Monday, November 4, 2019

Vatican’s $200 million London property deal financed with borrowed money, sources say

Catholic Vatican finance accountability transparency real estate

Vatican City, Nov 4, 2019 / 12:00 pm (CNA).- Senior Vatican sources have told CNA that a controversial Vatican investment in a London property development was financed with borrowed money, and not with Vatican funds, as has been reported.

Separate high-ranking sources at both the Prefecture for the Economy and APSA, the Vatican’s central reserve bank, told CNA that investments totalling $200 million in a luxury London apartment building were funded through a short-term loan package organized through Swiss banks, at the impetus of Vatican Cardinal Angelo Becciu.

The loan required the Vatican to make only interest payments for a period of three years, and was intended to fund real estate speculation on the London property market. The terms of the loans, including the rate of interest and what, if any, collateral was offered, are not clear.

The 2014 Vatican property investment, authorized by Cardinal Angelo Becciu during his tenure as sostituto at the Holy See’s Secretariat of State, has been the source of media scrutiny since  Vatican police raided the Secretariat of State and the Vatican’s financial watchdog office Oct. 1.

The raid is believed to have focused on the $200 million London property speculation authorized by Becciu.  (more...)


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