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France’s richest man and LVMH boss denies tax exile bid

September 10, 2012

PARIS: France’s richest man and LVMH boss Bernard Arnault said yesterday he was not becoming a tax exile despite seeking Belgian nationality as Paris moves to impose a 75-percent wealth tax.

“I am and will remain a tax resident in France and in this regard I will like all French people fulfil my fiscal obligations,” the world’s fourth-richest man told AFP.

“Our country must count on everyone to do their bit to face a deep economic crisis amid strict budgetary constraints,” he said, adding that the bid for dual nationality was “linked to personal reasons” and began some month ago.

Arnault’s application comes amid a debate on one of the main pledges that France’s President Francois Hollande, a Socialist, made during the election campaign earlier this year — to impose a 75-percent tax on incomes above one million euros.

The head of luxury goods giant LVMH, whose fortune is estimated to stand at US$41 billion by Forbes magazine, was close to France’s former right-wing president Nicolas Sarkozy.

Following the election of previous Socialist president Francois Mitterrand in 1981, Arnault lived in the United States for three years, returning to France after the Socialists switched to a more conservative economic course.



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