London’s Low Taxes Lure Foreign Companies As Banks Retrench

London Film Fest: Sony Pictures Classics’ Michael Barker Talks Day-and-Date Releases, Patience

The number of people employed in Londons financial services firms is likely to decline to 236,000 next year, the lowest level since 1993, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research. The financial sector, which is overwhelmingly concentrated in the capital, accounted for 11.6 percent of total tax receipts last year, down from 13.9 percent in 2007, according to the City of London. Standard Chartered Some hedge funds and asset managers have quit London for Switzerland, blaming tighter financial regulations. And banking giants HSBC Holdings Plc and Standard Chartered Plc, which have the bulk of their operations abroad, havent ruled out an eventual move to Asia. Still, London growth is outpacing the rest of the country. The citys economy will grow by 1.9 percent annually to 2018, 0.5 percent faster than the U.K. as a whole, the CEBR said this year. Part of the growth is coming from technology companies as London emerges as the undisputed European capital for Internet businesses. Both Amazon Inc. and Google Inc. (GOOG) are building large new facilities in the city, with the search giant pledging to employ 5,000 staff in a new office next to the renovated Kings Cross railway hub. While headquarters moves motivated in part by tax arbitrage dont necessarily bring many jobs to London, they at least create work for local professional-services providers like lawyers and management consultants, said Mark Gregory, the chief U.K. and Ireland economist at Ernst & Young LLP.

But he also noted: “The older I get the more I see the importance of cast and editing is becoming for success.” Barker said he was “waiting” to see if SPC would land North American rights to Woody Allen’s freshly titled Magic In Moonlight, as SPC sees his latest Blue Jasminewith Cate Blanchett approach $35 million at the U.S. box office. And he also told THR that the Megan Ellison-produced true-crime drama Foxcatcher — starring Channing Tatum, Steve Carrelland Mark Ruffalo — would be released in early 2014. STORY: Bennett Miller’s Awards Contender ‘Foxcatcher’ Bumped to 2014 His keynote was quickly followed by an appearance on a film finance forum alongside Endgame Entertainment chief Doug Hansenand U.S.-based exhibition, finance and production banner Start Motion Pictures founder Ben Browning. When asked about the impact of piracy on the indie business, Barker said it was the most important question of the day. He said there was no doubt piracy was hurting the business, citing SPC’s release of James Toback’s Tysondocumentary which was scheduled for release in the U.S. after the U.K. rollout. “It was being streamed in America before our U.S. release,” Barker told THR. “We had it taken down but the damage had been down and that killed our [theatrical] business on that.” Barker said that provided a wake up to the importance of coordinating release dates with other distributors. He also said that a decision to not send out any screeners for Midnight in Paris, forcing critics and the media to go to theaters and screening rooms, had paid off with no pirate activity on that title. EXCLUSIVE: ‘Foxcatcher’ Jumps to Sony Pictures Classics; Release Date Set “We’re doing the same with Blue Jasmineand it’s working,” Barker told THR. Hansen, whose company backed last year’s Looper, noted that while the distribution business is global now, he would still want to ink deals on a territory-by-territory basis.

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