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Tax havens shelter 98 Footsie firms

Posted By admin Tuesday, October 11, 2011

K PLC’S reliance on tax havens was last night laid bare – as the government dreams up new ways to lighten the load on business.
Research reveals that 98 of the FTSE 100 use tax havens to slash the amount they contribute to the UK’s sparse coffers.
According to a database of tax havens use by anti-poverty campaign group ActionAid, the top 100 UK firms use 34,216 subsidiaries between them, of which more than a quarter are in tax-friendly jurisdictions.

Yesterday Franco-Belgian lender Dexia became the first bank to fall victim to the 20-month debt crisis, which is threatening to unleash a credit crunch and double-dip recession.
In a sign that the Greek contagion is spreading to the core of the euro area, the Brussels authorities yesterday had to nationalise Dexia’s retail operation in the region.
The French and Belgian governments have thrown a €90billion safety blanket under the remainder of the group, with Dexia’s portfolio of toxic assets to be dumped into a ‘bad bank’.
Dexia was pushed to the brink of bankruptcy after being frozen out of inter-bank lending markets amid fears over its vast exposure to Greece and other debt-laden eurozone members.
Official data showed that the fear gripping the money markets is mounting as overnight deposits by lenders at the European Central Bank surged to a 15-month high.
Merkel and Sarkozy hope that their re-capitalisation plan, which could see several hundred billion euros pumped into Europe’s banks, will unblock money markets and ease the flow of credit to consumers.
But in a blow to the eurozone powerbrokers, ratings giant Moody’s yesterday argued that the mooted rescue plan would only provide a ‘temporary respite’.
The main cause of the eurozone’s woes is the mountains of debt built up by peripheral nations, such as Greece, Portugal and Ireland. Until that was addressed, investors were likely to give ‘fragile’ Europe a wide berth, Moody’s warned.

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