Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Offshore finance centers bracing for substance legislation impact

Cayman’s government and financial services industry professionals have had mixed reactions to the territory’s recently passed economic substance legislation, with some expressing cautious optimism that the new laws will increase investment in the islands, while others are bracing for an exodus of companies.

Cayman National has event-filled months since sale announcement

The Cayman Islands is home to billions of dollars’ worth of mergers and acquisitions in a given year, but few have the potential to impact the local community as much as the impending sale of Cayman National Corporation Ltd. to the Republic Bank Trinidad and Tobago (Barbados) Ltd.

Independent directors reluctant to serve on crypto funds

The governance around hedge funds has changed dramatically since the introduction of the mutual funds law in Cayman 25 years ago.

Better metrics than GDP would have enabled a stronger response to crisis

Better measurement of the economy and of people’s well-being could have led governments to respond more strongly to mitigate the damage caused by the 2008 financial crisis and reduce people’s continuing loss of trust in public institutions, according to a new report released by the OECD.

Golden visa programs the latest target of regulators

Citizenship by investment and residency by investment schemes are the latest targets of regulators and advocacy groups, as three reports by Transparency International, the OECD and the Green Party in the European Parliament all highlighted abuses of the programs in both Europe and the Caribbean.

Offshore M&A deals drop; Cayman remains top center

The Cayman Islands saw more mergers and acquisition transactions than any other offshore jurisdiction in the first half of 2018, as the total value of Cayman deals increased by nearly 50 percent over the second half of 2017.

Immigration: Fewer ‘ghost Caymanians’ in the future?

The Immigration (Amendment) Law, 2018 came into effect on Aug. 13, 2018, and with it, new opportunities potentially present themselves for various categories of people in the Cayman Islands to obtain the Right to be Caymanian. This article explores two such changes.

No ‘jumping the gun’ in regulating cryptocurrencies

Peter McKiernan, the cofounder of RiskPass AML+Compliance Ltd., stood at his laptop last week at a seminar on anti-money laundering practices for cryptocurrencies, demonstrating to the audience how to transfer cryptocurrencies across borders.

Crown Dependencies consult industry on substance legislation

The governments of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man are asking businesses for their views on proposed new legislation that will require certain tax-resident companies to demonstrate they have sufficient substance.

Tax problems for dual passport holders and ‘accidental Americans’

Despite all that’s been written about U.S. worldwide income taxation and complex informational reporting requirements, many individuals, particularly those living outside the U.S., remain noncompliant.

Gov’t plans public consultation on ‘economic substance’ changes

When late last year, Cayman avoided being placed on an EU tax blacklist by committing to remedy, before the end of 2018, what the EU called a lack of economic substance of Cayman-based entities, few knew what exactly the Cayman Islands government had promised to do.

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.

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.

Post-Irma, BVI financial sector propping up struggling territory

Traveling to the British Virgin Islands for the first time since the territory was devasted by Hurricane Irma last September is an eye-opening experience for those familiar with what was once a flourishing, high-end tourism destination.

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.

From Cayman to the world, Canada corners global cannabis market

In May 2017, a George Town pharmacy housed in CTMH Doctors Hospital received a shipment that just a year prior would have been unthinkable. That month, Professional Pharmacy Services legally purchased 12.96 liters (3.42 U.S. gallons) of cannabis oils from Canada’s CanniMed Therapeutics.

Cayman moves up financial rankings

The twenty-third edition of the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI 23) ranked the Cayman Islands as the 22nd best financial center in the world out of 110 total jurisdictions. Cayman’s ranking improved nine places over the last year and was the highest among all U.K. Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies.

From war-torn Liberia to Cayman, and beyond

The Cayman Islands has been linked to many cross-border legal disputes, but few span the number of jurisdictions or the amount of time as an ongoing case in the United States that is pitting a British Virgin Islands-based attorney against a U.S. district court.
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