International News

  • Record Year For UK Crown Dependencies' Stock Exchange 14th January 2019
    The International Stock Exchange (TISE) – formerly the Channel Islands Stock Exchange – has announced there were a record 865 new listings during 2018, up 22.7 percent on 2017. This took the total number of listed securities on TISE to 2,857 at the end of December 2018. Announcing the annual statistics, TISE noted a number of important deals in 2018: TISE played a role in an innovative Insurance Linked Securities (ILS) transaction, believed to be the first ever listing on a regulated exchange of notes digitized on a blockchain; USD4.1bn of bonds were listed on TISE as part of the world’s most expensive real estate transaction for a single building, The Center, which is Hong Kong’s fifth largest skyscraper; and a GBP3.5bn debt issuance from sports betting and gaming giant GVC Group was the first listing on TISE to be sponsored by one of its Isle of Man-based member firms. Exchange CEO Fiona Le Poidevin said: “Last year was characterised by some very notable listings, further development of niche product areas, such as ILS, and further diversification in terms of the geographical origin of business, such as the Far East. We’ve also continued to see growing numbers of US and European companies choosing to list high yield bonds on TISE and we have grown the number of UK tax resident Real Estate Investment Trusts listed on TISE to more than 25 percent of the total market.” “The continued growth in the number of new listings on the Exchange reflects the growing recognition from issuers and their advisers that TISE provides a sensibly regulated, convenient, and cost-effective listing venue for their securities. It is this demand from clients for TISE listings and the potential variety of ways in which a TISE listing can benefit their client base which is leading more businesses to add TISE membership as part of their offering.” A number of firms joined as Listing Members of the Exchange during 2018, including ILS specialist Solidum Re (Guernsey) ICC Limited, Isle of Man-based FIM Capital, Jersey-based Intertrust Securities, and international law firm Maples and Calder. In the second half of the year, TISE introduced a new market segment, TISE GREEN, to enhance the visibility of those investments which make a positive impact on the environment and updated the Listing Rules, in particular to appeal to Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). Le Poidevin added: “There were a number of significant developments at the Exchange during 2018 of which our team should be …
  • Bermuda Seeks Greater Say In Int'l Tax Policy Talks 11th January 2019
    The Bermuda Government has set out its plans to more actively engage in discussions on tax policy internationally, including newly establishing offices in Brussels and Washington DC. “Promoting economic growth here at home requires us to safeguard Bermuda’s interests overseas,” said Bermuda’s Premier, David Burt. “In 2018, much of our attention and resources had to be diverted to deal with the assessment of Bermuda’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regime by the Caribbean Financial Action Taskforce (CFATF) and later in the year, to address the issues of economic substance requirements imposed by the EU. With much of that work done and now that the balance of power has shifted in Washington DC, we will take this opportunity to renew our efforts to staff-up the DC Office.” On the territory’s UK office, he said: “The London Office and its team of experts have been invaluable since opening. Our constitutional arrangement demands close links with the UK and it is critical that we have firsthand knowledge of the workings of Westminster. With Brexit looming for the UK, the London Office has kept us, here at home, fully briefed and strongly advocated for Bermuda to address any impact the UK’s exit from the EU might have.” On the launch of an office in Brussels, he said: “The need for direct interaction with the EU has been shown in the months of work that led to the adoption of the Economic Substance Act 2018. Like other jurisdictions, Bermuda has become an international target of European, localized politics. This threat can and will be met by direct engagement in Brussels on behalf of the Government of Bermuda. I am pleased to confirm that an office location has been identified. Before the end of this month, we will have established a presence in Brussels.” “To ensure we have the ability to create the conditions for continued economic growth here at home; to deliver on our promise to lift up people in need of help; and to create opportunities for young people investing in education here and abroad, the Government is determined to lead the management of our international relationships to the benefit of the people of Bermuda. Our investment in these global activities is designed to promote our interests abroad while safeguarding our future here at home,” he concluded. In December 2018, Bermuda adopted the Economic Substance Act 2018, and the Economic Substance Regulations 2018, introducing new requirements on firms engaged in certain activities …
  • UK Crown Dependencies Introducing Economic Substance Rules 31st December 2018

    Each of the Crown Dependencies – Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man – have tabled legislation that will introduce new substance requirements for tax-resident firms engaged in certain industries from January 1, 2019.

    These proposals will require companies that are tax resident in Jersey, Guernsey, or the Isle of Man, and are engaged in key activities identified by the EU, to demonstrate that they meet minimum substance requirements as part of their annual tax return to access the territories’ tax regimes.

    The key activities identified by the European Commission Code of Conduct Group are: banking, insurance, fund management, financing and leasing, shipping, intellectual property, collective investment vehicles, and holding companies that generate income from any of these key activities.

    Each Crown Dependency will be redesigning its tax return to ensure that all tax resident companies will be required to provide additional information concerning their activities and income.

    In the Isle of Man, there will be a consultation on the rules in the first of 2019, regulations will be issued in the second half of 2019, and tax returns including the new information should be filed from January 2020.

    The Isle of Man has issued guidance concerning the implications of the new rules for taxpayers in the three territories, in “Key aspects in relation to economic substance requirements, as issued by Guernsey, Isle of Man and Jersey,” released on December 20, 2018.

    The substance requirements vary for each key activity to reflect the different needs of the companies involved and are designed to be fair and proportionate while ensuring that there are sufficient activities undertaken in the relevant jurisdiction to reflect the amount of profits accounted there. The substance requirements will include being able to demonstrate that the company is directed and managed from the relevant Crown Dependency, that the company has adequate levels of employees as well as annual expenditure and physical offices.

    The relevant laws are Guernsey’s Income Tax (Substance Requirements) (Implementation) Regulations 2018, Jersey’s Taxation (Companies – Economic Substance) (Jersey) Law 201-, and the draft Taxation Companies Economic Substance Law in the Isle of Man.