14 January 2004

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Maltese Parmalat companies to report to MFSA by today

By Julian Manduca
The Malta Financial and Services Authority has written to "all Maltese companies holding a warrant or licensed to act as nominees," to ask them to report any connection with Parmalat related companies and top ranking officials.
The MFSA has said that it started investigating any possible Malta connections from the first day that Parmalat’s troubles became known.
On 8 January the MFSA Director General Andre Camilleri wrote to the mostly audit and legal firms and other companies that act as nominees and asked for "any information, transaction or connection whatsoever, in whatever form, whether direct or indirect, relating to the companies, entities and individuals in question and to communicate…findings (including a nil return) to the MFSA by not later that close of business on Wednesday 14 January, 2004.
The MFSA provided a list of companies, entities and individuals known or suspected to be connected or otherwise related to the Parmalat Group. The list is made up of the following companies: Parmalat Malta Holdings Ltd; Parmalat Trading Ltd; Parmalat Capital Finance Ltd; RTM Malta Holding Ltd; RTM Winery Holding; Satellite Investments Malta Ltd; Satellite Services Ltd; Satalux SA; Nyte Investments LLC; Parmalat SPA; Parmalat Soparfi SA; Parmalat Participacoes Do Brazil; Parmatour; Racemo SRL; Epicurum; Bonlat; Sata SRL; Agis SPA; Hit International; Webholdings; Finaliment SRL; La Coloniale. The first seven named companies are Malta related or registered. Parmalat has more than 260 companies world-wide and it remains unclear why these were selected. According to the Italian newspaper Panorama, the RTM companies belong to Fausto Tonna, Parmalat’s second in command, until recently and not to Parmalat. Tonna is under arrest in Italy and recently told investigators about Parmalat: "Four times a year, the system of putting together false documents was activated on the occasion of the four balance sheet operations that the company had." The RTM companies list as shareholders Donatella Alinovi, a woman that lives at the same address as Tonna, and who is thought to be Tonna’s wife, according to Panorama and the Corriere della Sera. Tonna is a shareholder of one of the RTM companies and a director of the other. RTM winery does not seem to have a whiff of wine attached to it and its memorandum and articles do not mention wine-making.
The individuals mentioned by the MFSA are: Calisto Tanzi, Parmalat’s founder and top boss; Stefano Tanzi; Giovanni Tanzi; Annamaria Tanzi; Gian Paolo Zini; Fausto Tonna; Luciano del Soldato; Alberto Ferraris; Donatella Alinovi; Giovanni Bonnici or Bonici; Pietro Mistrangelo; Gianfranco Bocchi; Claudio Pessina and Domenico Barili. The list does not include three directors of Parmalat Capital Finance Ltd: Thomas Michael Brattvet, Thomas C. Brennan and Carlos de Souza Montiero.
The Malta Financial and Business Times contacted the MFSA to ask what other measures it had taken in relation to the Parmalat issue, but at the time of going to press no reply was received, and Dr Andre Camilleri, the director general was abroad.
It remains unclear what sort of response the MFSA will get to its letter as, professionals are duty bound to protect the confidentiality of their clients.

Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Malta Financial & Business Times, Newsworks Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann
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