Offshore

New Company Registrations In Offshore Centres Rose In H1 - Appleby

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, London, 17 December 2014

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Despite all the talk about the pressures against offshore financial centres, some statistics suggest they are thriving. According to Appleby, legal, fiduciary and administrator firm, new company registrations in offshore jurisdictions rose in the first six months of 2014.

Despite all the talk about the pressures against offshore financial centres, some statistics suggest they are thriving. According to Appleby, the legal, fiduciary and administrator firm, new company registrations in offshore jurisdictions rose in the first six months of 2014.

For the first half of the year, there were 46,455 new offshore company incorporations, a 4 per cent rise from the preceding six months, Appleby said.

“This year is off to an encouraging start, with levels of active companies on the offshore company registers continuing to hold steady,” Farah Ballands, partner and global head of fiduciary and administration services at Appleby, said. “Cayman and Mauritius emerged as clear hotspots where we can see company creation activity looking very strong,” Ballands continued.

The figures may reassure some in the offshore world who fear that moves by countries such as Britain to adopt a public register of beneficial ownership – also urged by campaigners – will hurt such jurisdictions. The government of the Cayman Islands, for example, has recently warned about this issue.

The Cayman Islands was the standout jurisdiction, the report found, powering through the 5,000-level for the first time in a six-month period since 2008. With 5,390 new companies registered, Cayman experienced a 17 per cent increase over the previous six months – the largest percentage increase of all jurisdictions measured in the report. In Mauritius, 1,278 new companies were incorporated during the first six months of 2014, representing a 12 per cent increase over the previous half.

The British Virgin Islands dominated offshore new company registration activity by volume, reporting 25,533 new companies – a 6 per cent increase on the previous half-year – and easily maintaining its two-fold lead ahead of its nearest comparator.

Bermuda followed up a strong second half of 2013 by adding an almost identical number of companies in the first half of 2014. Looking at the Crown Dependencies, Jersey experienced a 6 per cent increase over the previous half-year, while Guernsey and the Isle of Man both saw dips in the number of new company incorporations. The report noted, however, that Guernsey’s story remains encouraging as the total of 833 new incorporations is historically high.  

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