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India Asks Vodafone to Pay $2.1 Billion Tax

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Vodafone Group plc

India said it may seize Vodafone Group Plc’s assets in the country if the company doesn’t pay a disputed 142-billion-rupee ($2.1 billion) tax bill that’s still undergoing international arbitration proceedings, according to a copy of the notice that was sent to the company this month.

Anil Sant, deputy commissioner of income tax, informed the company’s Vodafone International Holdings BV Dutch unit of its dues in a letter dated Feb. 4, according to the document, a copy of which was seen by Bloomberg News. Spokesman Ben Padovan at Vodafone and a representative at India’s tax department declined to comment.

Any overdue amounts, even from overseas companies, may be recovered “from any assets of the non-resident which are, or may at any time come, within India,” according to the letter.

 Vodafone has been fighting Indian tax authorities for years over its purchase of billionaire Li Ka-shing’s mobile-phone business in the country during 2007 in a case that analysts have said may influence foreign investors’ perceptions about India.

It’s not immediately clear what the government’s next steps would be if Vodafone were to decline the payment request.

The dispute traces back to Vodafone’s $11 billion acquisition of a 67 percent stake in the mobile-phone business owned by Hutchison Whampoa, now part of CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. While Vodafone has said it doesn’t owe the Indian government money because the transaction was conducted offshore, Indian authorities have sought to collect taxes on the deal because it involved the assets in the country.

Vodafone, the second-largest mobile carrier in India, began international arbitration proceedings on the tax bill in 2014. It’s the biggest of three disputes Vodafone has had with India’s government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s predecessor.

 The other disputes involved the valuation of international transactions — a case that Vodafone won at the Bombay High Court — and a separate ruling in October, whereby the court ruled that Vodafone didn’t owe as much as 85 billion rupees in back taxes.
Bloomberg

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Merger and Acquisition

Otedola Moves to Sell Part of Geregu Power Plc to FEDA

Afreximbank to acquire part of Geregu Power plant

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Geregu Power

Billionaire Femi Otedola-owned energy company, Geregu Power Plc is in talks with the Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA) for the acquisition of part of the energy company.

The company stated in a statement signed by Akinleye Olagbende, Company Secretary and made available on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX).

Geregu Power hereby notifies “Nigerian Exchange Limited (the Exchange) and the investing public of its discussions with the Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA) for the acquisition of a portion of Geregu Power Plc shares. FEDA is the impact development arm of the Africa Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank),” the company stated.

According to the energy firm, talks are presently ongoing and “where these talks progress to a more advanced stage, the company will notify the Exchange and the investing public in line with the rules of the Exchange.”

In October, Geregu Power listed 2.5 billion shares at N100 a unit on the Main Board of the NGX. This puts the company’s market value at N250 billion and also in a better position it to raise capital to bid for Geregu II as it is presently doing.

Speaking on the listing, the Chairman, Board of Directors, Mr. Femi Otedola, CON, said “the listing of the company was the actualization of a vision to bring world-class standards in governance sustainability, and business processes to the Company and the Nigerian electricity sector.”

He added that “listing on the Main Board of the Exchange will ensure that the long-term growth of the company is assured and its benefits will be passed on to our esteemed shareholders”.

Otedola is the largest shareholder in FirstBank and also holds a 99% stake in Amperion Power, the owner of the Geregu Power Plant.

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Merger and Acquisition

Access Bank Acquires Indirect Stake in Sigma Pensions

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Access bank

Access Holdings on Friday announced it has completed the acquisition of an indirect equity stake in Sigma and the merger of its subsidiary, First Guarantee Pension Limited (FGPL) with Sigma.

According to the bank, following the sanction of the Scheme of Merger between Sigma and FGPL by the Federal High Court on December 1, 2022, FGPL has been dissolved without winding up leaving Sigma as the surviving entity, according to Access Holdings.

Commenting on the transaction, Dr Herbert Wigwe, Group Chief Executive of the Corporation, said “Following the successful completion of the merger, our plan is to leverage the synergies of these entities, as well as the Corporation’s expansive distribution network, strong risk management culture and best-in-class governance standards to create a formidable pension funds administration business.”

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Company News

Dangote Group Dismisses Rumours of Plan to Rise Cement Price

Dangote Cement says no price increase

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Africa’s leading cement producer, Dangote Cement Plc has dismissed the rumor that it plans to increase the price of its products.

The clarification became necessary following a recent publication that Dangote Cement plans a fresh increase.

Recently, there has been some publication (Not Investors King) about a potential increase in the price of cement. The publications noted that the increase will be a result of the high cost of fuel among other prevailing issues. 

According to the Senior Manager, branding and communication, Dangote Industries Limited, Mr Sunday Esan, “Dangote Cement is not embarking on a price increase”, stating that the increase is mere speculation.

Meanwhile, Dangote Cement in the third quarter of 2022, recorded an increase in the overall volume of cement sales by 6.2 percent to 20.8 metric tons in the third quarter of 2022.

According to the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Michel Puchercos, this was achieved, despite the elevated inflation caused by a very volatile global environment.

Similarly, while speaking on the increase in the price of fuel, Puchercos said “to mitigate the impact of the significant increase in energy and AGO costs, we are strengthening our efforts to ramp up the usage of alternative fuels”.

“We are on track to commission our Alternative Fuel feed system at Obajana lines I and V, and Ibese line II in November. In addition, we are ramping up our investment in Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), to reduce our AGO usage,” he added. 

Investors King understands that Dangote Cement is Africa’s leading cement producer with nearly 51.6Mta capacity across Africa. Although it has a few competitors which include BUA Cement, the company supplies most parts of Nigeria.

In addition, Dangote Cement has operations in 10 African countries. 

Its production plant in Obajana, Kogi state, is the largest in Africa with 16.25Mta of capacity across five lines while the Ibese plant in Ogun state has four cement lines with a combined installed capacity of 12Mta.

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