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Argentine president to reinvest Bahamas riches at home

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Argentine President Mauricio Macri, who has been swept up in the Panama Papers controversy over offshore assets, said Monday he would repatriate the funds from his account in the Bahamas.

[BUENOS AIRES] Argentine President Mauricio Macri, who has been swept up in the Panama Papers controversy over offshore assets, said Monday he would repatriate the funds from his account in the Bahamas.

The conservative president came under fire when his name emerged in the leak of millions of documents last month from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, showing he was on the boards of two offshore companies linked to his father, a wealthy business magnate.

Asked at a press conference about his plans for the US$1.2 million he recently declared he has in an account in the Bahamas - where one of the offshore companies is listed - Mr Macri said he would reinvest it in Argentine treasury bills.

"I've ordered the administrator (of the Bahamas account) to send my savings to Argentina," he said.

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The statement comes after Mr Macri last week proposed an amnesty for Argentines with undeclared money overseas who repatriate it, saying the stumbling economy needed them to invest those funds back home.

He proposed a bill that would give people until January 1 to repatriate such monies at a reduced tax rate and avoid prosecution.

Many Argentines are wary of keeping their savings in the domestic banking system, given the country's traumatic history of hyperinflation, crises and runs on the bank.

Interior Minister Rogelio Frigerio said there was nothing illicit about Mr Macri's Bahamian account.

The president, who had not declared his offshore firms in his mandatory wealth declarations, has denied wrongdoing.

Mr Macri has launched a series of sweeping pro-business reforms since taking office in December, seeking to kickstart Latin America's third-largest economy.

AFP

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