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The big four

June 2018



Trump threatens Harley Davidson with tax 

United States President Donald Trump threatened Harley-Davidson with tax on Twitter on 26 June, a day after the motorcycle maker announced it was moving some production to Asia to mitigate the impact of Trump's tariffs on European steel and aluminium. Trump tweeted: “The Aura will be gone and they will be taxed like never before!” He was referring to tariffs Harley-Davidson would face on motorcycles produced overseas and shipped back to the U.S. for sale. Europe is Harley’s second-largest market. The company said that the 31 percent tariff the European Union is imposing on its motorcycles would raise the cost of each bike it ships from the U.S. by around US$2,200. 


KPMG U.K. introduces yoga to fight stress

KPMG U.K. has added yoga to its three-day training programme in a bid to help its staff reduce stress. The programme, called KPMG audit university, will focus on audit quality and involve sessions on resilience and management alongside wellbeing, according to Economia. “Auditors are under significant pressure to perform and I think stress levels are increasing,” said Michelle Hinchcliffe, Head of Audit at the firm in the United Kingdom, who set up the programme. “The leadership have to help staff to deal with the criticism over the quality of audits, both technically and mentally.” The course is open to new and current staff as well as partners from June until September. 


Hong Kong tops IPO charts

Hong Kong initial public offerings (IPOs) have topped global rankings, with an estimated 98 IPOs in the first half of the year, according to EY’s Global IPO trends Q1 2018 report. The New York Stock Exchange saw 35 IPOs in the same period, according to CNBC. With Xiaomi planning to raise up to US$6.1 billion in its Hong Kong IPO and online services platform Meituan-Dianping’s IPO seeking over US$4 billion, EY forecasts a total of HK$200 billion in funds to be raised by IPOs in the city this year. Asia- Pacific IPO Leader at EY, Ringo Choi, said, “We expect that the second half will be a very, very busy time for us.” 


Cristiano Ronaldo settles tax fraud charges

Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo agreed to a two-year suspended jail sentence and a €18.8 million (HK$171.5 million) fine to settle tax evasion charges. Prosecutors in Spain accused the Real Madrid footballer of defrauding the authorities of €14.8million (HK$135.2 million) in unpaid taxes between 2011 and 2014. He has denied the allegations. According to Reuters, the Portuguese player is unlikely to serve the prison sentence due to a Spanish rule that allows first offenders to serve probation if the sentence is fewer than two years. Ronaldo, who plays for his national team, was informed of the heavy fine before a World Cup match against Spain.