Tag: Implicit support/guarantee

Implicit support refers to the fact that the credit rating of a company that is part of a MNE group may be higher (and interest rate therefor lower) than it would be if it was a stand-alone company, if a bank or rating agency believes that associated enterprises would support the company in a period of financial stress even in the absence of an explicit guarantee.

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.186

In that situation, the analysis under Chapter I may indicate that an independent enterprise borrowing under the same conditions as Company D would not be expected to pay a guarantee fee of 3% to Company M for the provision of the explicit guarantee since Company D is better off in the absence of the guarantee ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.185

Assume that the accurate delineation of the actual transaction shows that the effect of passive association raises Company D’s credit standing from BBB to A, and that the provision of the explicit guarantee additionally enhances the credit standing of Company D to AAA. Assume further that independent lenders charge an interest rate of 8% to entities with a credit rating of A, and of 6% to entities with a credit rating of AAA. Assume further that Company M charges Company D a fee of 3% for the provision of the guarantee so the guarantee fee more than completely offsets the benefit of Company D’s enhanced credit standing derived from the provision of such guarantee ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.184

Company M, the parent entity of an MNE group, maintains an AAA credit rating based on the strength of the MNE group’s consolidated balance sheet. Company D, a member of the same MNE group, has a credit rating of only BBB on a stand-alone basis, and needs to borrow EUR 10 million from an independent lender ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.176

The benefit of implicit support will be the difference between the borrowing terms attainable by the borrowing entity based on its credit rating as a member of the MNE group and those attainable on the basis of the stand-alone credit rating it would have had if it were an entirely unaffiliated enterprise. If the borrower has its own independent credit rating from an unrelated credit rating agency, this will usually reflect its membership of the MNE group and so ordinarily no adjustment would be needed to this credit rating to reflect implicit support ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.175

The next step would be to determine, by a similar process (unless directly observable in the case of a loan from a third party), the interest rate payable with the benefit of the explicit guarantee. The interest spread can be used in quantifying the benefit gained by the borrower as a result of the guarantee. In determining the extent of the benefit provided by the guarantee, it is important to distinguish the impact of an explicit guarantee from the effects of any implicit support as a result of group membership. See Example 2 at paragraph 1.187. The benefit to be priced is not the difference between the cost to the unguaranteed borrower on a stand-alone basis and the cost with the explicit guarantee but the difference between the cost to the borrower after taking into account the benefit of any implicit support and the cost with the benefit of the explicit guarantee ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.174

This approach quantifies the benefit that the guaranteed party receives from the guarantee in terms of lower interest rates. The method calculates the spread between the interest rate that would have been payable by the borrower without the guarantee and the interest rate payable with the guarantee. The first step is to determine the interest rate that would have been payable by the borrower on its own merits, taking into account the impact of implicit support as a result of its group membership. See Section C.1.2 ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.164

A borrower would not generally be prepared to pay for a guarantee if it did not expect to obtain an appropriate benefit in return. Even an explicit guarantee will not necessarily confer a benefit on the borrower; for example, banking covenants applicable to a parent or other MNE group member’s debt facilities can include the default of another MNE group member as an event that may cause the termination of a facility or other adverse consequences. Other legal, financial or operational ties may mean that it would not be possible to abandon the borrower if it encounters financial difficulty without the MNE group suffering a credit rating downgrade. Any of these circumstances may produce the practical result that MNE group members are financially interdependent quite apart from any formal guarantee arrangement, so that the economic risk of the guarantor may not change materially on it giving an explicit guarantee. In other words, the formal guarantee may represent nothing more than ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.159

Where the effect of an intra-group guarantee as accurately delineated is to reduce the cost of debt-funding for the borrower, it might be prepared to pay for that guarantee, provided it was in no worse a position overall. In considering the borrower’s overall financial position as a result of the guarantee, its cost of borrowing with the guarantee (including the cost of the guarantee and any associated costs of arranging the guarantee) would be measured against its non-guaranteed cost of borrowing, taking into account any implicit support. Borrowing with a guarantee might also affect terms and conditions of the loan other than price; each case will depend on its own facts and circumstances ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.155

In general, a financial guarantee provides for the guarantor to meet specified financial obligations in the event of a failure to do so by the guaranteed party. There are various terms in use for different types of credit support from one member of an MNE group to another. At one end of the spectrum is the formal written guarantee and at the other is the implied support attributable solely to membership in the MNE group. In the context of this section, a guarantee is a legally binding commitment on the part of the guarantor to assume a specified obligation of the guaranteed debtor if the debtor defaults on that obligation. The situation likely to be encountered most frequently in a transfer pricing context is that in which an associated enterprise (guarantor) provides a guarantee on a loan taken out by another associated enterprise from an unrelated lender ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.82

Where this is the case, the credit rating of the MNE group may also be used for the purpose of pricing the accurately delineated loan where the facts so indicate, particularly in situations such as where the MNE is important to the group as described in paragraphs 10.78 and 10.79 and where the MNE’s indicators of creditworthiness do not differ significantly from those of the group. An MNE group credit rating is unaffected by controlled transactions and reflects the actual basis on which the group seeks external funding from independent lenders. In situations where an MNE group does not have an external credit rating, consideration may be given to conducting the credit rating analysis at the MNE group level for assessing the controlled transaction. In all cases, the MNE group credit rating, like any other credit rating, will be appropriate only if it is determined to be the most reliable indicator of the MNE credit rating in light of all ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.81

