International News

  • Hong Kong To Proceed With Lower Profits Tax Rate 16th August 2017

    Hong Kong is preparing to take forward proposals to lower profits tax to 10 percent for smaller firms.

    Under the new arrangement, the first HKD2m (USD255,640) of business profits will be subject to a tax rate of 10 percent, while the remainder will continue to be taxed at 16.5 percent.

    The plan is designed to reduce the burden on smaller businesses. It is now awaiting approval from Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who proposed the tax relief as a pre-election pledge. Legislation would then be tabled before the legislative assembly.

    The tax relief is thought to be worth about HKD5bn (USD639.1m).

    Hong Kong saw a HKD92bn (USD11.7bn) surplus for the fiscal year 2016-17 and has total reserves of around HKD950bn (USD121.4bn).

  • Guernsey Says Note Issue A 'Fintech First' 8th August 2017

    Guernsey-domiciled Dom Re IC Limited has issued what it believes are the first notes ever to have been digitised on a private blockchain.

    Dom Re IC Limited issued USD14.8m Principal-at-Risk, Participating Notes (an asset-backed securitization of a reinsurance contract), due 2023, to a total of six investors.

    On the issue date, the paying agent created cryptographically-certificated notes on the “ILSBlockchain” and then the investors were able to execute, peer-to-peer with the paying agent, delivery-vs-payment transactions on the ILSBlockchain to purchase the newly created notes. Referred to as the “ILSBlockchain”, the private blockchain mechanism replaced the role of traditional settlement systems such as Euroclear or the Depository Trust Company for this note issue.

    Cedric Edmonds, Director of Solidum Re, whose idea it was to use a blockchain and who was key in the design and implementation of the ILSBlockchain and surrounding structural mechanics, explained that Dom Re required an alternative to Euroclear. He said it was becoming increasingly difficult to access Euroclear efficiently for smaller private placement note issues. “It was a case of necessity being the mother of invention,” said Edmonds.

    Mark Helyar, Non-Executive Director of Solidum Re and Of Counsel, Bedell Cristin, said: “I am delighted that Solidum Re ICC has concluded this latest transaction. It is not an exaggeration to describe the new Dom Re IC structure as a ground breaking, global first, not only for the insurance-linked securities (ILS) sector but for dematerialization of listed securities generally. Guernsey is once again the jurisdiction of choice for innovation in the ILS sector and I anticipate this model will be widely adopted.”

  • Guernsey Sees Jump In Company Migrations 4th August 2017

    Guernsey saw a jump in the number of companies, funds, and other structures being established in the territory in the first half of 2017.

    The Guernsey Registry said there were 32 company migrations to Guernsey during the first six months of the year. With 15 companies migrating out, this represents a net inward migration of 17 companies moving their domicile to Guernsey so far this year.

    The latest figures build on the positive results of 2016 when there were 83 company migrations to Guernsey and only 26 migrations out – net growth of 57 company migrations.

    Alan Bougourd, Registrar at the Guernsey Registry, said the migrations seen this year ranged from investment holding companies, fiduciary and nominee companies, limited partners, and loan administrators.

    “The registry is noticing a flight-to-quality and receiving positive feedback on the ease of the migration process and the responsiveness of the registry to the applications received,” said Bougourd.