Seen or Heard

Aughinish Alumina pays €1,952 corporation tax on sales of more than €191 million

Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska (left), whose wealth is estimated to be €6.6 billion, owns Aughinish Alumina through Rusal, the world’s largest aluminium producer. Photograph: Pressphotos/Getty Images

Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska (left), whose wealth is estimated to be €6.6 billion, owns Aughinish Alumina through Rusal, the world’s largest aluminium producer. Photograph: Pressphotos/Getty Images

Sun, Jun 16, 2013, 18:26

Billionaire Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska’s firm Aughinish Alumina paid just €1,952 in corporation tax over the past five years, despite generating sales of more than €191 million, reports the Sunday Independent.

Deripaska, whose wealth is valued at $8.8 billion (€6.6 billion) by Forbes magazine, owns the Limerick plant through Rusal, the world’s largest aluminium producer.

Between 2007 and the end of 2011, Deripaska’s Irish company made pretax profits of €20.25 million. A parent company, Limerick Alumina Refining, paid less than €350,000 in corporation tax since 2008. It made losses in 2008 and 2009 and has been profitable since then, but tax exposure was reduced through timing differences and losses claimed as group relief.


Financial firms face social media restrictions
Financial firms and their employees could be effectively barred from interacting with customers and the public via social media under new Central Bank advertising rules, according to the Sunday Business Post.

Under the proposed guidelines, finance professionals from investment bankers to mortgage and insurance intermediaries will be restricted in how they can use Facebook, Twitter and online forums to talk about financial topics.

The planned rules, which will form part of an updated Consumer Protection Code, will cover not only clear advertisements but also questions-and-answers content on social media and commentary.


Desmond seeks Lloyds discount

Denis Desmond, the businessman behind concert promoter MCD Productions and the Gaeity group, is seeking a discount from Lloyds Banking Group on the Gaeity group’s €60 million Irish borrowings, according to the Sunday Times.

Desmond’s Irish operations are funded by Lloyds subsidiary Bank of Scotland (Ireland), which is winding down its Irish loan book. The Gaeity group owed a total of €65 million to the bank at the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008, according to documents seen by the newspaper.

In recent weeks, Desmond has implemented a restructuring of his Irish operations.


Hester says RBS sale could take a decade

The British government’s sale of Royal Bank of Scotland could take a decade, the outgoing chief executive of the bank, Stephen Hester, has told the Sunday Telegraph. Privatising RBS is a long-term project that could stretch until 2023, he said.

If the desired proceeds of the sale are £45 billion – the value of taxpayers’ stake – then this is unlikely to be raised in a single privatisation. Mr Hester said he did not agree with the concept of splitting RBS into a “good” bank and a “bad” bank, as the disadvantages would outweigh the advantages.