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THE NEWS WRAP: Australia risks missing out on tech boom

Wednesday, 8 January 2014 | By Gavin Lower

Australia risks missing out on the digital technology boom as local companies move their operations offshore in search of better regulatory regimes, tax experts have told The Australian Financial Review.


The AFR says companies are starting to incorporate in Asia and the UK to take advantage of tax breaks on employee share arrangements and research and development.


“Australia is an expensive place to do business,” William Buck accountant Nikolas Hatzistergos said.


Pre-Christmas sales may not meet expectations


A senior retail analyst says expectations of pre-Christmas sales may not be met.


"I think retailers became optimistic about a strong Christmas trading period," Citi analyst Craig Woolford predicts.


He says while some retail groups have forecast sales growth of up to 5.4%, the reality is it was more likely in a 3-4% band.


Woolford also says electronics retailers are set to be the biggest beneficiaries of the shopping season, with computer tablets among the most popular gift items.


Investment bank JPMorgan to pay more than $US2 billion


JPMorgan will pay more than $US2 billion to settle charges brought by US authorities that it failed to report suspicious activity involving Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.


As part of the deal, JPMorgan will admit to failures to explore red flags it found and that employees acknowledged Madoff was engaging in improper behaviour but did nothing about it.


Madoff is serving a 150-year jail sentence after being convicted of defrauding thousands of investors, with his scheme described as the largest in history.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.7% at 16,540.04 points and the Australian dollar is buying 89.2 US cents.