Friday, September 22, 2017

Solar, geothermal, LEEDS and the rise of the electric vehicle

The ceremony was less than “historic,” but marked a minor milestone as Cuba’s first electric car was handed over in Havana on March 17 to its Guyana Embassy owners by Cayman Automotive’s John Felder. Felder’s U.S.-based Premier Automotive Export subsidiary of Cayman Automotive shipped the US-built, four-door Nissan Leaf to Havana in late February.

The Rolls-Royce of reminders for Cayman’s regulated entities

On Jan. 17, 2017, Brian Leveson, QC, approved the entry by Rolls-Royce and the Serious Fraud Office into the largest deferred prosecution agreement of its kind. In what is a timely reminder for all regulated entities – including those in the Cayman Islands – Rolls-Royce’s cooperation with the regulator was considered to be an important factor in determining that the DPA was appropriate.

Chamber president turns focus to education

Education will be a central priority for new Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce president Kyle Broadhurst. The attorney succeeded 2016 president Paul Pearson in February. While Broadhurst will serve a quick year in the role, he hopes to use his term to solidify educational collaboration between the chamber and government.

Cayman’s rental prices attractive compared to other financial centers

Rental prices in Cayman are on the rise and considered expensive by most, but an international comparison shows they are still moderate compared to other international financial centers. Research by RENTCafé, a U.S. apartment search website, places Cayman behind 18 of the top 30 international financial centers in terms of apartment rental costs.

Brexit and the Cayman Islands – preparing for impact

The current consensus on the possible impact of Brexit on the Cayman Islands and indeed the Caribbean is simply that it all depends on the final Brexit deal negotiated between the U.K. and the EU. But there are a number of reasonable implications and we need to prepare for them.

UK criminal offense for facilitating tax fraud affects Cayman service providers

Financial services providers in the Cayman Islands may well be within the scope of new corporate criminal offenses for the facilitation of tax crimes both in the U.K. and in other countries. At an event organized by Cayman Finance in March, officials from HM Revenue and Customs presented details on two new criminal offenses which are going to be introduced by the U.K. Criminal Finances Bill. The bill is currently going through the committee stage in the House of Lords.

Financial centers targeted in sophisticated phishing scams

Recent email scams directed at Cayman Islands government and law enforcement point to a general rise in sophisticated phishing efforts, warns eShore managing director Polly Pickering. While many businesses still feel immune to such attacks, Pickering encourages professionals to learn from high-profile cases like the Panama Papers before hackers hit at home.

A pre-emptive versus a data-driven Federal Reserve

Immediately following the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) decision on March 15 to raise the Fed funds rate to 0.75 percent to 1 percent, bond and equity markets rose in spectacular fashion. Currency markets quickly joined in the fanfare, sending the U.S. dollar sharply lower. In what is considered a “Goldilocks” environment for risk assets, the simple message from Chairwoman Janet Yellen is “the economy is doing very well.”

Telecommunication: Flow Caribbean president looks to upgrade infrastructure

As broadband providers seek to step up speed and service, Flow’s Caribbean president, Garfield Sinclair, has his eye on renovating island infrastructure. He considers the Cayman Islands one of his top Caribbean markets, alongside Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad. Despite the islands’ small population, their GDP has made them a priority for upgrading high-speed, LTE service.

UK Lord Chief Justice: Commercial courts must meet business needs

In an increasingly competitive market for dispute resolution across jurisdictions, commercial courts still need to work together to uphold the rule of law and support international economic cooperation and prosperity. To do so requires the courts to meet the needs of the business community, said Lord John Thomas of Cwmgiedd, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales in a guest lecture at the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands.

The disruptive rise of machines in finance

The finance industry is just at the beginning of an unprecedented era of disruption. The accelerating speed of technological change and the potential for automation promises massive changes for banks, investment firms and other parts of the financial industry.

Insurance group turns to intelligent technology

Artificial intelligence technology, described as mimicking the human immune system, is planned as the next line of cyber defense for Cayman Islands health insurance provider BritCay.

Sustainable prices, scarce waterfront land, global interest

This could be one of those rare moments: The salespeople and the surveyors, the people who value real estate on a business-to-business basis, agree the market is strong and likely to remain so.

Inflation: It’s not all in the data

Monique Frederick ButterfieldInflation, an ongoing rise in the general level of prices, is a metric of paramount importance in economic policy, and even more...

Investment summit: ‘Hedge funds are not dead’

Hedge fund investments have been described as failing many times before, so the suggestion that the industry is dead or in decline is an “alternative fact,” according to Mark Yusko, CEO and chief investment officer of Morgan Creek Capital Management.

Cayman retailers turn focus to local shoppers amid dampened tourism sales

Tumultuous politics and competitive pricing spelled a difficult year for Cayman retailers focused on tourist foot traffic in 2016.While cruise ship and stay-over arrivals held steady with around 2 million visitors, retailers felt the effects of depressed exchange rates out of Europe and uncertainty created by the U.S. elections.

Expect the unexpected

The Cayman Islands Journal, Feb. 1, 2017: By the time you read this, one of the most unlikely events that could have been imagined one year ago will have happened – Donald Trump will have been inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States of America.

Financial services: regulation, costs and maybe fintech

In a briefing to financial services chiefs in New York last month, Cayman Finance CEO Jude Scott offered a modest headline: The jurisdiction is looking at streamlining compliance issues using fintech, a software-based financial-tracking system.

Facts in the age of post-truth, truthiness and Trump

The year 2016 will be remembered for Brexit and for the election of Donald Trump to become the 45th president of the United States, for the media and pollsters getting it wrong, for experts being out of touch with “regular” people and for the establishment being oblivious to the extent of public discontent.

Mid-level rental market heats up, hits constraints

A surge in demand in the most popular segment of Cayman’s rental property market has caused prices to rise by more than 10 percent in the last 12 months, real estate experts say.
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