Malta's government has survived a no-confidence motion filed by the opposition Nationalist Party after it was revealed that the health and energy minister has a company in Panama.

A 13-hour session on Monday concluded with a 38-31 vote to defeat the measure.

Minister Konrad Mizzi, also the ruling Labour Party's deputy leader, has admitted to having a company in Panama that is held by a trust in New Zealand. He has commissioned an independent tax audit to prove he has done nothing wrong, and has said that the company will be closed after the tax investigation is concluded.

Before the vote, opposition leader Simon Busuttil said the prime minister was "in denial." Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the government had committed mistakes, but its achievements outnumbered its errors by far.