2014年1月29日水曜日

China Offshore Holdings

中国の習近平国家主席の義兄や、温家宝前首相の息子、温雲松氏を含む
中国指導部の親族ら少なくとも十数人が、租税回避地の英領バージン諸島
の企業を資産管理に活用していると報じた。関係書類の分析で判明したと
いう。

中国官僚親族租税回避地での資産管理関係文書
Leaked Records Reveal Offshore Holdings of China’s Elite

報告書に登場した人
・温家宝(Wen Jiabao)の息子 温雲松(Wen Yunsong,New Horizon Capital
 共同創始者)
・温家宝の娘(Wen Ruchun 別名Lily Chang)婿 劉春航(Liu Chunhang)
・習近平(Xi Jinping)の義兄 鄧家貴(Deng Jiagui)
・李鵬の娘 李小琳(Li Xiaolin)
・鄧小平(Deng Xiaoping)の義理の息子 呉 建昌(Wu Jianchang)

UBS
・中国、香港、台湾において、325以上の租税回避地での資産管理を援助。

PriceWaterhousecoopers
・274以上の租税回避地での資産管理を援助。

Credit Suisse
・中国でコンサルタント会社を設立。
 バージン諸島で、温雲松のための信託会社設立を援助。
 2000年以降だけで推計1兆~4兆ドルの資産が中国からバージン諸島へ流出。

英領バージン諸島
・2社だけで、中国と香港で2万1千人以上の顧客が、カリブ海の租税回避
 地を利用。
・Fullmark Consultants 2004年 劉春航が設立。
・Excellence Effort Property Development 鄧家貴が共同所有者

中国指導部の親族は、経済関係の大学に進学し、卒業。
米国等の金融会社に就職し、帰国している。

いくつかの国で問題となっている有名大学の入学者の両親が富裕層と言う
問題。米国の場合は、有名大学は、私立校が多いから、暗黙の寄付金入学
の可能性か。
中には、放蕩息子や娘の報道があるが、高額資金を運用できるために、
金融機関が指導部の子息を採用する場合もあるようだ。
金のなる木に群がる人が多いか。

香港のHSBCのプライベートバンクは有名だったが、今回は、名前は出て
来ないようだ。

租税回避地ブラックリスト公表決定
HSBC AIJ資産返還へ
租税回避地資産 最大2500兆円
NYT 尖閣広告と温家宝蓄財疑惑
ICIJ Offshore Bank Accounts
富裕層 税逃れて海外へ
JPモルガン・チェース 香港贈賄疑惑


---習主席の親族ら租税回避地で資産運用…英紙報道---
2014年1月23日07時52分  読売新聞
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/world/news/20140122-OYT1T00886.htm

 【北京=五十嵐文】英紙ガーディアン(電子版)などは21日、中国の習近平(シージンピン)国家主席や温家宝(ウェンジアバオ)前首相ら有力政治家の親族十数人が、租税回避地として知られる英領バージン諸島の会社を通じて資産を運用していると伝えた。
 同紙記者らが参加する団体(本部・米ワシントン)が入手した関係書類を分析したところ、習主席の義兄や温前首相の娘婿と息子、李鵬(リーポン)・元首相の娘らは、欧米の金融大手や会計事務所の支援で、バージン諸島に資産運用のための会社を設立。2000年以降だけでも推計1兆~4兆ドルの資産が中国から流出したという。
 中国外務省の秦剛(チンガン)報道局長は22日の定例記者会見で、「記事の論理には納得がいかず、背後の意図に疑念を抱かずにはいられない」と述べた。


---習主席の義兄や温氏の息子らが「租税回避地で資産管理」 英紙報道---
2014.1.22 13:53
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/world/news/140122/chn14012213550004-n1.htm

 英紙ガーディアン(電子版)は21日、中国の習近平国家主席の義兄や、温家宝前首相の息子、温雲松氏を含む中国指導部の親族ら少なくとも十数人が、タックスヘイブン(租税回避地)の英領バージン諸島の企業を資産管理に活用していると報じた。関係書類の分析で判明したという。
 同紙によると、欧州の金融大手はバージン諸島で、これら親族の資産管理会社の設立を支援。クレディ・スイスは温家宝氏が首相在任中、温雲松氏のためにコンサルタント会社を設立した。
 バージン諸島のタックスヘイブンは、中国と香港の2万1千人以上が利用。中国からは2000年以降、1兆~4兆ドル(約104兆~約417兆円)の資産が流出していると推計されているという。(共同)


---巧妙化する中国「官官接待」 人目避ける・撮影は禁止・商品券渡す---
2014年1月22日 朝刊
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/world/news/CK2014012202000134.html

