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Jeff Sessions' future as attorney general in doubt?

Top Finance News - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 8:11am

Judge Andrew Napolitano on the Mueller investigation and concerns about Attorney General Jeff Sessions' leadership at the Department of Justice.

Trump reportedly starts work later so he has TV and Twitt...

Top Finance News - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 8:05am

President Donald Trump often begins his official work day around 11 a.m., according to a report from Axios

Samsung is showing off TVs with a new technology called QLED — and it could be a gamechanger (SSNLF)

Top Finance News - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 7:42am

OLED displays have dominated the TV space over the past few years because of their ability to display pure blacks at incredibly high — and eye-pleasing — contrast ratios, but they are difficult and costly to manufacture. Companies have also explored quantum dots displays, which still use a backlight but have chemical properties that allow them to display an ultra-wide gamut of colours, the one you'd want for high dynamic range (HDR) content. Samsung is therefore trying to build QLED panels, which will use quantum dots for displaying colours but eliminate the backlight to sport OLED's perfect blacks.

Trump's policies are working, we're getting 3% growth: Wh...

Top Finance News - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 7:36am

Kevin Hassett, Council of Economic Advisors chairman, provides insight to President Trump's policies, the U.S. economy and the Federal Reserve.

Dogecoin's value just broke $2 billion

Top Finance News - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 7:32am

Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency created as a parody after a popular internet meme, saw its market cap crack $2 billion on Sunday

Hey! Why Didn't My Social Security Go Up?

Top Finance News - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 7:06am

Despite the biggest cost-of-living adjustment in years, some seniors won't see a big change to their monthly benefit. Here's why.

3 Surging Bitcoin Stocks That Are Likely Losers in 2018

Top Finance News - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 7:00am

These 2017 winners are likely to plunge in 2018. Here's why.

Poll: 33% of NFL fans 'purposely stopped watching' this season

Top Finance News - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 6:02am

A new poll suggests that 33% of NFL fans boycotted the league this season — but their motivations may surprise you.

Is Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Stock a Screaming Buy Thanks to Intel?

Top Finance News - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 5:38am

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) had a rather disappointing year in 2017. AMD stock fell more than 9% over those 12 months. Depending on how serious a flaw there is with Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), it could open a window for AMD and that would allow the recent momentum in AMD stock to continue.

A newborn baby was found dead and wrapped in a plastic bag on an Etihad flight to Indonesia

Top Finance News - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 5:24am

Flight EY474 from Abu Dhabi to Jakarta diverted for a medical emergency. Cleaners later found a dead newborn hidden in a drawer. A 37-year-old woman, who was returning home after four years of domestic work in Abu Dhabi, was arrested upon returning to Indonesia.

Flying Domestic May Get Harder Thanks to Driver’s License Law

Top Finance News - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 4:00am

States balk at new IDs and data sharing as a danger to privacy, but the federal government could bar their residents from travel if they don’t comply.

Ethereum takes the Battle to Ripple

Top Finance News - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 2:38am

Ethereum is not going down without a fight and Ripple has paid the price, with the recent declines likely to be more down to Coinbase deciding to quash rumours of Ripple being included on its exchange.

Ford adds diesel engine to F-150 for the first time

Top Finance News - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 12:05am

Ford Motor Co. is offering a diesel engine in its F-150 pickup for the first time. Heavy duty trucks like the F-250 or F-350 have always had diesel engines, but full-size trucks like the F-150 have not. ...

2018 BDO IPO Outlook

U.S. Assurance Publications - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 12:00am

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U.S. IPO Activity to Build on Positive 2017
Bankers Projecting 30 Percent Increase in Proceeds in 2018 Initial public offering (IPO) activity on U.S. exchanges was a bit of a rollercoaster ride in 2017, beginning slowly in the first quarter of the year before building to a frenzy of offerings in the Spring. That was followed by a relatively calm summer, prior to a flurry of activity in the fall to close out the year. In the end, by any measure, 2017 was a positive year for IPOs with virtually every statistical category – offerings (+52%), proceeds (+89%) and filings (+59%) – up significantly from 2016.*

According to the 2018 BDO IPO Outlook, BDO USA’s annual survey of capital markets executives at leading investment banks, there were multiple factors for the increase in offerings. When asked to identify the primary factor behind the jump in IPOs, an increased confidence in the U.S. economy (38%) is most often cited. Other drivers identified by the bankers were positive IPO performance encouraging additional offerings (18%), pro-business climate of the Trump administration and Republican-controlled Congress (18%), continued low interest rates pushing demand for higher yielding assets (13%) and increased investor cash flow into stockfocused
mutual funds (13%).

