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Jun 16, 2005

Ashcroft to buy more B.T.L. shares

At Friday’s House meeting the government, under the terms of the new Finance and Audit Act, will disclose its plans to sell its thirty-seven point five percent stake in B.T.L. It is understood that a portion of those shares will be sold to Michael Ashcroft for U.S. currency and a portion will be made available to the public, payable in local currency. We were not able to determine the actual percentages, but it is virtually assured that Ashcroft will buy enough to give him majority ownership of the company.

Other measures expected to be passed are increases in various excise taxes, but those increases will not be as radical as proposed by the unions, I.M.F. or I.D.B.

There is also talk about higher rates for the transfer tax on land sales. Those levies now stand at five percent of value for local buyers and ten percent for foreigners. While there are proposals to raise the rates to seven and twelve percent respectively, the prevailing sentiment seems to be that if government would just close the loopholes and stop the abuses in the current system, the amount of tax collected would nearly double.


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