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MILAN (Reuters) - The European arm of U.S. credit card group VISA has paid 13.2 million euros ($15 million) to settle a dispute in Italy over alleged tax evasion, a judicial document filed by Milan prosecutors showed. According to the document, which was filed with a Milan judge on Dec. 18, prosecutors found that the allegations against VISA Europe Service Inc. (VESI) revolved around transfer pricing and that no crime was committed. The investigation, which was opened in early 2017, alleged VESI had evaded taxes on revenues from 2009 to 2015 for a total of 9.6 million euros.
(Reuters) - D.R, Horton Inc held out hope on Friday of improved demand for its homes in the spring selling antique tiffany cufflinks season after a tough few months where higher prices and mortgage rates kept some buyers out of the market, Shares of the largest homebuilder in the United States by volume bounced around in morning trade after a results release which underlined the impact of higher prices on demand for more expensive housing, Speaking to analysts after the company’s first-quarter results, Chief Executive Officer David Auld remained upbeat about a U.S, housing market which saw sales tumble to their lowest in three years in December and house price increases slow..
“The market is performing, I would say, pretty much as we expected, maybe a little better,” he said. “It’s going to be a little easier to get people on contract through this spring if it continues.”. Chief Operating Officer Michael Murray added that he expected the spring selling season to be stronger compared to the last several years. House prices, which have taken years to recover from the 2008 sub-prime crisis, were driven higher last year by a generally robust U.S. economy and higher costs of labor, land and raw materials.
Add to that generally higher Federal Reserve interest rates and Horton and other housebuilders said last year they were having to offer more incentives to potential buyers of more expensive homes, A dip in expectations for further moves by the Fed at the end of 2018, however, has pulled 30-year mortgage rates down from multi-year highs, of above 5 percent, and homebuilders are hopeful that moderation will help restore growth, Analysts also say that Horton’s focus on lower-priced houses antique tiffany cufflinks for first-time buyers gives it an advantage over others..
“We will see how it turns out for other builders, but so far I think D.R. Horton might be one of the only homebuilders that shows year-over-year increase in new orders,” Morningstar analyst Brian Bernard said. Earlier this month, Lennar Corp said it was seeing improvement in buyer traffic in the first quarter as interest rates begin to ease. D.R. Horton said 2019 revenue and profit margins will be determined by the strength of the upcoming spring season, and did not provide a forecast for the full year.
The impact of the partial government shutdown has been relatively minimal on business, the company said, in line with comments this week from the National Association of Realtors, which said the shutdown had so antique tiffany cufflinks far not had an impact on home sales, but warned that this could change, Horton’s orders, an indicator of future revenue, rose only 2.7 percent to 11,042 homes in the quarter ended Dec, 31, the slowest in more than five years, Net income attributable to the company rose 51.7 percent to $287.2 million, or 76 cents per share, in the reported quarter, missing analysts’ estimates of 78 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv..
HONG KONG (Reuters) - A senior Alibaba executive slammed the United States’ treatment of China’s Huawei Technologies as “extremely unfair”, saying measures by the country to curb the firm’s access to their markets was “very politically motivated”. Joe Tsai, the e-commerce giant’s executive vice-chairman, also sharply criticized what he called an attempt by the U.S. government to curb China’s rise via a trade war. He struck an optimistic note about China’s economy, saying it remained fundamentally strong despite a slowdown, and added that stimulus such as tax cuts needed to be imposed to prop it up even as it battles U.S. efforts to dent its businesses.
U.S, President Donald Trump’s administration has not only slapped crippling tariffs on Chinese imports, it has also stepped up scrutiny of Chinese investments in the country and torpedoed many deals citing national security concerns, Huawei, the world’s biggest network equipment maker, has been caught up in the crosshairs, with the United States alleging its products could be used by Beijing for espionage, Huawei has repeatedly denied the allegation, “I think what the American government and together with the Five Eyes Alliance – what they’re trying to do with Huawei - antique tiffany cufflinks is a bit unfair, there’s definitely a political agenda behind it,” Tsai said at a Reuters BreakingViews event in Hong Kong..