19 January 2020
THE 1MDB SCANDAL: WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR GOLDMAN SACHS?
On 18 January, the Financial Times carried an article speculating on the effects of involvement in the Malaysian 1MDB scandal, which it says has already cost the bank $1 billion. The FT says that Goldman Sachs assisted 1MDB with bond issues that raised $6.5bn 2012-13, much of which was ultimately lost in the 1MDB fraud; and Malaysian authorities are said to have indicated that they would like $7.5 billion back from the bank. It also faces criminal cases in the US, as well as civil cases launched by others affected in the scandal.
WARNING AS COUNTERFEIT SCOTTISH SPORRANS APPEAR ONLINE
On 19 January, The Scotsman carried an article saying that counterfeit versions of sporrans sold by Scottish kilt specialists for hundreds of pounds have appeared on Chinese retail sites for a fraction of the price.
CROSS-BORDER TRANSACTIONS INTO THE EU OR UK: WILL YOU BE CAUGHT BY THE DAC6 REPORTING REQUIREMENTS?
HFW has produced a briefing as a step by step guide to the new EU disclosure requirements for certain cross-border transactions and/or arrangements. 2 EU Directives impose a mandatory automatic exchange of information in the field of taxation in relation to reportable cross-border arrangements, including to assist the EU Member States identify potentially aggressive tax arrangements. It says that, from a commercial perspective, the so-called DAC6 does not prohibit any kind of transaction but, rather, imposes an added level of transparency. It explains that the EU is setting up an automatic exchange of information platform between its Member States. The new rules require a historical review of arrangements entered into from 25 June 2018 onwards. As of 1 July this year, service providers, such as lawyers, will have to disclose any reportable arrangements to the relevant tax authority within 30 days from the date after their instruction on the transaction. The briefing provides details and a flowchart to determine if a transaction is a reportable one.
LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN IN THE NEW DECADE: HOW DID WE GET HERE?
On 15 January, the Center for Strategic and International Studies published a report saying that the regions face a continuing period of high instability and uncertainty. Latin America faced an unusually challenging year in 2019, with social discontent and unrest swept across a broad swath of countries in the region, while populist leaders rode that same social discontent into power in Latin America’s 3 largest countries. Amongst the things mentioned is that, by the end of 2019, almost 5 million Venezuelan refugees (more than 15% of the entire population) had fled the country – and the UN expects this refugee crisis will soon surpass the Syrian crisis in terms of the number of people affected.
TRUMP ECONOMIC ADVISOR SAYS WHITE HOUSE IS ‘LOOKING AT’ CHANGES TO GLOBAL ANTI-BRIBERY LAW
On 17 January, CNBC carried an article saying that economic adviser Larry Kudlow has said that the administration is “looking at” making changes to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, amid claims that Trump has said it was “just so unfair that American companies aren’t allowed to pay bribes to get business overseas”.
OVER 5,000 UGANDAN CITIZENS FILE PETITIONS OVER CRYPTOCURRENCY SCAM
On 19 January, 1XBit.com reported that the citizens have petitioned the Parliament to issue a refund over funds lost in Dunamiscoins Resource Ltd Closure in December. The company is said to have presented itself as a privately-owned company and claimed it was committed to providing complimentary crypto services to banks in order to benefit the low income and poor, and it is said that $6.2 million is involved.
US SCIENTISTS DEVELOP EDIBLE SECURITY TAGS TO THWART DRUG COUNTERFEITERS
On 19 January, Illicit Trade reported that university researchers have created a small edible tag that can be embedded into medicines in order to prevent the counterfeiting of drugs, and saying that drug counterfeiters would need to decipher complicated patterns not fully visible to the naked eye to get round the new security system.