FRANKFURT Feb 20 UniCredit's German
unit HVB expects a hit of up to 200 million euros ($267 million)
from a tax evasion probe relating to share deals several years
ago, a source close to the bank said on Wednesday.
The bank's supervisory board recently discussed a 173-page
report presented by law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher &
Flom LLP on the tax issue, which in November prompted a raid by
state prosecutors and tax inspectors, the source added.
UniCredit said it was seeking to fully clarify the facts and
to cooperate constructively with the authorities.
Prosecutors are investigating possible tax evasion in
connection with share transactions in 2006-2008.
UniCredit said last year it had informed tax authorities it
had timed certain proprietary trades close to dividend payments
and may have claimed tax credits related to the transactions.
Its HVB unit is being probed for helping with a tax rebate
strategy known as "dividend stripping", where a stock is bought
just before losing rights to a dividend then quickly sold.
A source familiar the process had said prosecutors suspect
that, as a result of this scheme, taxes of around 124 million
euros were illegitimately reclaimed,
German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung first reported the
possible charge on Wednesday.
($1 = 0.7487 euros)
(Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Ludwig Burger and Mark