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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » DAILY CHRONICLE™ » Sri Lanka gaming tax proposal under fire

Sri Lanka gaming tax proposal under fire

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1Sri Lanka gaming tax proposal under fire Empty Sri Lanka gaming tax proposal under fire Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:45 pm

The Alchemist


Senior Manager - Equity Analytics
Senior Manager - Equity Analytics
Mar 16, 2013 (LBO) - A proposal to lift a series of taxes from casinos and impose only a five percent tax has drawn fire from Sri Lanka's main opposition, as basic goods including foods are taxed at much higher rates.

"Instead of a 12 percent valued added tax and 3 percent nation building tax they are introducing a 5.0 percent special levy," legislator Harsha de Silva from, the main opposition United National Party told reporters.
"Also they are removing all levies from entities that whose turnover is less than a million rupees a month."

Sri Lanka has a low tax to gross domestic product rate compared to Asian peers, party to due undermining the value added tax regime with many exemptions as interventionism and lobbying had became more intense in recent years.

Gaming Revenues

But analysts say gaming is a lucrative source of revenue for many countries with a properly constructed tax regime that can be competitive with rival destinations.

According to some estimates Macao gets as much as 65 percent of state revenues from gaming and Singapore 14 percent and the US 22 percent.

Available information suggests that Macao, now considered the world's gaming capital, has a series of taxes totaling 39 percent on gross gaming revenues and there is no income tax.

Singapore has a tax of 5 and 15 percent on gaming revenues depending on the type of player, a 6.5 goods and services tax (similar to VAT) and corporate tax at 17 percent.

Las Vegas has a casino tax of 7.75 percent on gross gaming revenues and corporate income tax at 35 percent.

"What is most disturbing is that they are also proposing to bring casinos under the Strategic Development Act," de Silva said.

"Usually what happens is that these people are given enormous tax benefits, in some cases as much as 25 years of tax free status."

Such firms get income tax holidays, relief from economic services charge, port and airport levy are usually removed, de Silva said. Duty relief is also given on imported goods.
De Silva said the two changes to Sri Lanka's betting and gaming laws and the strategic development law was part of a series of laws that were being rushed through parliament without giving adequate time for discussion, undermining the legislative process in the country.

He said time was needed to do research and debate changes to legislation.

De Silva said at a parliamentary consultative committee earlier in the week, the head of the inland revenue service confirmed that out of nine casinos operating in the country only five were registered.

Tax Equity

He said it was not known whether they paid existing gaming levies, value added or other taxes.

"So is this equitable tax policy of this country?" de Silva questioned. "When you charge 85 rupees on a kilo of canned fish, when you charge 28 rupees on a 100 rupee reload on a phone?"

This year Sri Lanka imposed value added tax on the retail trade.

Sri Lanka first started giving tax holiday in the late 1970s under an administration headed by the United National Party starting with foreign investors, instead of having a low and stable income tax regime for all businesses.

But over the last two years Sri Lanka's corporate income tax rates have been made more competitive with the rest of Asia.

But with rising interventionism and nationalism, the prices paid for basic foods when people eat and the cost of building materials for when people try to build a home are higher than what other Asians pay.

Critics say prices have risen mostly due to rigging of the customs duty regime fatten the profits of production lobbies playing the nationalist card as well as other special interest groups.

In addition to proposals such as lifting value added tax on casinos while imposing it on the retail trade, racing cars have been given tax concessions while raising taxes on small cars.

There is heavy import duty on ordinary shoes worn by school children but branded footwear are given tax concessions.

Ordinary homeless people were paying high taxes on building materials ranging from steel to toilets while luxury apartments hotels were getting tax free imports.

end of article - source LBO

Thinking of JKH (share price run), Casino Licence for Mega Project, Foreign Buying (or is it our own Kalu-Suddha's ?) ahead of all this.

Slstock

Slstock
Director - Equity Analytics
Director - Equity Analytics
Anyway, I agree to gain more income Govn need to look at different options. We cannot be stuck sucking money from the same old things. But right now this tax break will appear to make richer rich while the poor is suffering from higher taxes and cost of living in every corner.

This is a bad time to give this tax break when they jack up fuel prices, electricity, flour , notary/stamp fees etc which directly affect the general people.



@The Alchemist wrote:
Thinking of JKH (share price run),
Casino Licence for Mega Project, Foreign Buying (or is it our own
Kalu-Suddha's ?) ahead of all this
.



Alc ( like ALF)

you might have some reasoning here.

rainmaker


Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
@Alchemist

I think most foreign funds which are buying are looking at the ports segment.

SL has the 32 largest port in the world (by volume of traffic passed through). -----> Yes this was achieved with just three terminals.

John Keells stands to gain from managing a terminal at Colombo port and a 30 percent stake in Maersk Lanka Pvt. Ltd., a joint venture that includes Copenhagen-based A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S.

Port revenue may almost triple to 72 billion rupees ($658 million) in 2015 from 2010, Standard Chartered Plc estimates.

