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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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The angels helping Indian start-ups

Category : Business, World News

The angels helping Indian start-ups grow their businesses

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Adidas makes £231m Reebok write-off

Category : Business

Troubled sportswear division suffered fraud at its Indian unit, lost a major American football contract and had to endure the professional ice hockey strike

Sports group Adidas has been forced to write off €265m (£231m) at its troubled Reebok business during a year in which Reebok uncovered fraud at its Indian unit, endured a strike in the National Hockey League and saw a 10-year American football contract come to an end.

The writedown pushed the German-based business into the red by €239m over the last three months.

Adidas bought Reebok in 2005 for $3.8bn (£2.9bn) in an attempt to close the gap on bigger rival Nike but has now cut its 2015 sales target for the brand by a third after two quarters of declining sales.

Adidas sponsored the London Olympics and Euro 2012 championship, at a cost of £100m, and gains from those deals helped the firm famous for its three stripes logo recoup some of the losses from Reebok.

Sales in emerging markets are improving, but the economic downturn in western Europe has pushed sales down 4%, the company said.

Over the full year profits were down 3% to €920m.

An ill-fated push into muscle-toning shoes by Reebok was also disappointing. Adidas is now trying to focus the Reebok brand on the fitness sector, providing clothes and shoes for a range of activities from aerobics to yoga and dance.

Among Reebok initiatives was involvement with the Cirque Du Soleil Jukari: Fit to Flex workout, launched by supermodel Helena Christensen, left, in 2008.

The Indian fraud was related to financial irregularities by the company’s two most senior officials in the country, accounting for £160m-worth of losses.

Allegations against senior management led to a police investigation with accusations of over-inflated balance sheets during the merger of Adidas and Reebok in the country in 2011.

Reebok also lost a 10-year supplier deal with the National Football League, replaced by Nike to supply the American football franchises’ team kits for the next five years. Along the way it suffered defeat in a lawsuit against Nike over sales of some jerseys.

The loss of the contract is thought to be worth about $200m.

For 2013, Adidas said it expects sales to increase at a mid-single-digit rate from 2012′s record level of €14.9bn, though with a slower start to the year. Bosses will be focusing on 2014 with the World Cup in Brazil.

Despite the problems, there was a dividend increase of 35%, sending the shares up 6.6% to an all-time high on the German stock exchange.

AirAsia wins India carrier approval

Category : Business

A bid by Asia’s largest low-cost carrier, AirAsia, to set up an airline in India wins approval from the Indian government.

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Letters: Why India lags behind China

Category : Business

Timothy Garton Ash raises an important question (Come on, India! Show us freedom can triumph, 31 January) but poses it badly by exaggerating how free Indians are. Yes, the metropolitan elite can speak and write with reasonable freedom and this is important. And yes, according to the constitution everyone should enjoy these freedoms. But for people who are neither rich nor well-connected this can seem irrelevant.

The reality, certainly in much of central India, is that landlords and employers behave as petty tyrants, confident that the newspapers, which depend on them for advertising, will not report abuses and that the local judiciary, composed of friends and relatives, would protect them in the unlikely event of a sacked employee, evicted smallholder or victim of violence trying to obtain justice. Privatisation is unlikely to tackle these problems as private businessmen and landlords are key culprits. It is true the police often do their bidding, but not quite as reliably as the private armies which larger businesses employ.

As petty tyranny breeds incompetent management and low pay makes for the inefficient use of labour, it seems plausible that it is precisely the lack of freedom and poor human rights which hold back the Indian economy. The question is then why a lack of freedom appears to be less damaging in China.
Margaret Dickinson

• Timothy Garton Ash makes several valid points, but also misleads. His comparisons of India and China omit the fact that economic inequality in China greatly exceeds that of India. He appears not to know that the current Indian government, in its first term (2004-09), spent over $57bn on poverty programmes – greatly in excess of any previous government, or of the Chinese. And he is wrong about Indian politicians buying the votes of the poor. Even illiterate voters are too canny to be duped, and they have thrown out the more moneyed parties at state and national elections on a majority of occasions since the late 70s.
Professor James Manor
Institute of Commonwealth Studies

• What a desperate series of excuses Timothy Garton Ash pours out to “explain” why India lags so far behind China in development, with one-third of the per-capita income, terrible poverty etc. Religion, ossifying British bureaucracy, huge diversity etc are hamstrings, he pleads. But China has just as many ethnic groups, had a stultifying imperial bureaucracy and major religious backwardness etc.

The difference is, it tore them all up and started again: it was called a revolution, and established a planned economy or, to be brief, socialism. The decades using major capitalist investment for economic propulsion are not an error, though it has brought its own dangers, not least importing western attitudes and dire consumerism, and weakening the Leninist side of what Garton Ash wants to describe as “Leninist capitalism” (a devious non-Marxist term). But China remains a socialist state, running capitalism as a technical and economic mechanism but only under an overall political state plan. This is far more controlled than the chase-the-short-term-profit laissez-faire of untrammelled capital (euphemistically called “democracy”) and gets the results – in just 30 years at that.

The current focus is on pushing investment towards the more undeveloped west side of the country, which is making huge strides in infrastructure and otherdevelopment, to draw living standards towards Shanghai and the rest of the eastern economic zones.

