Tobacco Asia

Volume 18, Number 1

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18 tobaccoasia Product & Industry Spotlight 业界焦点 US Jay-Z Cigar Rapper General Cigar has joined with US hip-hop artist Jay-Z to produce the special-edition Cohiba Comador. Speaking at the product launch, Jay-Z said, "I worked with Cohiba because I knew they'd take my vision of a luxury cigar and bring it to life in the right way. We took our time working on this, to get the blend to exactly where I wanted it to be. Comador looks and tastes the way I think a cigar should." General Cigar revealed that the binder and filler tobaccos of the new smoke are Caribbean and Central American and the wrapper leaf is US home-grown Connecticut Havana leaf, aged for four years and finished in Dominican barrels. The 6 inch by 52 ring gauge toro comes in either a seven- cigar box; a seven-cigar travel humidor; or the Comador Humidor (a combo of travel humidor with seven cigars, plus an extra 14 cigars). A Pakistan tobacco farmer takes his crop to market Comador humidor Israel Tobacco Vending Machines Banned A law in Israel to outlaw the sale of cigarettes from indoor and outdoor vending machines has been implemented. The Health Ministry said it was honoring obligations to the World Health Organization, whose Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) it has approved and ratified. Israel is yet to implement other agreements under the FCTC, including plain packaging and banning the sale of single cigarettes. Pakistan Rise in Tobacco Stocks Reports coming from Pakistan state that the last calendar year saw a dramatic rise in several tobacco stocks. Phillip Morris leapt from Rs125 a share to almost Rs400 in 2013, to Decem- ber, with average trading volume of around 12,000 shares a day. Khyber Tobacco grew some 90% in the same period. But the biggest mover was Pakistan Tobacco, which doubled profits to Rs2.7 billion and saw shares rise 600% to Rs487. Pakistan Tobacco has the biggest share of legal cigarette making in the country at more than 60%. Illicit cigarettes continue to be a major problem. A study by the International Tax and Investment Center and Oxford Eco- nomics estimated illegal cigarette consumption in Pakistan at 20 billion cigarettes in 2012, almost 25% of total consumption at 86 billion casuing lost tax revenues of nearly Rs20 billion. Philippines Sin Tax Bonanza The so-called sin tax enacted in the Philippines in 2013 has already brought bonanza dividends for the government, and cigarettes incurred a further PhP5 increase per packet in the second phase introduced in January this year. The excise tax revenues on makers of cigarettes and alcoholic drinks com- bined increased by 81.5% last year. Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares said PhP91.6 billion had been collected jointly from the two sectors in the first nine months of the year. Over two-thirds of this amount, PhP61.6 billion, was levied on cigarette manufacturers, a figure more than double the previous year's total. The tax will rise again in 2017 and then by 4% annually. According to the Manila Standard Today, another apparent winner from the tax hike was local cigarette manufacturer Mighty Corp., as smokers moved to cheaper products. In December last year they quoted executive vice president Oscar Barrientos as saying, "I don't have the exact [performance] figure, but if you based it on excise taxes, you will have an idea. In 2012, we paid more than PhP300 million in excise taxes, this year we paid over PhP8 billion as of December. [...] This means the sales really jumped." The Standard also stated that Barrientos, who is a retired judge, was appointed by Mighty in November to rebuff allegations that the company is "engaged in technical smug- gling and tax evasion, enabling its cigarette sales to jump substantially this year". Barrientos stressed that no cases had been filed against the company. "There is no single case," he said. "Congress should not be used as battleground for market share. If they have a case against Mighty, then file a case."

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