Cayman-Registered Firms number exceeds 100,000

August 20th, 2016

The number of active companies on the Cayman Islands company register has exceeded 100,000 for the first time. Currently, there are more than 19,000 active partnerships in the jurisdiction.

According to figures from the Cayman Islands General Registry, at the end of the 2nd quarter, 101,430 companies were listed as active, which is 3% more than a year earlier and 2.6% more than at the end of 2015.

New Cayman-registered partnerships increased by 1% in the 12 months to June compared to the same period last year. A total of 3,334 new partnerships were incorporated during 2015, continuing the trend of uninterrupted annual growth since 2009/10.

As of July 1, 2016, 923 new partnerships were registered, significantly exceeding the 588 partnership terminations. The net result is that there are now more than 19,000 active partnerships set up in the jurisdiction.

The newly-introduced limited liability company (LLC) form attracted 21 registrations in the 1st month, while the number of trusts on the register dropped by 1% to 1,784 in the 1st 2 quarters of this year. This continues a trend of small declines since 2014, according to Cayman Finance, the island’s financial services promotional agency.

Jude Scott of Cayman Finance commented: “It’s always great to see growth in Cayman’s financial services industry and this is a significant milestone of which we should all be proud. Milestones such as this are further evidence of the global financial services industry’s recognition of Cayman’s transparency and robust regulatory regime.”

GMO mosquitoes released in Cayman Islands

July 29th, 2016

The first wave of genetically modified mosquitoes were released on June 27 in the Cayman Islands. This is part of a new effort aimed at controlling the insect that spreads Zika and other viruses.

Genetically altered male mosquitoes do not bite but mate with females to produce offspring that die before reaching adulthood. According to a joint statement from the Cayman Islands Mosquito Research and Control Unit and British biotech firm Oxitec, they were released in the West Bay area of Grand Cayman Island. The mosquitoes will be released over 9 months in an area known to be a hot spot for the Aedes aegypti species, which are not native to the Cayman Islands and are the main vector for Zika as well as other viruses, including chikingunya and dengue.

Scheduled in June, the project was released with a delay in getting an occupancy permit for the lab in which mosquitoes are bred and because of a court challenge from opponents who argued that the government had not provided sufficient information about potential risks or adequately studied other alternatives. On June 26, a judge ruled that the effort could proceed.

Canadian banks ordered to disclose Cayman dealings

July 27th, 2016

Two Canadian banks have been ordered by a Federal Court judge to disclose their dealings with a financial institution in the tax haven of Cayman Islands. So, the Trudeau government has won a round in its battle against offshore tax dealings.

It is the second time the government of Canada has sought a court order to investigate offshore tax evasion since the Star, in collaboration with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, made the Panama Papers leak public in April 2016. According to experts, the recent activity is evidence of a new-found will to crack down on the wealthy who hide their money offshore.

Royal Bank of Canada and Citibank, N.A. have been given 120 days to hand over all transaction information for accounts held by Cayman National Bank Ltd. between 2009 and 2015. They will have to provide the Canada Revenue Agency with account statements, deposit slips, cheques, bank drafts and wire transfer orders, all of which will help CRA auditors determine whether Canadian residents used these banks to transfer money home without reporting it.

Neither bank opposed the federal government’s court application.

Greenlight Capital Re to release 2nd Quarter 2016 Results

July 23rd, 2016

Greenlight Capital Re, Ltd. (GLRE), a specialist property and casualty reinsurer based in the Cayman Islands and Ireland, announced that it expects to release financial results for the 2nd quarter ended June 30, 2016 after the market closes on Monday, August 1, 2016.

A live conference call to discuss the financial results will be held on August 2, 2016. Hosting the call and available during the question-and-answer session will be David Einhorn, Chairman of the Board of Directors; Bart Hedges, Chief Executive Officer and Tim Courtis, Chief Financial Officer.

Greenlight Re is a NASDAQ listed company with specialist property and casualty reinsurance companies based in the Cayman Islands and Ireland. Established in 2004, the company provides a variety of custom-tailored reinsurance solutions to the insurance, risk retention group, captive and financial marketplaces.

New Head of Insurance appointed in Cayman Islands

July 20th, 2016

In the Cayman Islands, the captive and re/insurance industry is delighted with the announcement that Ruwan Jayasekera has been appointed as Head of Insurance Supervision.

Kieran O’Mahony, Chairman of the Insurance Managers Association of Cayman (IMAC) expressed the pleasure as regards the announcement as Ruwan is highly regarded within the Cayman captive and re/insurance industry not only for his the qualifications, but also as a known, proven and experienced entity having worked closely with industry practitioners for many years. According to O’Mahony, he has a proportionate and balanced approach to insurance regulation and supervision.

To remind, the Cayman Islands is the 2nd largest jurisdiction for captive insurance with over 709 licensees as of the 30th of June 2016. It remains the leading jurisdiction for healthcare and group captives, with 34% and 17% of market share, respectively.

