Leading City figure and associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers Terry Smith has sold £40m worth of shares ahead of a likely rise in capital gains tax (CGT).
Smith sold the shares to a trust, the Guardian reports.
According to stock exchange announcements yesterday, Smith sold 9.6m shares worth £34m in money broker Tullett Prebon to the trust on 18 June and 8.9m shares in stockbroker Collins Stewart worth almost £6m on the same day.
Tax experts say the move means Smith can lock in gains on the sale of the shares at the current CGT rate of 18%, avoiding demands to pay a new rate, expected to be set at between 40% and 50% today.
Smith joins Rolls-Royce chief executive John Rose who last month sold 400,000 shares worth £2.3m ahead of any CGT changes.
However, Smith has not reduced his stake in either company during the sale of shares to the trust.
The precise tax saving Smith might enjoy was not immediately clear as the price at which he bought the shares was not disclosed, and the terms of the transaction with the trust mean he does not need to complete the sale for three years.
Lending to companies set to rise
Measures to increase bank lending to small businesses are expected in today's Budget, alongside a five-year "road map" for reforming corporation tax, the Financial Times reports.
George Osborne has "listened carefully" to manufacturers' concerns about axing some of the investment allowances he had targeted to finance cuts in the headline rates of corporation tax, Government insiders said on Monday.
The Budget will include "help for business that doesn't stifle investment", according to one official.
Cuts in the headline main and smaller companies' rates of corporation tax are expected, together with a commitment to reduce and simplify the tax over the five-year life of the Con-Lib coalition.
Osborne is also forecast to unveil proposals to increase bank lending to small and medium-sized companies, described last week by Vince Cable, the business secretary, as the "key bottleneck" in the system.
Council tax to be frozen for a year by Osborne, saving average family £210-a-year
Council tax is to be frozen for a year under proposals in today's emergency Budget, the Daily Mail reports.
Chancellor George Osborne will tell MPs the Government will work with local authorities in England to deliver the freeze.
It will be one glimmer of good news in an otherwise hard-hitting package. The proposal would save the average family £210 a year.
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