The Kremlin on Friday apologized to U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs and German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, saying aides had mistakenly informed President Vladimir Putin that the American bank owned the newspaper.

Putin, in a televised phone-in on Thursday, had repeated the erroneous information in comments he made about who he thought stood behind the leak of the Panama Papers which were handed to the German newspaper.

"It is more the error of those who prepared the briefing documents, my error," Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, told reporters.

"There was information there that had not been checked and rechecked again and we gave it to the president. We have apologized (to the bank) and we will also apologize to the publication."