 【北京=白石徹】31日の春節(旧正月)を控えた中国で、習近平指導部による厳しい倹約令を尻目に、共産党幹部や公務員が開く宴会や接待などの手法が巧妙化している。党員らの綱紀粛正、腐敗防止を目的にした「8項目の規定」導入から1年余り。長い伝統がある「官官接待」は水面下でしぶとく続いている。
 ペットボトルに詰められた高級酒「茅台(マオタイ)」、農家の奥にある豪華サウナ…。中国廉政(れんせい)研究センターの調査によると、倹約令によって税金のむだ遣いが大幅に減少する一方、宴会の開催方法は変質しているという。公務員がホテルの宴会場を貸し切る場合、乗り付けた車両のナンバープレートは覆い隠され、会場に出入りする従業員を把握するため、名前と連絡先を申告させる。さらに主催者は偽名を使い、宴席の写真撮影は禁止されている。
 これまで宴会や接待は高級ホテルが一般的だったが、最近は行政機関の食堂や商業会館、保養施設など人目につかない場所が増えている。手みやげに高級酒や高級たばこに換えられる商品券を渡すケースもあり、共産党規律検査委員会など調査機関の目を逃れるためにあらゆる手段が使われている。
 ただ、倹約令は確実に成果を挙げており、高級料理店やブランド品店の売り上げは軒並みダウン。公費削減によって、中国南東部の江蘇省では、公務での接待がこの1年近くで約28%減り、雲南省の省都・昆明市の党委員会による接待回数は32%減少、接待した人数は57%減ったとのデータもある。


---China's cash haven in the British Virgin islands - the key points---
Matthew Weaver   
theguardian.com, Wednesday 22 January 2014 09.25 GMT   
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/22/china-haven-british-virgin-islands

Some of the offshore financial secrets of the Chinese ruling class have been revealed in leaked documents

Leaked documents contained in more than 200GB of data shared with Guardian expose the extent to which China's political elite is using secret firms based in the British Virgin Islands. Here are the main revelations:

1. More than a dozen relatives of China's most senior political and military leaders use companies based in the offshore tax haven of the British Virgin Islands. They include the brother-in-law of the China's president Xi Jinping; the son and son-in-law of the former president Wen Jiabao; and the daughter of the former premier Li Ping.

2. Leading western banks and accountancy firms, including PriceWaterhousecoopers (PwC), Credit Suisse and UBS, played a central role in establishing the companies. UBS, for example, helped incorporate more than 325 offshore institutions from China, Hong Kong or Taiwan, while PwC helped established at least 274. Companies involved insisted the activities were legal but refused to discuss the details, citing client confidentiality.

3. The documents, which relate to only two firms in the British Virgin Islands, show that 21,000 clients from mainland China and Hong Kong have made use of offshore havens in the Caribbean. The disclosures illustrates the scale of recent wealth amassed by China's ruling elite.

4. The documents relate to the incorporation and ownership of the legal offshore companies and provide virtually no information on their business activities. They highlight the lack of accountability in financial and tax affairs, as officials and their families have no obligation to issue public financial disclosures.

5. One of the companies helped obscure links between the consultancy firm Fullmark Consultants - which is currently under investigation by the US authorities - and Wen's daughter Lily Chang. The documents show the company was set up by Chang's husband before nominal ownership was switched to a friend of the Wen family.


---Report Says China’s Elite Use Offshore Companies---
By ANDREW JACOBS and DAVID BARBOZAJAN. 22, 2014
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/23/world/asia/report-finds-elite-chinese-using-offshore-companies.html?_r=0

BEIJING - Members of the Chinese elite, including some of the country’s most politically connected figures, have set up a large number of offshore companies that allow them to conceal billions of dollars abroad, according to a report released Wednesday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a Washington-based group that works with a number of news organizations around the world.

The report’s authors say it is based on leaked documents concerning tens of thousands of tax-haven clients. The report names more than a dozen of China’s wealthiest citizens, as well as relatives of top officials, including those of the country’s president, Xi Jinping; the former prime minister Wen Jiabao; and descendants of the governing Communist Party’s revolutionary founders.
Related Coverage

The report was released at an awkward time for Mr. Xi, who has made cracking down on corruption and reining in officials’ displays of wealth among his top priorities since taking charge of the Communist Party in 2012. The combination of wealth and power illustrated in the report could become a political liability for the government at a time when the Chinese public is showing increasing concern about official privilege.

During a regular news briefing, a Foreign Ministry spokesman who was asked about the report dismissed it as “hardly convincing” and suggested that those who had leaked the documents had ulterior motives. Censors blocked access to the consortium’s online report in much of China on Wednesday, and the Chinese news media made no mention of it.

