According to an insider, investigators of the Cologne prosecutor's office searched rooms of the asset manager Blackrock in Munich on Tuesday. The reason is a preliminary investigation into controversial Cum-Ex transactions, said a person familiar with the matter Reuters. This was first reported by the "Bild" newspaper.
A corporate spokesperson said, "Blackrock is fully cooperating with the investigative authorities in an ongoing investigation into cum-ex transactions over the period 2007-2011." The Cologne public prosecutor's office did not want to confirm or deny the report on request.
Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Blackrock's German subsidiary since 2016 is Friedrich Merz, who is running for the CDU party presidency. Thus, the investigation would affect a period long before Merz had started work at Blackrock Germany.
With "Cum-Ex", investors could reimburse the once withholding tax paid at least twice with the help of their bank. As a result, more than five billion euros escaped the treasury in Germany, according to the Federal Ministry of Finance.
Blackrock, one of the largest shareholders of most DAX companies, repeatedly lends shares to banks for their business, according to "Bild".
In addition to Blackrock, Friedrich Merz also belongs to the supervisory board of HSBC Bank, which is also associated with cum-ex transactions. In connection with the HSBC, he recently pointed out that he has always opposed such practices: "Stock trades such as cum-ex and cum-cum serve ultimately to exempt taxpayers," said Merz last week the "Süddeutsche Zeitung ".
Such deals are "completely immoral," regardless of the legal rating. "I have always believed in this opinion and have always expressed it." (Reuters, AFP)