The following companies are out for the South Port extension:

The eleven companies are: Hutchison Port Holdings, Hayleys PLC, Standard Chartered Bank, Maersk Lanka (Pvt) Ltd (on behalf of APM Terminals) Hemas Holdings, Gulftainer Co Ltd, John Keells Holdings PLC, Aitken Spence Shipping Ltd, South Asia Gateway Terminals Ltd, APL Lanka (Pvt) Ltd and China Harbour Engineering Ltd


The Alchemist


Senior Manager - Equity Analytics
Senior Manager - Equity Analytics
@rainmaker wrote:@Alchemist

I think most foreign funds which are buying are looking at the ports segment.

SL has the 32 largest port in the world (by volume of traffic passed through). -----> Yes this was achieved with just three terminals.

John Keells stands to gain from managing a terminal at Colombo port and a 30 percent stake in Maersk Lanka Pvt. Ltd., a joint venture that includes Copenhagen-based A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S.

Port revenue may almost triple to 72 billion rupees ($658 million) in 2015 from 2010, Standard Chartered Plc estimates.

The following companies are out for the South Port extension:

The eleven companies are: Hutchison Port Holdings, Hayleys PLC, Standard Chartered Bank, Maersk Lanka (Pvt) Ltd (on behalf of APM Terminals) Hemas Holdings, Gulftainer Co Ltd, John Keells Holdings PLC, Aitken Spence Shipping Ltd, South Asia Gateway Terminals Ltd, APL Lanka (Pvt) Ltd and China Harbour Engineering Ltd



Isn't this old news ? JKH involvement in Ports has been there for past 5 years or more i think. This is well established in the public domain. I am wondering more of the sudden interest in good volume whereby prices have gone from 190-240 and gathering strength ! (despite mediocre recent earnings i must add ).
I am thinking more like - Kerry Packers son was in town, JKH Mega Project overdue for announcement, Casino Licence for JKH in the offing, now tax breaks and holidays may be in the works, and so naturally "insider" buying may be happening thro foreign nominee accounts also dont you think ?

rainmaker


Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
I thought you may have forgotten?

It's interesting you mention nominee accounts. You may wish to know the one behind it is Matthew Asia Growth Trust. http://matthewsasia.com/portal.fs

The other one who is buying behind a nominee is Shroders Small Cap Discovery.

Not sure what you make of this??

Wink

Slstock

Slstock
Director - Equity Analytics
Director - Equity Analytics
Rainmaker ,

How long have you been at CSE? Just curios.

I admire you knowledge and would certainly like you to keep continuing the way you do.


But I have one question for you. Do you think looking at all finer details and inter relationships is necessary when a bull market starts. Also there are companies which survived and produced results for decades and we find their share price now several times more ovcer the years. Take LLUB, CFIN, CIC , COMB, DFCC, JKH ( none of which I hold right now) for simple examples. All these companeis will have short comings at some point but the main thing is do we believe in their managment and and will they do so for many more decades. I would say yes.

Gaja


Associate Director - Equity Analytics
Associate Director - Equity Analytics
@slstock wrote:Rainmaker ,

How long have you been at CSE? Just curios.

I admire you knowledge and would certainly like you to keep continuing the way you do.


But I have one question for you. Do you think looking at all finer details and inter relationships is necessary when a bull market starts. Also there are companies which survived and produced results for decades and we find their share price now several times more ovcer the years. Take LLUB, CFIN, CIC , COMB, DFCC, JKH ( none of which I hold right now) for simple examples. All these companeis will have short comings at some point but the main thing is do we believe in their managment and and will they do so for many more decades. I would say yes.

Friend for the companies mentioned above am not sure about the CFIN, but all other companies did the bonus or spits and rights which increase the number of shares frequently

Slstock

Slstock
Director - Equity Analytics
Director - Equity Analytics
Yes,, along with it , revenue growth , earnings, share price movement over long term and dividends right?


@Gaja wrote:
@slstock wrote:Rainmaker ,

How long have you been at CSE? Just curios.

I admire you knowledge and would certainly like you to keep continuing the way you do.


But I have one question for you. Do you think looking at all finer details and inter relationships is necessary when a bull market starts. Also there are companies which survived and produced results for decades and we find their share price now several times more ovcer the years. Take LLUB, CFIN, CIC , COMB, DFCC, JKH ( none of which I hold right now) for simple examples. All these companeis will have short comings at some point but the main thing is do we believe in their managment and and will they do so for many more decades. I would say yes.

Friend for the companies mentioned above am not sure about the CFIN, but all other companies did the bonus or spits and rights which increase the number of shares frequently

UKboy

UKboy
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
A very good move from the government.

We need to let these guys come into the country 1st. Then we can think about the tax.

Once they invest the money we can slow ask this tax that tax.

Its a very simple business model.

This Harsha fella needs some break here n there. ( I believe)
However I agree that these gambling stuff should be controlled under a very strict manner.

Regarding JKH vs Casions. Agree with Alchemist. I was told there’s a one foreign party who buys JKH shares has direct involvement in Casinos.

Backstage

Backstage
Moderator
Moderator
http://www.forbes.com/sites/chrystanpaul/2013/03/17/could-sri-lanka-become-asias-next-casino-hotspot/?

hmmmm....

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