Archive for December, 2008

LIME to cut down on Cayman staff

Monday, December 29th, 2008

As part of company restructuring, LIME, formerly known as Cable & Wireless, will cut 1/3 of its 3 700 regional workforce. The company has refused to discuss the number of staff and effect of local redundancies.

The company, which announced in May this year it would merge its 13 disparate Caribbean operations into a single, streamlined entity, said on Tuesday, 16 December, that it was shedding nearly 1,200 jobs across the region.

This was announced by the company on December 16. LIME that in May 2008 said it would merge its 13 disparate Caribbean operations into a single entity is going to lay off about 1 200 jobs across the region.

According to a company statement, they have determined that the optimum number for the business that is being created is approximately 2 500. So, over the next 10 months, employee headcount across the region will be reduced in line with that reality. Company executives refused to comment on the situation. However, local layoffs among the Cayman Islands 240 staff were estimated by industry insiders as fairly significant – the number of Cayman employees to be laid off could range from 25 to 80 employees.

Cayman Captive Conference receives positive message from Tibbetts

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

At the annual Cayman Captive Forum in the beginning of December, the Leader of Government Business in Cayman, Kurt Tibbetts, told delegates that the Cayman Islands’ offshore finance industry holds a strong position despite the global financial turmoil. He also said that the government continues to be committed to growth in the captive insurance sector.

The annual conference was held on December 2-4. Tibbetts said that this year’s conference was particularly significant taking into consideration global events.

Tibbetts said, “We see as our duty to uphold what a recent US Government Accountability Office report on the Cayman Islands described as a ‘…reputation for stability and compliance with international standards, business friendly regulatory environment and prominence as an international financial centre.” He noted the commitment to ensuring that Cayman’s captive insurance industry remains successful. According to Tibbetts, the Cayman Islands has more than 770 captives domiciled writing USD 7.6 billion of premiums and with over USD 35 billion of assets under management.

At to the government’s fiscal policy, it is designed to keep the Cayman Islands “business-friendly and economically stable”, despite the stresses exerted by the state of the global economy.

CIMA representative discusses Hedge Fund Market volatility with other Experts

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Recently, Walkers, global offshore law firm, brought together top financial industry leaders and more than 200 visitors in New York in order to discuss hedge fund market volatility and to provide opinions on distressed funds.

At the seminar, speakers offered a comprehensive look at the changes in the hedge fund market over the past year. Also, speakers made predictions for what the alternative investment funds industry could expect in the next months.

Yolanda McCoy, head of the Investments and Securities Division at the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, was one of the experts who joined Walkers for the “Fighting the Tape” seminar. Among other experts were investment manager George Hall, founder and president of The Clinton Group; and Professor Jeffrey Rosensweig, director of the Global Perspectives Program at Goizueta Business School at Emory University.

As a Cayman regulator, Yolanda McCoy made an update on the effect that the financial crisis has had on the Cayman hedge funds industry. She said that the total number of hedge fund registrations in the Cayman Islands are still running ahead of the same period in 2007 with 1 441 new authorisations up until September 2008 compared with 1 407 during the same period in 2007. According to her, “the true impact of the US credit crisis will not be tangible for many months to come”.

However, Ms. McCoy confirmed that to date there were 340 Cayman funds that had been impacted by the problems with Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and AIG. Fund terminations were still very low – approximately 50 per month. Ms. McCoy added that “while we expect terminations to rise, the current situation will not paralyse the Cayman fund industry”.

Cayman to support Review of Crown Dependencies

Friday, December 12th, 2008

On December 9, 2008, the Cayman Islands Government announced its intention to take an active role in Her Majesty’s (HM) Treasury’s independent review of UK Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories. The review will analyze the long-term opportunities and challenges facing Crown Dependencies as international financial centres.

The decision came after discussions with Paul Myners, Financial Services Secretary for HM Treasury, and after the United Kingdom announced the terms of reference for the review and the appointment of review leader Michael Foot on December 3.

Kurt Tibbetts, Leader of Government Business, said that they had an opportunity to engage in discussions with HM Treasury directly and review the details regarding this review. He said that “as a result of this due diligence, which indicated the review will be serious and constructive, the Cayman Islands government is happy to participate and support HMT in its efforts”.

EU Savings Tax Figures released by Cayman

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

The Cayman Islands Tax Information Authority has published statistics that revealed the number of reports made to tax authorities in the EU in 2007. The statistics was disclosed in compliance with the Savings Tax Directive.

The 2007 statistics released by the Tax Information Authority (TIA) shows the following:

– The largest number of reports on accounts in the Cayman Islands were sent to the French tax authority (1 579) followed by the United Kingdom (1 283).
– However, the aggregate amount reported to the United Kingdom was much higher – USD 22 million, while France reported USD 1 million.
– The 3rd highest aggregate amount of USD 5.9 million was reported to the Netherlands.
– All in all, 3 862 reports were made to European Union’s member states by the TIA on USD 35 million in savings held in Cayman.

The TIA is the competent authority for the purposes of the reporting of savings income information. The Authority is responsible for receiving the prescribed information from domestic paying agents and transmitting this information to the relevant competent authorities in EU countries.

Negotiations on Cayman Constitution postponed

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

The 2nd round of negotiations with the United Kingdom on a new Constitution for the Cayman Islands was scheduled to be held next week. After the 1st round that was held in the end of September – beginning of the October, the Cayman Government was looking forward to beginning the 2nd round and achieving more substantial advancement.

Unfortunately, due to particular unforeseen circumstances at the last moment, next week’s talks were postponement. This is the result of the position by the acting Leader of the Opposition and in statements by Mrs. Julianna O’Connor-Connolly that have left little doubt that the Opposition’s participation in the negotiations would be not likely. It should be noted that the Opposition chose to make a public statement rather than raising its concerns directly with the Government.

Government regrets the postponement caused by the position taken by the Opposition but wishes to have the full Opposition’s participation in these talks.