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Volume 10 No. 25


The Hong Kong Jockey Club's racing turnover jumped 12.3% to a record HK$94.4B ($12.2B) "thanks to a revival in racecourse attendance," according to Amy Nip of the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST. In the financial year from July '12 to June, horse racing "was still the main source of revenue," although football betting "continued to grow in popularity." The record horse-racing turnover "surpassed that of the previous peak year," '96-97. The club paid HK$11.1B ($1.4B) in betting duty to the government, up 12.1% year on year and the most since '99-00. Attendances at the two racecourses "exceeded two million and was the highest in a decade." Revenue from football betting "continued to rise in its 10th year of operation," growing by 7% year on year to HK$50.6B ($6.5B). Total tax payments by the club, including betting duties and profits tax, rose 9.1% to a record HK$17.64B ($2.3B). The sum represented 7.3% "of total taxes collected by the Inland Revenue Department in the corresponding period" (SCMP, 9/4).

A Spanish court "declined a request by the State Agency for Tax Administration to set bail for Lionel Messi and his father in a case of alleged tax fraud after ruling that a payment made satisfied the case's legal requirements on Wednesday," according to Harold Heckle of the AP. In its ruling, a Spanish court said that a payment of more than €5M ($6.6M) made by Messi's father "made it unlikely that either Messi or his father would withhold funds 'during the legal process of a pending tax fraud trial.'" The court also said that "it was considering a request made by one of Messi's lawyers to postpone a court hearing set for Sept. 17" (AP, 9/4).

The €50M ($66M) transfer of German int'l footballer Mesut Özil from Real Madrid to Arsenal "is generating income for German fourth-tier club Rot-Weiß Essen," according to the DPA. Due to the fact the RWE was Özil's apprenticeship club, it "will receive a high six-digit compensation." The club for which Özil played from '00-05 will receive a compensation payment of around €800,000 ($1.05M). RWE Exec Chair Michael Welling said, "We will calculate how high the transfer fee exactly is and then bill Arsenal FC" (DPA, 9/3).

The sharp devaluation of the Indian rupee against the U.S. dollar "has given no reason to smile for the sports goods exporters." One would understand that devaluation "would have brought windfall to exporters with higher profit margins, but the labour intensive industry is in fact weighed down by the spike in input cost, most of which is imported." All India Sports Goods Manufacturers Federation President Punit Mohan Sharma said, "Our industry has taken hit of almost 20 percent due to the devaluation of Indian currency over the last few quarters" (Indian BUSINESS STANDARD, 9/3). ... Fast Retailing Co. said that "sales at its mainstay Uniqlo casual clothing chain in August grew 28.9 percent domestically from a year earlier on a same-store basis, extending the rising streak to a fourth month." The number of Uniqlo customers jumped 33.4%, "up for a seventh straight month" (JIJI, 9/4).