbus, Montana that collapsed Friday night

A rail bridge near Columbus, Montana that collapsed Friday night. Joe Biden to Trumpet Plans to Replace Cracking Infrastructure © Larry Meyer/The Billings Gazette via AP

Make it and they will vote for you. That’s the gist of US President Joe Biden’s “Invest in America” roadshow, which kicks off Monday with a big announcement of infrastructure funding at the White House.

The press call provides the starting gun for a three-week tour of the country by Biden, Vice-President Kamala Harris and senior Cabinet members to trumpet the administration’s accomplishments and plans to replace cracking infrastructure, increase manufacturing capacity and foster clean energy technology development.

It follows last year’s tour, in which Biden announced his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election, and will ensure headlines for him and his team as Congress takes a two-week recess.

Read more about upcoming events in The Week Ahead.

Inflation and rising costs are holding back growth for UK firms, survey says

Nine out of 10 medium-sized UK firms are putting growth plans on hold because they cannot access capital, according to a study published on Sunday.

A survey by accounting and consulting group BDO revealed that a quarter of companies surveyed are scaling back their businesses or downsizing.

Inflation and rising operating costs are among the other problems, affecting 56 percent of the 500 companies surveyed, BDO said.

“Despite remaining resilient during incredibly difficult times, tough challenges remain for medium-sized businesses, with access to capital becoming a critical issue,” said BDO partner Richard Austin.

China downplays the impact of Russia’s rebellion on bilateral relations

A Rostov resident poses with PMC Wagner employees during an abortion protest on Saturday

A resident of Rostov poses with employees of PMC Wagner during an abortion protest on Saturday © Arkady Budnitsky/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

China has described Yevgeny Prigozhin’s coup attempt as Russia’s “internal matter”, trying to minimize any potential impact on their close ties during Moscow’s Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko’s visit to Beijing.

State media showed Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang smiling and walking with Rudenko on Sunday as China tried to gauge the impact of the coup by Prigozhin and his Wagner paramilitaries on the political stability of its most important ally.

Chinese state media said only that the pair “exchanged views . . . on Sino-Russian relations and international and regional issues of common concern.”

Read more about China’s reaction to Russian Rebellion.

Frightened Tory MPs are absent from the Commons to protect the margins

A growing number of Conservative MPs with a slim majority are cutting back on the time they spend in Westminster promoting their electoral prospects in their constituencies, as gloom looms over the party ahead of the next election.

US pollster Frank Luntz told Tory MPs that anyone with a majority of less than 15,000 votes risked losing their seats. More than 180 have majorities below that threshold.

Conservative MPs defending the fringes can apply for permission to be away from the Commons for up to a week a month and are being offered help to improve their re-election chances.

Read more about the Conservative Party Election hype.

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