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Big tech shrugs off threat of G7 minimum tax agreement

Analysts say tax deal wouldn't hurt companies unless it's agreed with tax-haven countries such as Ireland

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UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak speaks during the Group of Seven finance ministers’ summit. Photo: Andy Rain/EPA/Bloomberg

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak speaks during the Group of Seven finance ministers’ summit. Photo: Andy Rain/EPA/Bloomberg

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak speaks during the Group of Seven finance ministers’ summit. Photo: Andy Rain/EPA/Bloomberg

Shares in US technology giants barely reacted yesterday to a landmark global minimum corporate tax deal agreed between the world's richest nations, with analysts saying it will take the backing of low-tax nations to have any meaningful impact on the companies' bottom lines.

The Group of Seven (G7) advanced economies agreed on Saturday to back a minimum global corporate tax rate of at least 15pc and the focus now shifts to the G20 countries for a wider agreement on the new tax proposals.

Analysts say the tax deal wouldn't hurt companies unless it's agreed with tax-haven countries such as Ireland, whose economy has been booming with the influx of billions of dollars in investment from multinationals partly due to lower taxes.

"While it all sounds good, the road to implementation (of the tax deal) is full of rocks and potholes," said Ken Polcari, managing partner at Kace Capital Advisors. "I would not react by becoming a seller in any of these names on this headline just yet."

Shares of Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Google-parent Alphabet were all down between 0.4pc and 0.7pc. Europe's tech stocks index was flat.

"The details of the implementation are still to be ironed out and potentially further watered down," said Marija Vertimane, senior strategist at State Street Global Markets.

Dublin, which has historically resisted European Union attempts to harmonise its tax rules, is unlikely to accept a higher minimum rate without a fight.

"I would treat the current proposal as a small positive for the market," Ms Vertimane added, pointing to levies being lower than what was initially discussed.

The G7's proposals are seen as targeting technology companies that sell services remotely and attribute much of their profits to intellectual property held in low-tax jurisdictions.

"The immediate market implications are likely to be minimal," said Ian Williams, economics and strategy research analyst at Peel Hunt.

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"No G7 nation currently charges that low a rate and the details, including agreement from numerous smaller countries, require plenty of work."


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