Yesterday, Monday 2 June, the European Parliament Development Committee unanimously voted to adopt a new report calling on the EIB, EBRD and development finance institutions in member states of the European Union to monitor companies they invest in to ensure they aren’t engaging in tax avoidance through the use of tax havens.

The report from the committee of MEPs drew on an investigation last year by Finance Uncovered. Our investigation revealed that the European Investment Bank had invested hundreds of millions of euros into an Egyptian oil refinery controlled by a shell company in the British Virgin Islands.

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The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights has launched a new report that details the loss to the Egyptian Treasury though tax avoidance.

The report was written by Osama Diab, an alumni of the Finance Uncovered programme. It analyses Egyptian government data and finds that between 1970 and 2013 $12bn was invested from tax havens. Using an estimate of a return on capital of 20% the report finds that the Egyptian treasury could be losing 5bn Egyptian pounds (€590m) a year through tax havens.

The report is currently in Arabic only. An English version is in the pipeline but the website Mada Masr has covered the report on their website.

Re:common and Counterbalance, NGOs based in Italy and Belgium, have published a report that calls on the European Investment Bank and other international finance institutions to take more action to tackle tax havens.

The EIB was once a leader in this area, as it was one of the first banks to have a policy on tax havens. But the report identifies several failings and incidences where public money from the EIB has ended up in tax havens despite these policies.

The report draws on the Finance Uncovered investigation of Qalaa, an Egyptian Private Equity fund, to demonstrate how EIB rules are still allowing companies receiving loans to use tax havens.

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