Opening Bell: US tackles tax inversion, Paddy Power Betfair to cut Irish jobs, criminal probe begins in Panama

Get up to speed with today's breaking Irish and international business news

The United States' government has unveiled new measures to curb corporate "inversion" deals involving US firms. 

Shares in one of Ireland's largest pharmaceutical firms have plummeted. Dublin-based Allergan is expected to merge with Pfizer, this would see its tax affairs move to Ireland.

"We know companies will continue to seek new and creative ways to relocate their tax residence to avoid paying taxes here at home," said Jack Lew, US treasury secretary.

He said that the new regulations hope to "further rein in inversions and reduce the ability of companies to avoid taxes through earnings stripping."

Some of the new rules focus on 'serial inverters' who have gone through multiple takeovers.

A spokeswoman for Pfizer told The Wall Street Journal that the company is reviewing the new rules and whether they will impact on its merger plans.


The newly merged bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair is expected to cut 300 jobs.

Dublin staff will get six weeks of pay for each year of service in the redundancy deal according to The Irish Times.

One of the deal's aims was to exploit synergies to reduce costs by €62m per year.

The company is expected to cut 650 jobs from the group's overall workforce of 7,200.


Panama prosecutors have launched a criminal probe into allegations of tax evasion and money laundering contained in the Panama Papers.

The state prosecutor's office said the revelations published by global media organisations will be investigated, including claims prominent politicians, celebrities, and sportspeople exploited secretive offshore tax regimes.

"The facts described in national and international communication media publications under the term 'Panama Papers' will be the subject of criminal investigation," the office said in a statement.


In the UK, David Cameron has claimed leaving the EU would be an "act of economic and political self-harm."

Writing in this morning's Telegraph, the British Prime Minister says exiting the single market would be "needless and reckless" and wouldn't help the UK steel industry.

Vote Leave has responded by saying Britain's greatest act of economic self-harm involves sending 350 million pounds to Brussels every week.