TRUMP BUMP In last year’s BDO IPO Outlook survey, more than two-thirds (68%) of the capital markets community indicated that they felt President-elect Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress would have a positive impact on the U.S. IPO market. 

This year, looking back over 2017, a majority (58%) of the bankers feel the new President and Congress did have a positive impact on U.S. IPOs, compared to one-third (33%) who feel they had no impact on offering activity. Only nine percent indicated the President and Congress negatively impacted the market.

"In 2017, the U.S. IPO market bounced back from two consecutive years of dwindling offerings and proceeds raised. Capital markets executives clearly feel that the growth of the past year will continue in 2018 as they project significant increases in both the number of IPOs and in total proceeds raised,” said Christopher Tower, a Partner in the Capital Markets Practice of BDO USA. “Given the strong performance of last year’s offerings, the overall strength of the economy and low volatility in the greater stock market, many factors appear to be in place for a healthy IPO market in the coming year.”

2018 FORECAST Looking forward, the capital markets community is projecting significant growth in the number of initial public offerings (IPOs) on U.S. exchanges in 2018. Close to three-quarters (72%) predict an increase in the number of U.S. IPOs in the coming year, with eighteen percent describing the increase as substantial. One-fifth (20%) forecast activity as staying about the same as 2017, while just 8 percent are projecting a decrease in offerings. 

Overall, bankers predict an 11 percent increase in the number of U.S. IPOs in 2018. They anticipate these offerings will average $260 million, which projects to $46 billion in total IPO proceeds on U.S. exchanges. This would represent an increase of 30 percent from 2017 proceeds.

When asked for the most likely factor to spur increased IPO activity in 2018, 38 percent of the bankers cite continued positive returns from new offerings. Other potential drivers identified by the executives are a positive impact from meaningful tax reform (23%), the pricing of a major “name” offering (18%), continued regulatory rollbacks under the Trump administration (15%) and less favorable private valuations forcing businesses to the public markets (6%).

Dropbox, Ancestry.com, Lyft, Pinterest and Spotify are just a few of the intriguing businesses considering a potential offering in 2018.
INDUSTRIES For the fifth consecutive year, the healthcare industry was the bellwether of the U.S. IPO market – spawning 29 percent of total U.S. offerings in 2017 – and most capital markets executives are projecting even more IPOs in the healthcare sector in 2018. Overall, a majority of bankers are forecasting increases in IPOs from the technology (89%), biotech (71%) and healthcare (60%) industries. In addition, close to half of the executives also project an increase in offerings in the financial (45%) sector. (see chart below). 
  Industry Increase Stable Decrease Technology 89% 10% 1% Biotech 71% 24% 5% Healthcare 60% 29% 11% Financial 45% 36% 19% Energy/Natural Resources 38% 39% 23% Media/Telecom 38% 34% 28% Industrial/Manufacturing 36% 42% 22% Real Estate 28% 48% 24% Consumer/Retail 20% 20% 60%   “A strength of last year’s IPO market was the wide breadth of industries represented among the offerings, with six sectors achieving double digits in deals,” said Ted Vaughan, Partner in the Capital Markets Practice of BDO USA. “Healthcare, biotech, technology and financial industries led the way in IPOs in 2017 and the capital markets community believes those sectors will continue to lead the way in the new year.” 

SOURCES & ATTRIBUTES OF 2018 IPOs Private equity (40%) and venture capital (37%) portfolios are the most often mentioned sources of IPOs in the coming year. Spinoffs/divestitures (14%) and owner-managed, privately-held businesses (9%) are the other sources identified by the bankers. 

When asked what offering attribute will be most valued by the investment community in 2018, three-quarters of the bankers cite either long-term growth potential (43%) or innovative businesses offerings/products (32%). Profitability (12%) Stable cash flow (11%), and low debt (2%) are mentioned by smaller proportions of participants.

THREATS TO 2018 IPO MARKET There isn’t one obvious answer when I-bankers are asked to identify the greatest threat to a healthy U.S. IPO market in 2018. Almost one-third (33%) cite global political and economic instability, while just over one-fifth (22%) identify inflated private valuations that will not be supported in public markets.

Smaller percentages of capital markets executives focused on domestic political instability (18%), a failure of the Trump administration to deliver on deregulation (14%) and Federal Reserve rate hikes (13%).​

EXCESSIVE SEC REGs? Despite the increase in IPOs on U.S. exchanges in 2017, offerings remain well below the all-time highs of the late 1990s. Some blame excessive SEC disclosure requirements for the drop-off in offerings. In contrast, others contend that there have been numerous changes to ease SEC regulations in recent years - such as the JOBS Act, allowing confidential filings and reducing disclosure requirements - to make it easier to navigate the IPO process.

