Sunday, February 17, 2019

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.

Getting inflation right in 2018

Had the Cayman Alternative Investment Summit taken place in early January instead of February, all the talk about investment risks and threats to the economy would have been about geopolitics.

Social media disruption hits traditional media and tech platforms

As the sharing of false or misleading “news reports” on social media has become a global issue, after accusations that Russia tried to influence votes in the United States, Britain and France, technology companies like Facebook and Twitter have been hit with considerable criticism about their impact on society and on the journalism industry.

Overseas companies to reveal true owners on new UK property register

The British government announced a new public register that from 2021 will require overseas companies that own or buy property in the U.K. to identify their beneficial owners to tackle money laundering through property transactions.

Bahamas trying to attract more foreign investors

Government officials in the Bahamas are attempting to stay abreast in the competition for attracting international investors and businesses. The island nation recently passed the Commercial Enterprises Bill, which makes it easier for foreign companies to land there and obtain permits for non-Bahamian workers.
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