International News

  • Over 200 SPVs For Dubai International Financial Center 17th May 2017

    The Dubai International Financial Centre has announced that the number of special purpose entities registered in the zone has exceeded 200.

    The special purposes entities, comprising special purpose vehicles (ISPVs), and special purpose companies (SPCs), support a broad spectrum of industry sectors, including transport, education, and energy. Users of these entities include regional companies, family businesses, and international conglomerates.

    ISPVs are used by a range of businesses, and often serve as a succession planning tool for private or family companies. In addition, fund management companies use them to ring-fence assets and liabilities from other fund structures within the same company group.

    SPCs are used for specific structured financial transactions, such as structured Islamic or conventional financial transactions (including securitization, structured debt, or sukuk issuance), as a loan facility, or finance transaction as part of a corporate acquisition.

    Arif Amiri, the CEO of the DIFC Authority, said: “DIFC is now home to more than 200 SPCs and ISPVs that are becoming increasingly popular as financing structures, particularly in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. This milestone reinforces the financial hub’s status as a domicile of choice for innovative structured finance transactions.”

  • Gibraltar Seeks To Encourage Blockchain Businesses 11th May 2017

    Gibraltar has released a draft regulatory framework for firms engaging in activities that use distributed ledger technology, often referred to as Blockchain.

    A distributed ledger is a database that can securely record financial, physical, or electronic assets for sharing across a network through entirely transparent updates of information. It is used to record virtual currency transfers, among other things.

    The new framework is intended to position Gibraltar as a jurisdiction that facilitates innovation and excellence in the financial technology sector.

    The new framework will apply to firms who use distributed ledger technology for the transmission or storage of value belonging to others, and who are not subject to regulation under another framework. Firms and activities subject to another regulatory framework will continue to be regulated under that framework.

    The proposed role of the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission, which regulates Gibraltar’s financial services sector, will be to authorize and supervise distributed ledger technology firms. Consideration will be given to granting discretionary powers to the Commission’s Chief Executive to impose appropriate conditions and restrictions, from time to time, to ensure the new distributed ledger technology framework principles are properly applied to this evolving nascent technology.

    Initial costs of the framework will be funded from existing Commission resources, but the Commission intends to put in place a licensing regime to be sustained by annual license fee income. Initial application fees will be kept modest to attract new entrants and encourage start-ups to apply.

    Interested parties are invited to comment on the draft framework by June 6, 2017.

  • BVI Named Leading Offshore Jurisdiction In New Report 5th May 2017

    The British Virgin Islands remains the top offshore jurisdiction in the world, according to a report released by Vistra, the global corporate services provider.

    The report – Vistra 2020: The Uncertainty Principle: The State of the Trust, Fund, and Corporate Services Industry 2017 – examines trends and factors shaping the global financial services industry since the publication of Vistra’s last report in 2015. It ranks the United Kingdom the number one jurisdiction (onshore), followed by Hong Kong (midshore), the British Virgin Islands (offshore), and the United States (onshore).

    The report discusses the drivers that have made the British Virgin Islands the number one international finance jurisdiction in Asia. These drivers include increased client sophistication, asset protection, cross-border trade / foreign direct investment, wealth planning, privacy and client anonymity, and higher tax rates in developed markets.

    The report concludes: “The British Virgin Islands is ‘an embedded brand’ and still the go-to for most structuring conduits.”