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Panama Papers: The reaction


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Panama Papers: The reaction

Followingthe leak of more than 11.5 million documents fromPanama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca detailing the use of , S&P GlobalMarket Intelligence rounds up reaction to the so-called Panama Papers.

Thesefiles were obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared withmore than 100 media partners.

*Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson resigned, Bloomberg News reported,citing Ríkisútvarpið, Iceland's national public-service broadcastingorganization. The resignation was on the cards after the country's president,Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, refused Gunnlaugsson's request to dissolve parliamentand call early elections, the Financial Times reported. Previously, Iceland's opposition parties called avote of no confidence in Gunnlaugsson as thousands of protestors gatheredoutside the parliament after the leaked documents showed that his wife owned anoffshore company with a potentially multimillion-pound claim on the country'sthree collapsed banks, The (U.K.) Guardian reported.Gunnlaugsson insisted that he had not broken any laws.

* French Finance Minister Michel Sapin told the country'sparliament that France was putting Panama back on the tax haven blacklist,Reuters reported.

*Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann called on the EU to take action to ensurethat offshore companies cannot be used for money laundering and tax evasion,Reuters reported.Faymann, who called for full transparency, added that Austria would take partin international discussions on increasing data exchange and data security.

*The Panama-based law firm worked with at least 28 German banks, includingDeutsche Bank AG andCommerzbank AG, tocreate or manage more than 1,200 shell companies for clients, Bloomberg News reported,citing Süddeutsche Zeitung.

*The proposed EU law on tax avoidance came under heavy criticism fromanti-corruption activists and lawmakers after the data leak, Reuters reported.Activists argue that the draft law, which would require EU multinationals topublicly disclose tax and financial data for every country in the EU and onlyaggregated information for countries outside the bloc, would still allowcompanies to use tax havens.

* Mossack Fonseca continued to work with Rami Makhlouf, acousin of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and Makhlouf's brother, Hafez,despite concerns about corruption within the Syrian regime and advice of itsown compliance team to cut ties with the family, The (U.K.) Guardian reported.

*Credit Suisse GroupAG and HSBC HoldingsPlc reportedly rejected allegations that they actively used shellcompanies to help clients evade taxes.

*Various members of the U.K. parliament's treasury committee expressed the needfor a clampdown on banks that facilitate tax evasion, the Financial Times reported.Coutts & Co.,Rothschild & Coand UBS Group AG,which are among those that used the law firm to create offshore companies fortheir clients, defended their practices, highlighting strict controls in place.Meanwhile, the BritishBankers' Association noted that U.K. banks are putting into practice measuresto boost transparency in international tax issues.

*Ukraine's president, Petro Poroshenko, turned down tax evasion allegationsafter it was revealed that he moved his confectionary business to an offshoreentity in August 2014, Reuters reported.

* BANKROSSIYA describedthe Panama Papers as a "baseless information attack" by Western mediain a statement released April 5. The bank was named in the papers outliningoffshore structures that owned options over shares in Russian car and truckcompanies on behalf of Sergey Roldugin, a Russian musician and childhood friendof the Russian president.

* HypoLandesbank Vorarlberg CEO Michael Grahammer that the Austrian lender"didn't break any European or U.S. money-laundering rules or sanctions atany time."