* Macquarie rules out near-term move overseas
* CEO says offshore move possible in longer term
* Bank tax to cost A$50 million after tax annually: CFO (Adds more CEO comments, financial impact of tax)
By Jamie Freed
SYDNEY, June 16 (Reuters) - Macquarie Group Ltd Chief Executive Nicholas Moore said on Friday Australia’s biggest investment bank had no plans to move offshore after the government imposed a $4.6 billion tax on major banks.
“We’ve got no current plans to relocate to Singapore or anywhere else,” he told a parliamentary inquiry. “There are absolutely no plans for that.”
Macquarie this month had declined to rule out an overseas move after the government introduced the surprise tax on certain bank liabilities including corporate bonds, commercial paper and certificates of deposit at Australia’s five biggest banks.
Moore on Friday said he could not guarantee Macquarie’s headquarters would remain in Australia in the longer term as that would be subject to the broader needs of the organisation.
“As a longstanding position going back to 2007 we say that the location of all our businesses are a matter of ongoing review,” he said. “Tax rates do have an impact of course. We look to the return for our shareholders and that is an after-tax return.”
Analysts and investors have said an eventual move to the United States or Europe could make sense as it grows in those regions.
Macquarie Chief Financial Officer Patrick Upfold said the bank tax was expected to cost the company around A$50 million ($37.96 million) in annual after tax earnings. Macquarie last month reported a record annual profit of A$2.22 billion. ($1 = 1.3172 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Jamie Freed; Editing by Michael Perry and Christopher Cushing)