Business in Brief
Taxman agrees to release partial data on corporate tax breaks
The Tax Authority plans to partially comply with a court ruling requiring it to release the names of companies benefiting from tax breaks under the Encouragement of Capital Investment Law between 2006 and 2012.
On Thursday, it said it would name the publicly traded companies that received breaks, but added that it is appealing the decision regarding private companies.
Last week, Tel Aviv District Court Judge Michal Agmon-Gonen gave the authority seven days to disclose which companies benefited from the law, which 10 received the largest tax breaks and how much these amounted to each year. The Finance Ministry and the Tax Authority argue that in the case of private companies, this information is confidential. (Ora Coren)
Mega to launch new discount supermarket chain
Supermarket chain Mega (Blue Square) is seeking to reclaim its lost market share by launching a new chain of heavy discount supermarkets at an investment of millions of shekels over the next five years, under a new strategic plan. Mega also intends to cut its floor space, make logistical changes and cut prices, under the plan presented by management Thursday before market analysts. Mega wants to compete against private discount chains such as Rami Levy Shivuk Hashikma, which are taking a growing bite out of its market share, and also needs to catch up to competing chain Super-Sol, which woke up to the need to become more efficient well before Mega did. (Ido Efrati)
Singer Kobi Peretz to be indicted for tax evasion
Singer Kobi Peretz will be indicted for tax evasion and making threats pending a hearing, the Tel Aviv district prosecution stated Thursday. According to the letter regarding the hearing, Peretz allegedly submitted false tax paperwork between 2005 and 2009 in an attempt to hide NIS 5.2 million in income, and submitted false declarations to customs and VAT authorities in order to avoid paying NIS 830,000 in tax. He also allegedly failed to include a safe in an asset declaration, and sent a threatening text message to his agent, states the letter. Peretz’s attorneys stated in response that the case was based on a state witness who had been proven unreliable. (Yasmin Guetta)
Big Mac index: Shekel 5.3% under its fair value
The shekel is trading at 5.3% under its fair value, according to the Economist’s Big Mac index. According to the July index, which examines currency exchange rates relative to the price of a McDonald’s Big Mac in various countries, the shekel should actually be trading at NIS 3.84 to the dollar. The current exchange rate is NIS 3.60. The index is “based on the theory of purchasing-power parity, the notion that in the long run exchange rates should move toward the rate that would equalize the prices of an identical basket of goods and services (in this case, a burger) in any two countries,” says the Economist. (TheMarker Staff)