When asked whether they view SEC regulations as the reason for the historical drop in IPOs from the 1990s, just 24 percent of the capital markets community agreed. A clear majority (76%) were more likely to attribute the reduction in offerings to the wide availability of private financing, high M&A activity, more discerning investors or other factors.
  “With an unprecedented level of private capital in the marketplace, the number of private businesses that have conducted numerous financing rounds has increased considerably in recent years,” said Lee Duran, Partner in the Private Equity Practice of BDO USA. “With companies staying private longer, they can mature, become more profitable and more stable prior to going public. Although that slows the timeline to an IPO, in the end, it is a good thing for investors and the economy.”

IPO ALTERNATIVES? Despite numerous detractors who question its value, Bitcoin, the world’s most prominent cryptocurrency soared in value in 2017. Given this rapid increase, many businesses have begun to use the craze for cryptocurrencies as an opportunity to raise financing through initial coin offerings (ICOs). 

Unlike traditional IPOs that give buyers shares or stock options in exchange for purchase, ICOs don’t give buyers any ownership rights in the company. Instead, startups raise money in exchange for a new digital coin that may be traded or grow in value. According to data provider Autonomous Research, companies raised more than $4 billion via ICO fundraising in 2017.

Despite ICOs becoming increasingly common in 2017, with some start-ups raising hundreds of millions in capital, less than one-fifth (19%) of capital markets executives view ICOs as a future threat to traditional IPOs. 

A majority (64%) of bankers expect to see increased interest in Regulation A+ offerings which can raise up to $50 million in a 12-month period under scaled down regulations, but are not listed on exchanges. A slightly smaller majority (55%) view Regulation A+ offerings as an attractive alternative to a traditional IPO for smaller businesses.
  “Given the pioneering nature of ICOs and the inherent volatility of cryptocurrency, there is a wide range of sharply divided opinions on this fundraising practice. Supporters view it as a legitimate disruptive threat that can transform the way companies capitalize themselves, while detractors consider ICOs nothing more than a passing fad,” said Paula Hamric, Partner in BDO USA’s National SEC Practice. “A strong majority of the investment banking community clearly sides with skeptics. As the SEC has recently issued a strong warning on ICOs, investors should proceed with extreme caution” 
For more information on BDO’s Capital Markets services, please contact one of the regional leaders:
  Jeff Jaramillo
Washington, D.C.   Christopher Tower
Orange County   Lee Duran
San Diego   Ted Vaughan
Dallas   Paula Hamric
About the Survey
These findings are from The 2018 BDO IPO Outlook survey, a national telephone survey conducted by Market Measurement, Inc. on behalf of the Capital Markets Practice of BDO USA. Executive interviewers spoke directly to 100 capital markets executives at leading investment banks regarding the market for initial public offerings in the United States in the coming year. The survey, which took place in December of 2017, was conducted within a scientifically developed, pure random sample of the nation’s leading investment banks.

* Renaissance Capital is the source for all historical data related to the number, size and returns
of U.S. IPOs.

Webinar Recap: BEPS: Global Tax Framework & How It Applies to Your Globally Mobile Population

Tax Publications - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 12:00am
The world is getting smaller and more connected. While these connections increase the exchange of ideas, goods, and people, they simultaneously create a web of complex international regulations companies must navigate. And, when it comes to the globally mobile workforce, these regulations get personal.

In our recent webinar, BEPS: Global Tax Framework & How It Applies To Your Globally Mobile Population, Chip Morgan, Debra Moses and Mesa Hodson analyzed how changes to the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s international Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) framework affects American companies’ global workforce, and how they can successfully adapt.  

We’ve outlined some of the key provisions below, and you can listen to the full webinar here.
The OECD’s BEPS Action Plan The OECD’s BEPS framework was designed to help combat tax avoidance strategies that exploit the differences in tax regulations from country to country. A number of Actions within the framework will impact how enterprises manage and report on their globally mobile employees, touching on everything from taxation coherence to tax eligibility to transparency. It’s critical that businesses understand the impact of BEPS, and know when and how to involve their tax department and tax and transfer pricing advisors to ensure compliance.
  How companies can adapt and maintain BEPS compliance There are a several steps companies can take when looking to make their global employee mobility practices compliant with BEPS.