This state control is what has allowed the growth not only to do better than India but surge right past it.
Don Hoskins
Economic & Philosophic Science Review

• Timothy Garton Ash provides a timely reminder of the need for broader-based social development in the subcontinent but stops short of taking India’s government to task. The state in India is engaged in a curious strategy of allowing schools, hospitals and other government services to atrophy while dispensing huge sums via populist development programmes. How this strategy will play out is unclear, but in the meantime the poor are taking things into their own hands, and it is interesting that on the day of this article, a huge demonstration against manual scavenging reached its climax in Delhi.
Craig Jeffrey

India rape case raises call for change to juvenile system – Los Angeles Times

Category : Stocks

India rape case raises call for change to juvenile system
Los Angeles Times
NEW DELHI — A hearing Monday will attempt to determine whether a sixth suspect in the brutal rape and killing of a 23-year-old student last month in New Delhi is a minor or should be tried as an adult. His case has sparked anger, outrage and calls for
India Rape Case Tests Fast-Track CourtsWall Street Journal
India Needs to 'Reset Its Moral Compass,' President SaysNew York Times
Hundreds of students march in Indian capital to demand strict laws to protect Washington Post
Times of Oman

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Ikea closer to stores in India

Category : Business, World News

India’s foreign investment agency approves Ikea’s entry into the Indian market, bringing the Swedish firm closer to being the first with wholly owned outlets.

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UK’s Prince Harry returning from Afghanistan – USA TODAY

Category : Stocks

Economic Times
UK's Prince Harry returning from Afghanistan
Britain's Ministry of Defence revealed late on Monday that Prince Harry is returning from a 20-week deployment in Afghanistan, where he served as an Apache helicopter co-pilot with the Army Air Corps. (Jan. 21). Post to Facebook. UK's Prince Harry returning
Prince William Harry confirms he killed Taliban insurgentsIndian Express
Prince Harry on Afghan mission: 'Take a life to save a life'CNN International
Prince Harry in AfghanistanReuters
BBC News

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Indian MSO Digicable Now With Over 1 Million Digitized Pay-TV Subs Securing Growth With Conax Contego Plus(TM) Upgrade

Category : Stocks

Digicable Upgrading to Conax Contego Plus(TM) Conditional Access Solution for Securing the Pan-Indian MSO’s Pay-TV Content and Operational Roadmap

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Tea workers burn boss to death

Category : Business

Hundreds of Indian tea workers surround their boss’s bungalow and burn him to death after a two-week dispute, officials say.

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BBC’s Panorama shows staff admitting nominee directors are often a sham

Category : Business

Undercover reporters offered advice on how to hide funds by creating an offshore structure with a nominee director

Staff at agencies that set up companies in the UK and abroad have been filmed undercover, making it clear that nominee directors are regularly used as shams.

The startling footage is from a parallel investigation by BBC Panorama, to be broadcast late Monday.

In one section, an undercover reporter told James Turner of York-based Turner Little: “I’ve got this money in a Swiss bank and I haven’t paid the tax on it. So what I need to do is get it out of there.”

Turner suggested an offshore structure with a foundation in Belize: “It doesn’t link back to you, it doesn’t link back to your family. So it gives you complete confidentiality.”

Nominee directors would be used, he said, because “they don’t know who you are, they’ve never heard of you … They won’t even know that they are a director, they just get paid … We have a stamp of the nominees’ signatures. Which is kept in my safe. So the nominee never sees any paperwork at all.”

Another undercover reporter, using a different cover story, told a representative of the Dubai-based Atlas Corporate Services that confidentiality was a fundamental condition for him. Atlas administrator Luke Pidgeon suggested using nominee directors. He explained this would keep the client’s name away from the company itself. Pidgeon claimed half of the nominees on Atlas’s books were not even aware of the companies to which they were appointed. They simply provided signatures as necessary, he said.

The BBC’s undercover team filmed the Atlas founder, former Sark islander Jesse Hester, at his Mauritius headquarters in the Indian Ocean, advising on how to dodge British tax on the £6m in a Swiss bank. He suggested, “off the record”, that they use an offshore entity in Panama.

“If there’s a tax issue … they won’t disclose any information on that foundation under Panamanian law,” he said.

The odds on the British tax authorities catching up with the potential customer were low, he promised: “Tax authorities don’t have the resources to chase everybody down … They reckon it’s probably the same rough odds as probably winning the lottery.”

Another incorporation agency operator told the undercover reporters: “My risk in all of this is I could be seen to be helping somebody evade tax, or something like that yeah and so that’s where the risk is.”An undercover reporter also approached Readymade Companies Worldwide, a firm in Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire, saying he represented Indian government figures who wanted to hide their funds.

Its managing director, Russell Lebe, gave assurances about not releasing information to tax authorities: “If we were approached by the Indian tax authority … and they’re doing tax evasion, we wouldn’t give a monkey’s.”

He and a colleague agreed that they would accept a false statement about who was the beneficial owner, in order to keep the names of the real clients off the books.

“As far as all our files will show, obviously you’ll be down as the owner … So there’ll be no emails and nothing in writing to say that anyone else is the owner and it’ll all go under your name. Absolutely fine. You know, this is a confidential – this is a confidential discussion we have, as far as anyone is concerned you’ll be the owner.”

Panorama’s report, Undercover: How to Dodge Tax, is to be broadcast on Monday at 8.30pm on BBC1.