Archive for August, 2009

Cayman and New Zealand sign TIEA

Monday, August 31st, 2009

The Cayman Islands and New Zealand signed a tax information exchange agreement (TIEA). This TIEA is the 12th TIEA signed by the Cayman Islands. Signing the treaty, Cayman moved onto the white list of jurisdictions that have “substantially implemented” the internationally agreed tax standard set by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

According to the Cayman Islands’ Leader of Government Business/Premier Designate, McKeeva Bush, “For over 4 decades the Cayman Islands has steadily earned its place as a world-class international financial services center. The Cayman Islands Government sees the OECD’s recognition as a natural outcome of the country’s substantial commitment to uphold an equally world-class international cooperation regime in the exchange of tax information.”

Director of the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, Jeffrey Owens, welcomed the signing and noted that the Cayman Islands extends its network of agreements and intends to implement them effectively and quickly.

New Zealand’s Revenue Minister, Peter Dunne, said that low-tax offshore financial centers want to achieve a sufficient number of TIEAs in order to allow them to be seen as meeting the OECD’s standards, so lately several TIEAs have been signed. For example, on July 21, New Zealand signed a TIEA with Guernsey, and on July 28, New Zealand signed a TIEA with Jersey. Also, the TIEAs were signed by New Zealand the British Virgin Islands and Gibraltar.

Cayman implements internationally agreed tax standard

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

The Cayman Islands has signed tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) with New Zealand. The signing has brought the number of agreements that the Cayman Islands have on exchange of information for tax purposes to 12.

It should be noted that signing this TIEA moves the jurisdiction into the category of “Jurisdictions that have substantially implemented the internationally agreed tax standard” in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Progress Report that was initially published by the OECD Secretariat on April 2, 2009.

Director of the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, Jeffrey Owens, welcomed the signing and noted that the Cayman Islands has taken its place alongside other countries that have substantially implemented the internationally agreed tax standard. It is worth mentioning that 6 jurisdictions have moved into this category since April.

New scholarship awarded by CIMA

Friday, August 21st, 2009

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) Managing Director, Cindy Scotland, and Joel Jefferson, son of the late statesman, awarded first recipient of the CIMA Thomas Jefferson Memorial Scholarship. The student to get the scholarship was Heidi Bush – an 18-year-old girl from East End.

Cindy Scotland said that the CIMA was pleased to sponsor Ms Bush as she has already proven her strong academic potential.

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Scholarship was established in November 2007 as part of CIMA’s 10th anniversary celebrations with a view to assist young Caymanians seeking qualifications for a career in the financial industry.

Thriving Future expected for Cayman Hedge Fund Industry

Monday, August 17th, 2009

On August 7, 2009, ICFA Magazine published an article entitled “Growing Stronger”
that analysed the challenges that face the hedge fund industry in the Cayman Islands. Generally, fund administrators in the jurisdiction are positive about the future, however, the problematic aspects of hedge fund industry are definitely worth discussion.

The article pointed out that Cayman as a hedge funds jurisdiction is thriving.

Carlyle McLaughlin, chairman of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA), suggests that the jurisdiction is at a crossroads, and it will be able to find a productive niche that will guarantee its future as an international financial centre. However, the Authority expects that there will be many changes that are necessary to reflect tighter onshore deregulation of funds and the necessity of greater overall transparency for the industry. Cindy Scotland, CIMA managing director, believes that every situation and every crisis presents opportunities. She thinks that the Cayman Islands will be able to remain a key player in the global financial market but it will provide new products and services.

It should be noted that the Cayman Islands has a higher concentration of industry experts than any other hedge fund domicile. Also, it has the determination and political will to go ahead of the field. Despite the possible furhther unjustified attacks on the jurisdiction, its private sector and the government are determined to keep the international financial centre not only existent but also thriving in the new global economic environment. Many challenges face the fund administration sector because the hedge fund industry goes through a period of intense and extraordinary change in general.

The article says that “for Cayman fund administrators the landscape was already changing before the events of 2008”. Although maintaining a presence in the jurisdictions, some administrators found it too costly and ime-consuming to keep staff and bring in new workers.

So, the future of the hedge fund industry remains unsettled. But fund administrators in Cayman believe that they will remain a key part of the offering. Despite the fact that many administrators have slimmed down operations and moved the bulk of work to the United States, Canada or other countries, all administrators believe that maintaining a presence in the jurisdiction is essential.

Of course, few would like to predict what awaits the jurisdiction over the next 12 months, but, nevertheless, all administrators are confident that, whatever obstacles onshore governments and regulators may throw at the Cayman Islands, it will survive as a hedge fund jurisdiction of prominence.

Cayman Government intends to develop Eastern districts

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

It was announced today that the Government of the Cayman Islands is planning to develop the Eastern Districts of Grand Cayman. Tourism and a cargo dock are also to be developed.

According to the leader of Government Business and Minister of Tourism, Hon McKeeva Bush, his administration has completed plans for the area. He said that “there is a proposal to develop a cargo dock further up in the district of East End and another proposal for development further down in the Breakers area”.

He also noted that the government is firstly trying to complete the projects that are already under development. He also said that, because of the previous administration, a huge deficit has been left, so it is necessary to indicate how to complete the lavish projects started by the previous government.

According to Ezzard Miller, MLA for North Side, the community is getting ready for the new tourism initiative. This initiative is expected to create business opportunities for Caymanians in such areas as accommodations, attractions, restaurants, nature tours, fishing, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, bicycle tours and horseback riding.

MACI hosted CMOU seminar for Port State Control

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

The Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands (MACI), the parent organization of the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry, hosted the Annual Caribbean Memorandum of Understanding (CMOU) Port State Control Seminar for port state control officers.
The seminar had the purpose to promote better consistency throughout the region, and develop the port state control activities within the CMOU. It was attended by delegates from Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, the Netherlands Antilles, Suriname, and the U.S. The delegates from the Maritime Authority of CI included Mr. Duncan Currie, Senior Surveyor; Saagar Kadiyala, Surveyor Trainee; Vassel Johnson III, Surveyor Intern, and Krista Dixon, Maritime Officer, Survey Administration. The Inaugural Seminar’s Chairman was Peter Southgate, MACI Deputy Divisional Director, Global Safety and Compliance.
The seminar was organized as an interactive event, contributed from high profile international speakers from Finnish Maritime Administration, the American Bureau of Shipping, Lloyd’s Register – North America.
Among the topic discussed there was an update on activities by the CMOU Secretariat; the Paris Memorandum of Understanding (PMOU); MARPOL (International Convention on the Prevention of Pollution from Ships); Port State Control (PSC) Measures, Prevention, and Deficiencies; Oil Tanker related issues; the AFS (Anti-Fouling Systems) Convention; a Statutory Update with respect to PSC enforcement; the BWM (Ballast Water Management) Convention, and a workshop on Lifeboat Safety.
Port State Control is conducted by maritime authorities in order to ensure that the condition, equipment and operation of foreign ships that call into national ports comply with requirements of international regulations.