Sunday, January 20, 2019

Regulatory: OfReg battles 18 months of challenges

When the Utility Competition and Regulation Office, known as OfReg, was formed in early 2017, it was touted as a “one-stop shop” regulator for telecommunications, electricity, petroleum and water.

Economy: Time to say goodbye to Goldilocks?

It is widely reported that for much of the past decade, U.S. investors have enjoyed strong returns in balanced portfolios. When looked at in historical context, it becomes apparent that “strong returns” is actually an inadequate description. A balanced portfolio of 60 percent U.S. equities/40 percent 10-year U.S. treasuries has now gone just over nine years without a 10 percent drawdown in real terms, which has eclipsed the previous record set in the roaring 1920s. While returns have not been as strong as they were then, at 11 percent per annum versus 19 percent, many investors are now questioning how much longer there is left in this cycle.

Giving back: Driving donations

Island Heritage’s involvement in the community runs a spectrum of activities, but one of its most visible corporate social responsibility initiatives is its annual CharityDrive.

Giving back: Mentoring program inspires youth

The Chamber of Commerce’s youth-development initiative, Mentoring Cayman, has been inspiring Cayman’s youth since 2002 and matches high school participants with successful mentors in fields they are interested in.

Giving back: The power of education

Dart’s long-standing belief in the transformative power of education has evolved into two parallel, sought-after initiatives: Minds Inspired and Dart Scholar.

Giving back: Invested in the community

In the business world, corporate social responsibility, or CSR for short, has become standard practice. A broad term, it essentially sums up the good-will efforts a company makes in the communities where it operates.

Cayman’s reputational risk and blockchain

The Cayman Islands is facing somewhat of a dilemma. Although its regulatory regime is not tailored to cryptocurrencies, token offerings or distributed ledger technology, Cayman became home to the world’s largest initial coin offering this year.

As tensions with UK mount, Commonwealth mulls tighter alliance

With constant threats of blacklists, gray lists and other financial sanctions, the Cayman Islands and other British Overseas Territories have a long-standing contentious relationship with international bodies such as the European Union and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Economist: Moderate US growth to impact Cayman

Moderate growth in the U.S. in the context of a wider global slowdown led by reduced consumer demand is going to impact Cayman, especially in the tourism sector, according to Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Stifel Fixed Income.

Offshore insolvency petitions on the rise

The number of insolvency petition filings in offshore jurisdictions increased significantly in 2017. The jump in petition filings was based on more activity in the British Virgin Islands and Mauritius, which offset falls in the Cayman Islands and Isle of Man, according to a report from offshore law firm Appleby.

Economic Forum highlights concerns over cruise pier project

Regular readers of the Cayman Compass and other local media are surely used to seeing headlines over the years such as “Cruise dock deal on track,” “Government gives green light to George Town cruise dock,” and “Government plans to go ahead with cruise dock.”

The threat of public beneficial ownership registers

Even for jurisdictions that are used to moving goalposts in terms of international regulatory pressure, the passing on May 1 of a cross-party amendment to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill in the House of Commons, effectively ordering British Overseas Territories to establish public registers of beneficial ownership, was unique.

Booming real estate industry reflects economic growth

Finance Minister Roy McTaggart has recently touted the 2.9-percent economic growth Cayman experienced last year, but to many that number is just an abstraction.

Maritime and Aviation City welcomes first zone company

Cayman Maritime & Aviation City and The Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands announced the registration of its first special economic zone company in May.

Brexit, Silk Road and de-risking – the future of offshore centers

It is difficult to see a bright future for offshore financial centers amid media attacks, international tax information exchange, initiatives to curb cross-border profit shifting by multinational companies, anti-tax avoidance measures, transparency efforts that erode financial privacy and more extensive compliance rules.

The normalization of market volatility

The return of market volatility over the first four months of 2018 has come at an interesting time in the global economic cycle.

Not for love or money

The next time you meet your Money Laundering Reporting Officers (MLRO), spend a moment to chat with them and to fully understand the demands of their role, the conditions under which they work, and try to assess how enviable or not, their job is. Some would say their role is thankless but essential.

UK pressure causing water companies to leave Cayman

The “tax haven” stigma has come back to bite Cayman again, this time in the form of recent announcements by a handful of United Kingdom water companies that they will be shutting down their Cayman-based subsidiaries.

Regulating cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, blockchain technology and initial coin offerings (ICOs) have been the buzzwords in the tech sphere for the past couple of years.

‘Med Tech’: Spending as fast as you can just to keep up

The April classified advertisement is a little scary, seeking a “systems engineer,” listing a dozen profoundly technical skills an applicant should have in order to gain the $65,000-$77,000 position at the Health Services Authority.
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