Understand where you are today
Adjusting your practices to be BEPS-compliant first requires a thorough understanding of current practices. Evaluate activities of globally mobile employees and current tax strategies to develop a more concrete plan to address risk exposure to expected rule changes. The OECD, and tax authorities around the globe are putting a heightened focus on employment relationships and structures are expected to be examined more closely. These relationships can often drive permanent establishment (PE) determination, employee taxability, transfer pricing implications, and indirect tax applicability, among others. Maintaining and enhancing adequate substance within the employment relationships and structures is going to be critical to manage unanticipated outcomes in the event of an examination by tax authorities.
Plan ahead
To create the structure needed to address future compliance issues, companies should establish processes and procedures to track and monitor globally mobile employees sooner rather than later. Solidify protocols and procedures to track mobile employees, including business travelers, in order to assess associated PE risk and comply with reporting and withholding requirements. Tax authorities are getting tech-savvy, and more jurisdictions are sharing data and information. Companies need to prioritize data transparency and visibility to maintain accurate internal records and meet any information requests from regulators. Knowing exactly where employees are and what activities they are performing will be key in managing the detailed country-by-country (CbC) requirements and associated compliance under BEPS.
Establish specific rules
Country-by-country (CbC) specific rules for mobile employees can ensure compliance with reporting requirements in each jurisdiction where a company does business, thereby minimizing overall risk exposure. However, the new country-based reporting requirements included in BEPS can be quite detailed. In order to successfully mobilize their workforce and mitigate risks, businesses need to be confident they are using the appropriate method of initiating assignments and adhering to the most up-to-date standards. Companies need to take a multidisciplinary approach to establishing these processes and procedures, including the tax, mobility, HR, finance, payroll, and legal departments in creating processes that not only support, but drive, compliance.   

Document effectively
A key element of any compliance plan is ensuring robust assignment and inter-company documentation are in place. This allows companies to both effectively manage their global employees and to quickly respond to increased scrutiny from tax authorities, if necessary. In the event an audit does occur, contemporaneous documentation to support assignments is often the first line of defense to manage global tax risk. Businesses should review mobility documentation for details on assignees’ activities, roles and responsibilities of the home and host entities, and alignment with the commercial reality and actual practice. It’s important that documents clarify de facto or economic employment of the individual while on assignment, as well as lay the basis for cross-charge of costs between international entities in line with established transfer pricing regulations.
Ensure transfer pricing compliance
Assess cost recharge arrangements relative to globally mobile employees to ensure they adhere to transfer pricing guidelines to remain outside any corporate tax requirements in the jurisdictions in which companies do business. Businesses should institute appropriate cross-charging methodology and ensure that entities are adequately compensated. In addition to cross-charge of employee compensation, appropriate allocation for deemed transfer of intellectual property may also be required, adding to the complexity. Taking a holistic approach during the planning process should allow all relevant parties, including any transfer pricing professionals, to work together to navigate these issues.
More information
For more information, including several scenario overviews, listen and download the materials from our recent webinar.

North Korea may suddenly want talks because of how powerful it has become

Top Finance News - Sun, 01/07/2018 - 11:19pm

Kim Jong Un's confidence in North Korea's nuclear arsenal may be behind his recent interest in talks.

Celgene to buy Impact Biomedicines for up to $7 billion

Top Finance News - Sun, 01/07/2018 - 10:27pm

U.S. biotech pharmaceutical firm Celgene Corp said on Sunday that it had agreed to acquire Impact Biomedicines for as much as $7 billion, subject to certain milestones associated with regulatory hurdles and sales performance. Celgene is interested in Impact Biomedicines' fedratinib, a kinase inhibitor that has shown promise as a potential treatment for a type of blood cancer called myelofibrosis, according to a statement put out jointly by both companies. "Myelofibrosis is a disease with high unmet medical need as the number of patients who are ineligible for or become resistant to existing therapy continues to increase," said Nadim Ahmed, Celgene's president of hematology and oncology.

White House advisor Stephen Miller kicked off CNN, triggering 'fake news' defense by Trump

Top Finance News - Sun, 01/07/2018 - 8:55pm

Top Trump aide Stephen Miller gets booted off CNN after testy exchanges over the book "Fire and Fury."

ARMOUR Residential REIT Inc (NYSE:ARR): Ex-Dividend Is Coming In 3 Days, Should You Buy?

Top Finance News - Sun, 01/07/2018 - 7:51pm

If you are interested in cashing in on ARMOUR Residential REIT Inc’s (NYSE:ARR) upcoming dividend of $0.19 per share, you only have 3 days left to buy the shares beforeRead More...