Quick view: China may tax more luxury goods, expand property tax

Updated: Aug 29 2013, 07:04am hrs
China plans to levy consumption taxes on more luxury goods and may expand a pilot property tax beyond its current testbeds of Shanghai and Chongqing as it pushes ahead plans to reform the world's second-largest economy. The official Xinhua news agency also cited finance minister Lou Jiwei as saying on Wednesday that China would levy consumption tax on goods that cause severe environmental pollution and over-exploitation of resources. Lou made the remarks during a once-in-two-months session of the standing committee of the National People's Congress, China's parliament. China's leaders have pushed a strong reform line as the plank of their economic policy, looking to resha-pe the economy to one driven more by consu-mers than exports, big industries and credit.

Regulators set to fine JPMorgan $80 million

US federal regulators are preparing to impose a fine of $80 million on JPMorgan Chase relating to its dealings with retail customers during the recession, the New York Times reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Under the terms of the civil orders, the bank will have to acknowledge internal flaws, said the paper. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are expected to announce the actions as soon as next month, the paper said. The regulators are probing reports that the bank sold an identity-theft protection with false promises to credit card customers through a third-party vendor, the paper reported. In another set of actions, the regulators are targeting the bank for flood-ing state courts with lawsuits that used faulty documentation to substantiate the amount owed by consumers, the people told the paper.

Peugeot eyes GM tie-up in South America

French carmaker Peugeot Citroen wants to take advantage of partner General Motors' strength in South America to reduce its dependence on Europe, Peugeot brand head Maxime Picat told the Financial Times. The executive ruled out working with GM in the Indian market, where the US carmaker has two factories, the paper reported on Wednesday. We have decided to focus on China... South America and Russia, the paper quoted Picat as saying. These are clearly our key targets outside Europe. Picat said there was a good opportunity to join forces with GM in highly competitive South American markets, where its partner already has good scale. GM owns a 7% stake in Peugeot as part of an alliance unveiled last year.

Fonterra products didnt have botulism bacteria: NZ

Dairy giant Fonterra's products at the centre of a global contamination scare this month did not contain a bacteria that could cause botulism, and posed no food safety threat, New Zealand officials said on Wednesday. The ministry for primary industries said tests showed that whey protein concentrate manufactured by the world's largest dairy processor contained clostridium sporogenes, which cannot cause botulism, but which at elevated levels can be associated with food spoilage. Original tests conducted by Fonterra and a New Zealand government research institute had indicated the presence of clostridium botulinum, raising fears that infant formula and sports drinks made from the product and widely exported could be potentially dangerous.

IAEA: Iran boosts uranium enrichment capacity

Iran has installed about 1,000 advanced uran-ium enrichment centrifuges and is set to test them, a UN nuclear report showed, a develop-ment likely to worry Western powers hoping for a change of course under the country's new president. The International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) quarterly report the first since relative moderate Hassan Rouhani won Iran's June presidential election also said the Islamic state had started making fuel assem-blies for a reactor which the West fears could yield nuclear bomb material. Iran denies any such aim. On the other hand, Iran's most sensi-tive nuclear stockpile has grown little remain-ing below arch-enemy Israel's stated red line that could provoke military action since the previous IAEA report in May. This could buy time for more negotiations with six world powers.