The United States Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) published its first statistics on special purpose entities (SPEs), defined as entities majority owned by their foreign parents, with 0 to 5 employees, less than $1 million of gross property, plant and equipment and less than 10% of total sales to the US.
“Multinational enterprises increasingly set up complex global structures to maximize their worldwide profits,” notes the BEA in a press release. “These structures include SPEs that can be set up to take advantage of different tax or regulatory regimes. The increased prevalence of SPEs heightens the need for separate statistics on their activities for analysis and for improved interpretability of macroeconomic statistics.”
According to initial finding US resident SPE’s accounted for $7.8 billion or 4.4% of direct investment income payments and $2.6 billion of direct investment liabilities transactions.
This new accounting complies with a commitment to the IMF task force on special purpose entities.
According to the IMF SPEs are established to grant owners access to capital markets, isolate owners from financial risks, reduce regulatory or tax burden and safeguard confidentiality.
According to the BEA it will publish more updates of these statistics the coming year.