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MT 8 May 2016

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maltatoday, SUNDAY, 8 MAY 2016 6 News "AS you can see from my previ- ous declarations I have been fully transparent with my involve- ments in my parliament declara- tions. As an MP it is my right to have a separate profession and I assure you that none of the com- panies I am involved with create a conflict of interest with my parliament duties. "You will appreciate that I cannot com- ment on company information of the companies you refer to. "Although I can state that: As my declaration showed in all the companies I men- tioned in my declaration I act as an independent director and have no ownership in these com- panies. "None of the companies are in secretive non co-operative juris- dictions barred by the FIAU. "Before accepting the mandate I carried out the necessary 'know your clients' checks and on go- ing reviews to ensure that these companies perform legitimate and bona fide activities. "I assure you that all these companies perform legitimate business activities and have no politically exposed persons asso- ciated with them except myself and which is declared with regu- latory authorities and financial institutions in Malta and abroad when required. "Malta in an international fi- nancial center in the EU, on the white list of the OECD, with a tax system that is accepted and fully compliant with the EU. Malta is not a tax haven like Panama but a country in the EU, it is a pity that your paper is sending the message that Malta is being used as a tax haven. "Abalone Asset Management Company is licensed by the MFSA with its owner fully PQed by the MFSA i.e. the Authority would have also carried out its due diligence. The British Vir- gin Islands is a British Overseas Territory. In the case of Marlin Property I act as a company sec- retary and not a director. "I do not render a service to offshore firms. The companies you mentioned are onshore firms that pay tax in Malta. It is not clear to me whether you are implying that foreigners should not set up legitimate companies in Malta – if that is the case then Malta can close as a financial centre and stop talking about at- tracting FDI and lose a lot of jobs and revenues that go to the ben- efit of our social welfare system which is thus able not to place undue tax burden on the work- ing population. "I am a director in one com- pany with Mr Depasquale and in another with Mr Rosso and Mr Borg, persons of repute and stature, your allegation is clearly unfair and unwarranted - my track record as Minister of Fi- nance speaks for itself and never was there an allegation that I ever intervened or influenced any decisions of the Bank except the appointment of the Chair and two board members whom, as a shareholder, the government had a duty to appoint – names were approved by Cabinet and none of the three members men- tioned were such appointees. "That from the companies listed I am only in one common directorship with each individual is clearly coincidental." CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 They include his chairmanship of Abalone Asset Management, a wealth management set-up in July 2015, which is run by CEO Roberto Colapinto. Abalone's ownership is 100% held in the offshore firm Aba- lone Holding, registered in the British Virgin Islands, a well known tax haven mostly used by notorious law firm Mossack Fonseca to open offshore com- panies for its clients to hide their beneficial ownerships. In fact, the incorporation of Abalone's BVI company was carried out by the offices of Morgan & Morgan, the other offshore incorporator in Pan- ama. But Fenech has also lent his skills to Marlin Property Hold- ings and Primero Holdings, set up in Malta in June 2013 and September 2014 respectively. He serves as only their com- pany secretaries, but Marlin's and Primero's owners are none other than the First Names Group, a leading provider of trust services located in another tax haven: Jersey. Jersey may be just a 45 square- mile island off the coast of France belonging to the British Crown, but the island allows the super rich to hide billions there. In fact, it was in Jersey that Spanish industry minister José Manuel Soria held the offshore company that led to his resignation last month, after the Panama Papers revealed that he held the company up until 2002. FINCO TREASURY MANAGEMENT LTD Independent Financial Advisors ATTENTION CLIENTS OF FINCO TREASURY MANAGEMENT LTD WHO HAVE OR HAVE HAD A CLAIM VERSUS LA VALETTE MULTI MANAGER PROPERTY FUND (the "Fund") Following the entry into force of e Arbiter for Financial Services Act, a reasoned complaint against the Fund's Functionaries already sanctioned by MFSA, namely Valletta Fund Management Ltd and Bank of Valletta plc, may be submitted for adjudication by the Financial Services Arbiter. Complaints would need to be submitted by not later than end June 2016. Clients who intend to le their complaint for adjudication by the Financial Services Arbiter may contact Finco Treasury Management Ltd for an appointment. Paul Bonello Finco Treasury Management Ltd Level 5, e Mall, Floriana Tel 21-22-000-2 e-mail: FINCO TREASURY MANAGEMENT LTD Abalone Asset Management Fenech is chairman of this wealth management firm whose parent company is the BVI company Abalone Holding, which is probably held by owner and CEO Roberto Colapinto. Fenech has no shareholding. Marlin Property Holdings & Primeo Holdings Fenech is only the company secretary of these two subsidiaries of the First Names Group, a leading provider of trust services in Jersey, another tax haven. Credorax Here Fenech is a director alongside the former Bank of Valletta chief executive Tonio Depasquale. Credorax provides online payment processing systems. 'I don't render services Tonio Fenech replies Ananova Another former Bank of Valletta chairman – appointed by Fenech himself – with whom he shares a directroship, is Danny Publio Rosso, in the company Ananova Ltd. Both men are directors in the Swiss-owned private company. Vallcara Limited Fenech finds himself again as director with Rosso, as well as former Bank of Valletta chief executive Charles Borg – appointed during Fenech's time as finance minister – in Vallcara Limited, a company owned by Vallgesa Limited. Fenech is also a director of Ferratum Bank, Swiss-owned Private Value Asset Management, whose parent company is based in Lugano, the renowned American online legal technology company Legalzoom, and subsidiaries of the Portuguese engineering firm MSF Parliamentary declarations show former finance minister jumping straight into corporate world with former state-appointed officials

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