Ferrari to move fiscal residence outside Italy to avoid oppressive taxes (Update)

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles today denied a report that suggested it was considering to move the tax residence of its luxury sportscar unit Ferrari outside Italy.

Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that Ferrari is considering moving its fiscal residence outside Italy to save on corporate taxes, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.

The possibility of Ferrari's tax base move caused some hand-wringing in its home country. "Ferrari Fleeing to London," was the front page headline in the Milan daily newspaper Il Giornale.

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said in October he would spin off Ferrari from the group next year, sell a 10 percent stake via a public offering and distribute the rest of FCA's stake in the unit to its shareholders.

Fiat Chrysler issued a brief statement today denying the reports.

"These rumors have no grounds," the statement said. "There is no intention to move the tax residence of Ferrari SpA outside Italy, nor is there any project to delocalize its Italian operations, which will continue to be subject to Italian tax jurisdiction."

The possibility of shifting its tax residence from the iconic Maranello headquarters, where its first sports cars were built in 1947, struck a nerve in Italy, prompting debate about the risk of losing the country's most famous brands as the economy struggles to emerge from its longest recession.

The risk of losing Ferrari after its parent company Fiat and the truck and tractor maker CNH Industrial moved their headquarters to the UK has prompted politicians and union leaders to ask Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to intervene to stop the trend.

"Corporate taxes remain too high, investment plans to modernize the country are nowhere to be seen, while resources are getting destroyed by corruption," said Carla Ruocco, a lawmaker with the opposition Five Star Movement and deputy chairman of the Lower House Finance Committee. "Given this business environment, it's not surprising that more and more companies and investors are fleeing the country."

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