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BlackRock's Munich offices raided in tax fraud investigation

Thursday, November 08, 2018

B.G., Opalesque Geneva:

In the last years, German fiscal authorities have been conducting systematic investigations against domestic and foreign banks on suspicion of tax evasion due to cum/ex share trades. And the latest to be investigated is BlackRock, the world's biggest fund manager, which Munich offices were searched by criminal prosecutors on Tuesday.

A BlackRock spokesman said the company was "fully cooperating with an ongoing investigation relating to cum/ex transactions in the period 2007-2011". BlackRock oversees $6.44tln in assets on behalf of investors worldwide.

A person familiar with the details of the investigation told The Financial Times that BlackRock had not been accused of tax fraud and itself is not a target of the criminal investigation. The investigators are looking for information about BlackRock's share-lending activities between 2007 and 2011, which might have enabled cum/ex transactions by other parties. The source said that BlackRock does not directly lend shares to traders but to large banks, which then pass them to hedge funds and others.

Cum/ex trades The cum/ex trades that are being challenged are allegedly tax-driven share transactio......................

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