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THE NEWS WRAP: Branson’s Virgin Group looking at expanding into healthcare, fitness

Monday, 20 May 2013 | By Andrew Sadauskas

Virgin Group global chief executive Josh Bayliss has revealed the Richard Branson-controlled conglomerate is looking at making major investments in the healthcare and fitness markets.


"We think health and wellness is an industry we can do well in. Our model is about prevention and flicking it around to make the focus wellness rather than illness," Bayliss told The Australian.


"(Healthcare) is one line we think we can take in Australia. To get involved in that part of the proposition, we would look to partner with people that have the right expertise in this part of the world but also transfer some of the models we have developed in the UK to this part of the world."


Google defends its low UK tax bill


Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt has defended its tax minimisation strategies in an article in Britain’s Observer newspaper, following revelations the tech giant paid only £6 million ($9.25 million) in corporation tax off around £3.2 billion ($4.9 billion) in UK revenues.


“When a company only operates in one country, it's obvious where its profits are generated and thus where its taxes should be paid," Schmidt wrote.


"But for multinational companies with a global presence, it's much more complicated. To pay the right amount in taxation, you need to determine where the profit is actually created."


China’s new coal import standards to benefit Australian miners


China's National Energy Administration is looking at bringing in new import standards for thermal coal, in a move analysts believe will help to boost Australia’s coal mining sector.


The proposed legislation is designed to restrict the use of low-energy coal, with the aim of protecting domestic Chinese coal producers, while increasing production efficiency and cutting pollution.


“If executed, this legislation could be the market-changing catalyst thermal coal has been desperately seeking. Implementation in some form is probable rather than possible,” Macquarie Bank analysts told The Australian.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.80% to 15,354.40. The Aussie dollar is up to US97.43 cents.