Offshore bank accounts, trusts and shell companies are not in and of themselves illegal. The Chinese government allows Chinese investors and executives to hold stakes in domestic companies like the Internet giants Baidu and Tencent through offshore investment vehicles. And foreign banks and private equity firms have often encouraged Chinese investors to hold some assets offshore, especially stakes in companies that plan to list their shares in Hong Kong or New York.

“It was us, the foreigners, that imposed this,” Rocky T. Lee, the head of Greater China corporate practice for the law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, told the consortium about the practice. “It had to do with the foreign investors’ general discomfort with Chinese rules and regulations.”

But offshore companies can also be used to launder money, avoid taxes and hide an individual’s stake in a company.

China’s widening wealth gap has thrown into stark relief the windfalls enjoyed by the country’s well-connected elite, especially the relatives of people in powerful posts. The potential for embarrassment is likely to grow as the consortium releases more data and analysts tease apart the strands of previously opaque financial arrangements. The consortium said it would publish a database of tax-haven documents on Thursday.

The Chinese government does not require its officials to disclose their financial assets publicly.

The thousands of names disclosed in the report include more than a dozen scions of China’s so-called red nobility, the hallowed revolutionary figures who played pivotal roles in establishing the People’s Republic. Those named include Deng Jiagui, a wealthy businessman who is the brother-in-law of Mr. Xi, and Li Xiaolin, the daughter of the former prime minister Li Peng. Others cited in the report include Wu Jianchang, the son-in-law of Deng Xiaoping, the reformist leader who ushered in China’s embrace of market economics.

Also included are the son, the daughter and the son-in-law of Mr. Wen, the recently retired prime minister, whose family’s immense wealth was the subject of a series of articles in The New York Times in 2012. The Times investigation found that relatives of Mr. Wen held at least $2.7 billion in assets, often through hidden stakes in Chinese financial, telecommunication and jewelry companies.

The records released by the consortium on Wednesday show, for instance, that in 2004 Mr. Wen’s family registered Fullmark Consultants, a British Virgin Islands company. Last year, J. P. Morgan turned over documents to federal investigators in the United States showing that between 2006 and 2008, the bank paid $1.8 million in consulting fees to Fullmark for work done by Mr. Wen’s only daughter, Wen Ruchun, who worked for J. P. Morgan under the name Lily Chang.

In its report, the consortium said Fullmark was controlled by Liu Chunhang, Wen Ruchun’s husband. In 2006, according to the report, he became a government official at the China Banking Regulatory Commission and transferred his stake in Fullmark to Zhang Yuhong, a longtime Wen family friend and business partner.

The Wen family could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Other records released by the consortium revealed that Mr. Xi’s brother-in-law was a half-owner of Excellence Effort Property Development, a British Virgin Islands company. The records say the other half is owned by another company based there, which in turn belongs to Li Wa and Li Xiaoping; the consortium described them as “property tycoons who made news in July by winning a $2 billion bid to purchase commercial real estate in Shenzhen.”

The report was released hours before the opening of a trial in which Xu Zhiyong, a legal scholar, is accused of “assembling a crowd to disrupt order in a public place.” Mr. Xu is one of several activists who have called for the public disclosure of officials’ assets. Several other members of their group, the New Citizens Movement, are expected to stand trial in the coming days in what is widely seen as an effort by the government to shut down their grass-roots anticorruption campaign.

The report says that PricewaterhouseCoopers, UBS and other Western banks and accounting firms act as middlemen to help Chinese clients set up trusts and companies in Samoa, the British Virgin Islands and other offshore centers sometimes associated with hidden wealth; for instance, the giant Swiss financial company Credit Suisse helped Mr. Wen’s son, who is also known by the name Winston Wen, create a company in the British Virgin Islands while his father was prime minister.

The files that undergird the report, part of a cache of 2.5 million documents leaked to the consortium, originated with two offshore firms that help clients create offshore companies, trusts and bank accounts: Portcullis TrustNet, based in Singapore, and Commonwealth Trust, based in the British Virgin Islands.

The consortium said that more than 50 reporting partners in Europe, North America, Asia and elsewhere had been involved in helping it sift through the cache of documents.

The consortium is a project of the Center for Public Integrity, which links journalists around the world for investigative reporting projects. Working with news media organizations including The Times, it has already published reports based on the leaked documents that identified a range of prominent figures in other countries who have benefited from overseas accounts. Those include a former budget minister in France, a daughter of the former Philippine dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos and the family of Azerbaijan’s leader.

Files on people from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan - more than 37,000 names - formed the largest portion of the collection of tax-haven documents, the consortium said. A reporting team spent six months looking through those files. A mainland Chinese news organization that originally participated in the reporting was forced to withdraw from the project after government warnings, the consortium said. It did not name the news organization “to protect journalists from government retaliation.”

The Guardian, a British newspaper, said its website was partially blocked in China on Wednesday after it published a report based on some of the leaked tax-haven documents.

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