The investigation is apparently about a period in which Merz was not yet at Blackrock.

The investigation is apparently about a period in which Merz was not yet at Blackrock.(Photo: imago / IPON)

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

At asset manager Blackrock investigators are at the door. Allegedly, the search is about tax matters. CEO Merz wants to play with open cards.

Friedrich Merz has commented on the tax investigation against Blackrock. The allegations relate to the years 2007 to 2011, said Merz. But he was only in 2016 Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the German branch. "I've instructed the board to work with the investigating authorities and put everything on the table."

In the investigation of the Cologne public prosecutor's office, there was, according to information of the "Bild" newspaper searches in the premises of the company in Munich. It's about information on controversial tax transactions ("cum-ex"). A Blackrock spokesman told the German press agency, "Blackrock is fully cooperating with investigative authorities in an ongoing investigation into 'cum-ex' transactions over the period 2007-2011." The Cologne prosecutor did not comment on the report. "I'm not saying anything," said a spokesman.

"Completely immoral"

In the case of "cum-ex" transactions, investors shift shares with ("cum") and without ("ex") dividend entitlement between several participants around the dividend record date. In the end, the treasury is no longer sure who they belonged to. The result: tax offices reimburse capital gains tax several times and thus more than they had previously collected.

Merz had recently condemned stock deals such as "cum-ex" and "cum-cum". In the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" he said, "Cum Ex" ultimately served to "exempt the taxpayer". Such deals are "completely immoral," regardless of the legal rating. "I have always believed in this opinion and have always expressed it.





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