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The Week In Numbers: A Very Fat Finger

Singapore Telecommunications (SGX: Z74) has criticised a report, which claimed that the company had avoided more than A$713m of taxes in Australia. SingTel said the report, which was compiled by United Voice and the Tax Justice Network, had applied the wrong tax rate to its group profits. SingTel pointed out that not all of its profits are liable for Australian tax. There is a lesson there for all of us: Always double-check your figures.

Someone who didn’t check the numbers was an unnamed stock trader in Japan. The trader reportedly entered a combination of volume and price, rather than just the volume when dealing in some blue chip Japanese shares. The blunder, which totalled US$617b worth of shares, is said to have involved companies such as Toyota Motors, Nomura and Honda. Thanks to some swift action, the trades were quickly cancelled, so damage was limited. But perhaps not to the trader’s pride.

Public Sector workers in Singapore can continue to work after the age of 65. The Singapore Public Service will offer all eligible staff re-employment beyond the age of three score and five from the start of 2015. Around 800 public officers who turn 65 next year are expected to benefit from move. The ball is now in the court of the private sector, which has to decide whether to embrace the change too.

Get ready for more expensive chocolates as the price of cocoa surged to a three-and-a-half year high. Fears that Ebola could spread to two of the world biggest cocoa producers namely, Ghana and Ivory Coast, sent the price of cocoa to US$3,399 of a tonne. October is reckoned to be a key month for harvesting cocoa, and disruptions to labour and transportation could affect prices. Not good news for chocolate lovers around the world.

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