June 14th, 2016

CEC and CAYFILM Festival announce partnership

The upcoming CAYFILM Cayman International Film Festival will not only mark the exponential growth of the annual event but also a growing partnership with Cayman Media Park, which is part of the Cayman Enterprise City (CEC) Special Economic Zone.

Started only a couple of years ago, the CAYFILM Festival is now a “must-attend” on the list of hundreds of international film stars, production firms, and other film industry mavens. This year’s festival includes the presentation of more than 200 films, many panels and workshops on filmmaking as well as the attendance of numerous industry luminaries, for example, the OSCAR-winning special effects team from the original Star Wars trilogy will be hosting workshops and panels.

“CAYFILM is thrilled to be working with Cayman Enterprise City to help attract overseas filmmakers and productions into the Cayman Media Park. CAYFILM also hopes to develop the Cayman Media Academy in conjunction with the Cayman Media Park and its fabulous resources” said an American film producer, director and screenwriter Tony Mark. “We’ve already spoken to dozens of industry players about the Cayman Islands, including a group that already has a multi-picture deal with Netflix!”

It is expected that the festival will be the central attractor to the international film community that will foster the growth of the local industry.

Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. declares 3rd Quarter Cash Dividend

June 10th, 2016

Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. announced that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of USD 0.075 per share. The cash dividend is payable July 31, 2016 to shareholders of record at the close of business July 1, 2016.

Headquartered in the Cayman Islands, Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. develops and operates seawater desalination plants and water distribution systems in areas of the world where naturally occurring supplies of potable water are scarce or non-existent. It operates water production and distribution facilities as well as provides water-related products and services to customers in the Cayman Islands, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Indonesia and the United States.

Calderwood launch brings new Independent Director Firm to Cayman

June 2nd, 2016

Calderwood, a fund governance firm providing Independent Directors to Investment Funds, has officially launched and is now open for business, providing experienced independent directors to a range of investment vehicles.

Calderwood has been formed by Ronan Guilfoyle and Wade Kenny, well-known in the Cayman fund sector, serving as independent directors on some of the largest funds in the industry.

Mr. Guilfoyle was previously a Managing Director at DMS Offshore Investment Services and was significantly involved in the firm’s strategic development, sharing leadership responsibility for its European offices and spearheading its international expansion. As an Executive Director, also at DMS, Mr. Kenny provided fund governance services to a large portfolio of hedge fund and private equity clients, in addition to providing management oversight for the Cayman office.

Mr. Guilfoyle said: “Our experience with every aspect of the hedge fund business, including successfully guiding funds through the financial crisis and systems that match the needs of our clients with the industry, alongside our ability to focus exclusively on our new clients, is together a very attractive proposition for fund managers in the current climate of heightened risk awareness.”

Cayman tax haven holds more Japanese money than ever

May 30th, 2016

According to the Bank of Japan Japanese investments in financial securities in the Cayman Islands have hit a record high.

Those investments stood at a total value of about USD 675 billion as of the end of 2015, which is up about 20% from a year ago, the Bank of Japan statistics on international balance of payments showed on May 24.

The above-mentioned amount was more than double the corresponding figure at the end of 2005, and the largest ever since 1996, when comparative data became available.

This figure is the amount of money invested by Japanese companies, institutional investors and wealthy people in stocks and bonds of companies established in the Cayman Islands or in investment funds set up there.

The Cayman Islands is one of Japan’s 2 most favored overseas places for investments in securities, second only to the USA.

The statistics released by the Bank of Japan showed that the 74.4 trillion yen figure (USD 675 billion) is larger than the corresponding figures invested in France and Britain.

It is worth mentioning that some wealthy people in Japan who tried to hide their assets by using Cayman-registered companies or companies set up in other offshore centres have been notified by Japanese tax authorities that they have failed to declare income. “Among wealthy people, there are some who conceal their assets by setting up many paper companies and do not declare their incomes appropriately to Japanese tax authorities,” said Go Kawada, a former official of the National Tax Agency, who is now serving as an advisor to Yamada & Partners Certified Public Tax Accountants Co.

BNP Paribas to close business in Cayman Islands

May 26th, 2016

French bank BNP Paribas plans to close its remaining business in the Cayman Islands, in the wake of the Panama Papers revelations about tax havens.

Campaign group Attac (the Association for the Taxation of financial Transactions and Aid to Citizens) cited the minutes of a May 3 meeting of the finance committee of the French bank’s central works council.

BNP did not provide comments on the report, but made an email statement to note that it had closed 2 subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands and currently had 2 branches there.

According to its annual report, the remaining branches are linked to the Bank of the West, BNP Paribas’ retail bank in the United States, and the corporate and institutional banking division of BNP Paribas.

The report comes a day before BNP Paribas Deputy Chief Operating Officer Jacques d’Estais is due to appear at a French Senate hearing relating to the Panama Papers, a collection of leaked data from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca that put the spotlight on how the world’s rich use offshore tax regimes.

Earlier in May, the United Nations named the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands as British tax havens that had received some USD 72 billion of company funds in 2015.