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Emma watson in panama papers leak

HARRY Potter star Emma Watson has been named in the Panama Papers scandal.

The UKs Spectator magazine discovered Watsons name in the newly released searchable database of more than 200,000 offshore companies published yesterday.

According to the leaks from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson is a beneficiary in an offshore company based in the British Virgin Islands tax haven.

Setting up an offshore company is not illegal, and being named in the leaks does not suggest any wrongdoing. But they can be used to hide money from authorities.

The Times reports Watson purchased a 2.8 million ($5.5 million) home in London in 2013 via an offshore company, Falling Leaves Ltd, set up a month earlier.

A spokesman for the 26-year-old star said she, like many high-profile individuals, set up an offshore company for the sole purpose of protecting her anonymity and safety.

UK companies are required to publicly publish details of their shareholders and therefore do not give her the necessary anonymity required to protect her personal safety, which has been jeopardised in the past owing to such information being publicly available, he said.

Offshore companies do not publish these shareholder details. Emma receives absolutely no tax or monetary advantages from this offshore company whatsoever only privacy.

Watson is the latest in a list of high-profile celebrities, politicians and business leaders to have been named in the leaks, which have already led to the resignation of Icelands prime minister.

Other big names include the King of Saudi Arabia, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the godfather of Russian President Vladimir Putins daughter, football star Lionel Messi, actor Jackie Chan, and the father of British Prime Minister David Cameron.

The Australian Taxation Office says it is investigating around 800 Australians in relation to the Panama Papers revelations.

Rba minutes rates to stay low despite housing surge

THE Reserve Bank groundhog has emerged from its month-long hibernation and seen its shadow. No rate rise, everybody. Back to sleep.

The RBA intends to keep the cash rate at its record low for the foreseeable future despite a big surge in housing investment.

The minutes of the RBAs October board meeting showed members were concerned that increased competition among lenders could result in the issuing of riskier loans.

The RBA said interest rates for loans edged lower in recent months as competition among lenders increased.

In this context members discussed the importance of lender maintaining strong lending standards, the RBA said on Tuesday.

The RBA last cut the cash rate by a quarter of a percentage point to a new record low of 2.5 per cent at its August 6 board meeting in 2013.

A week before its last meeting in early October, the Reserve Bank suggested lending standards should be toughened up to slow the rapid housing price rises in Sydney and Melbourne.

The RBAs minutes on Tuesday said dwelling investment rose by more than eight per cent in 2013/14 and is expected to strengthen in coming months, with loans for housing investors is outstripping those made to owner occupiers.

Dwelling investment had picked up and is expected to remain strong following the rapid rise in housing prices and higher levels of approvals, the RBA said.

Credit growth had remained moderate overall but in recent months there had been a further pick up in lending to investors.

The minutes also showed the RBA believes the Australian dollar still needed to fall further despite losing more than six per cent in value during September.

The RBA said that fall was mostly due to a rally in the US dollar against most major currencies.

The recent depreciation followed a period when the Australian dollar had held up against the US dollar more than most other currencies, and meant that the Australian dollar was now around its January low against the US dollar, the RBA said.

The exchange rate remained high by historical standards particularly given the decline in commodity prices and was offering less assistance than would normally be expected in achieving balanced growth in the economy.

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