Archive for August, 2011

Tax authorities hit Myer who used Cayman-registered company

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

Companies residing in the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg have been hit with a tax bill of more than $738 million as the Australian Tax Office (ATO) sharpens its focus on the private equity firm behind the 2009 float of the retailer Myer.

In accordance with the documents filed in the Federal Court, the Tax Office has demanded more details about Texas Pacific Group’s Australian operations and who issued its local head, Ben Gray, with instructions relating to the offshore chain of ownership that controlled Myer from 2006 until 2009.

The Tax Office contends that after pocketing $1.5 billion of Myer float proceeds in November 2009, the Cayman Islands-based TPG Newbridge Myer Ltd and Luxembourg-based NB Queen SARL should have paid $452 million in income tax.

The Tax Office has issued the assessments for companies that demand the outstanding $452 million plus $226.12 million in penalties and $60.49 million interest.
Proceeds from the Myer float were channeled through a corporate structure that spanned 4 jurisdictions: from Australia the funds moved to NB Swanston BV in the Netherlands, then to its parent company, NB Queen in Luxembourg, which transferred the proceeds to TPG Newbridge in the Cayman Islands.

The ATO obtained a Victorian Supreme Court order freezing TPG’s bank account in Melbourne, but this account had already been drained.

Now the Australian Tax Office has obtained fresh orders from Justice John Middleton in the Federal Court clearing the way for it to leave notices of demand at the South Yarra home of Mr Gray, the chief executive of TPG in Australia.

The Australian Tax Office has already demanded details from Gray about the ownership of the Cayman-registered company. According to correspondence released by the court, Gray told the ATO that the Cayman Islands company was owned by 3 funds: NB Asia IV (51.7%), TPG IV (34.5%) and Blum Capital (13.8%).

Cayman-registered Investors Trust joins AILO

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

As part of its global expansion strategy, Investors Trust Assurance SPC has recently joined the Association of International Life Offices (AILO), a non-profit organization comprised of the most important companies of the international insurance industry, based predominantly in financial centres within the European Economic Area and UK Crown Dependencies, such as the Cayman Islands. AILO will be a valuable resource to allow Investors Trust to successfully approach potential markets in Europe, Middle East and Asia.

Investors Trust is an insurance company registered in the Cayman Islands. It offers unit-linked and fixed income investment products to middle market investors worldwide.

The AILO organization has been the main trade consultant for the international financial services industry since 1987. It represents the interests of this particular sector. This international insurance company is licensed and regulated by the CIMA.

Investors Trust will be participating in the next annual general meeting scheduled for October 2011, which will take place in London, which will provide it with an opportunity to share experiences and new challenges as well as to meet colleagues and competitors.

Cogo completes redomestication merger to Cayman

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

On August 3, 2011, the leading online platform of core technologies for the small and medium enterprise market in China, Cogo Group, Inc., announced the completion of the redomestication merger that was aimed at reorganizing this company as a Cayman company. Initially, Cogo Group, Inc., was a Maryland company.

The change of domicile will provide Cogo Group with the option to dual-list its shares of common stock on the Hong Kong exchange as well as to continue to trade on Nasdaq. At the same time, the company will be able to maintain the existing levels of regulatory scrutiny and financial transparency.

Pursuant to the redomestication merger, each outstanding share of common stock of Cogo Group, Inc., was converted into one ordinary share of Cogo Group, Inc., a Cayman-registered company. The ordinary shares of Cogo Group will remain listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the trading symbol “COGO.”

Cayman Islands and Guernsey sign TIEA

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

It has been announced by the government of Guernsey that a Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEA) was signed between Guernsey and the Cayman Islands.

Guernsey Chief Minister, Lyndon Trott expressed his delight to announce that, with the signing of the agreement with the Cayman Islands, Guernsey has signed its 1st TIEA with a Caribbean territory. The signing of the TIEA further underlines Guernsey’s ongoing commitment to the international standards of wider transparency and exchange of information in tax matters, as well as brings the number of countries which have signed TIEAs with Guernsey to 26.

In accordance with the terms of the agreement, the signatories will, on request, exchange bank and other information relating to both criminal and civil tax matters.

Cayman company registrations boost economy

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

The economy of Cayman Islands exceeded growth estimates for the 1st quarter of 2011, which was conditioned by higher levels of company formations and tourism.

In accordance with the figures on the Cayman Islands’ economy for January to March 2011 released by the Economics and Statistics Office, growth of 1.2% was achieved by the jurisdiction in the 1st quarter of 2011. This figure is higher than the 0.9% growth that was forecast for the entire 2011.

The government stated that several positive results contributed to this growth. These results include an increase in new company registrations by 11.9%. Also, the tourism industry experienced strong performance, with air arrivals up by 6.8% and cruise ship passenger numbers increasing by 8.2%. The statistics showed that the number of property transfers rose by 20.3%, which complemented a 271.2% rise in the value of properties transferred in the quarter that amounted to USD 253.9 million.

Premier and Minster for Finance McKeeva Bush commented the following: “I, along with the government, am very upbeat with respect to the future performance of the economy – which is based not only on positive results achieved in the first quarter of 2011 but also on the partnerships and initiatives that the government has forged with the private sector. We are encouraged by the 2011 first quarter results and by the Islands’ bright future prospects.”