x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Microsoft and IBM biggest hoarders of overseas cash

When it comes to US companies holding trillions of dollars in profits overseas, two technology firms get the lion's share of attention and blame for the practice: Apple and Cisco Systems.

When it comes to US companies holding trillions of dollars in profits overseas, two technology firms get the lion's share of attention and blame for the practice: Apple and Cisco Systems.

That is because their chief executive officers, Tim Cook and John Chambers, have been among the most vocal lobbyists for a tax holiday to bring the cash home at a rate lower than the 35 per cent currently required by the United States government.

Yet Apple and Cisco are not the biggest hoarders of overseas cash. According to Bloomberg Rankings, which looked at the regulatory filings of the 70 companies in the S&P 500 Information Technology Index and the five in the S&P 500 Internet & Catalog Retail Index, the distinction belongs to Microsoft and IBM.

Microsoft had US$76.4 billion and IBM had $44.4bn in foreign profits on their books in 2012 that were untaxed by the US, according to the documents. The companies were followed by Cisco, with $41.3bn, and Apple, with $40.4bn.

* Bloomberg News