It is also important to note that although there are established approaches to estimate a credit rating for a particular group member or debt issuance, the considerations detailed above mean that a pricing approach based on the separate entity credit ratings that are derived from publicly available financial tools (see paragraph 10.72), the implicit support analysis, the difficulties of accounting for controlled transactions reliably and the presence of information asymmetry may pose challenges that, if not resolved, may result in outcomes that are not reliable ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.80

The impact of an assessment of implicit support is a matter of judgement. The kind of information on which the MNE group would base a decision of whether or not to provide support to a borrower in particular circumstances may not be available to a tax administration, as is frequently the case in transfer pricing examinations, and the existence of information asymmetry may affect the ability of tax administrations to establish the likelihood of support (see section B.2 in Chapter IV). Furthermore, changing facts and circumstances affecting the willingness or ability of the MNE group to provide support may mean that there is no decision by the MNE group itself until the eventuality for such support arises. This contrasts, for example, where the MNE receives a formal guarantee from another group member. The past behaviour of an MNE group as regards providing support may be a useful indicator of likely future behaviour but an appropriate analysis should be undertaken to ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.79

Another key consideration would be the likely consequences for other parts of the MNE group of supporting or not supporting the borrower. The criteria used to determine the status of an entity in this regard may include such considerations as legal obligations (e.g. regulatory requirements), strategic importance, operational integration and significance, shared name, potential reputational impacts, negative effects on the overall MNE group, general statement of policy or intent, and any history of support and common behaviour of the MNE group with respect to third parties. The relative relevance of those factors may vary from one industry to another ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter X paragraph 10.77

In the context of intra-group loans, this incidental benefit that the MNE is assumed to receive solely by virtue of group affiliation, is referred to as implicit support. The effect of potential group support on the credit rating of an entity and any effect on that entity’s ability to borrow or the interest rate paid on those borrowings would not require any payment or comparability adjustment. See Example 1 at paragraphs 1.184 – 1.186 of Chapter I and Section D.3 ... Read more
Australia vs Singapore Telecom Australia Investments Pty Ltd, December 2021, Federal Court of Australia, Case No FCA 1597

Australia vs Singapore Telecom Australia Investments Pty Ltd, December 2021, Federal Court of Australia, Case No FCA 1597

Singapore Telecom Australia Investments Pty Ltd entered into a loan note issuance agreement (the LNIA) with a company (the subscriber) that was resident in Singapore. Singapore Telecom Australia and the subscriber were ultimately 100% owned by the same company. The loan notes issued totalled approximately $5.2 billion to the subscriber. The terms of the LNIA was amendet on three occasions – the first amendment and the second amendment were expressed to have effect as from the date when the LNIA was originally entered into. The interest rate under the LNIA as amended by the third amendment was 13.2575% Following an audit the tax authorities issued an amended assessment under the transfer pricing provisions and denied interest deductions totalling approximately $894 million in respect of four years of income. According to the tax authorities the conditions agreed between the parties differed from the arm’s length principle. Singapore Telecom Australia appealed the assessment to the Federal Court. Judgement of the Federal Court ... Read more

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.186

In that situation, the analysis under Chapter I may indicate that an independent enterprise borrowing under the same conditions as Company D would not be expected to pay a guarantee fee of 3% to Company M for the provision of the explicit guarantee since Company D is better off in the absence of the guarantee ... Read more

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.185

Assume that the accurate delineation of the actual transaction shows that the effect of passive association raises Company D’s credit standing from BBB to A, and that the provision of the explicit guarantee additionally enhances the credit standing of Company D to AAA. Assume further that independent lenders charge an interest rate of 8% to entities with a credit rating of A, and of 6% to entities with a credit rating of AAA. Assume further that Company M charges Company D a fee of 3% for the provision of the guarantee so the guarantee fee more than completely offsets the benefit of Company D’s enhanced credit standing derived from the provision of such guarantee ... Read more

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.184

Company M, the parent entity of an MNE group, maintains an AAA credit rating based on the strength of the MNE group’s consolidated balance sheet. Company D, a member of the same MNE group, has a credit rating of only BBB on a stand-alone basis, and needs to borrow EUR 10 million from an independent lender ... Read more

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.164

A borrower would not generally be prepared to pay for a guarantee if it did not expect to obtain an appropriate benefit in return. Even an explicit guarantee will not necessarily confer a benefit on the borrower; for example, banking covenants applicable to a parent or other MNE group member’s debt facilities can include the default of another MNE group member as an event that may cause the termination of a facility or other adverse consequences. Other legal, financial or operational ties may mean that it would not be possible to abandon the borrower if it encounters financial difficulty without the MNE group suffering a credit rating downgrade. Any of these circumstances may produce the practical result that MNE group members are financially interdependent quite apart from any formal guarantee arrangement, so that the economic risk of the guarantor may not change materially on it giving an explicit guarantee. In other words, the formal guarantee may represent nothing more than ... Read more

TPG2020 Chapter X paragraph 10.159

Where the effect of an intra-group guarantee as accurately delineated is to reduce the cost of debt-funding for the borrower, it might be prepared to pay for that guarantee, provided it was in no worse a position overall. In considering the borrower’s overall financial position as a result of the guarantee, its cost of borrowing with the guarantee (including the cost of the guarantee and any associated costs of arranging the guarantee) would be measured against its non-guaranteed cost of borrowing, taking into account any implicit support. Borrowing with a guarantee might also affect terms and conditions of the loan other than price; each case will depend on its own facts and circumstances ... Read more