Tag Archives: Asset Protection

Hong Kong Reviews Its Trust Reforms

In his speech at the recent Hong Kong Trustees’ Association Conference 2013, the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Professor K C Chan, confirmed that the Government is keen to promote Hong Kong as a global center for trust services.

Hong Kong Skyline

Chan called the trust industry “an indispensable pillar that cements our standing as a premier international asset management center.” It offers a diverse range of services and products, including individual wealth and estate planning, as well as corporate trust services, such as trust administration and acting as a custodian. In addition, financial structures and products have been developed that utilize trusts, such as pension funds, real estate investment trusts and hedge funds.

Hong Kong Skyline courtesy of Wiki Commons user Robster1983.

He cited the many advantages that have set Hong Kong apart as a premier trust administration center. In particular, its proximity to the Mainland means the industry can offer its services to ultra-high-net-worth Chinese individuals who are seeking ways to manage their assets, as well as looking to preserve wealth and family businesses for passing on to future generations.

Chan noted that it is the Government’s goal to develop Hong Kong “as the most competitive and dynamic wealth management business center in Asia,” and that, with the setting up of the Private Wealth Management Association in September this year, “it is of vital importance that our regulations are up to date in order to take on new opportunities.”

The Government launched a trust law reform exercise in 2008, which sought to modernize the Trustee Ordinance and the Perpetuities and Accumulations Ordinance, the two main pieces of legislation in Hong Kong’s trust law regime. The exercise was brought to completion with the passage of the Trust Law (Amendment) Ordinance 2013 in July 2013.

The Amendment Ordinance, which, he said, “will put Hong Kong’s trust law on par with those of other major comparable common law jurisdictions,” will come into effect on December 1 this year. Amongst other benefits, it will enhance trustees’ default powers and introduce a host of measures that can better protect beneficiaries.

In the Government’s opinion, it should itself attract trusts to be set up in Hong Kong. In particular, through the abolition of the Rule against Perpetuities, settlors will be able to set up perpetual trusts in Hong Kong (which is still not possible in most major common law jurisdictions), and, through the introduction of the anti-forced heirship rule, settlors will not need to worry that the assets in the trusts would be clawed back by their heirs against their wishes in the future.

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The emerging virtual currency Bitcoin explained on TED

Currency — the bills and coins you carry in your wallet and in your bank account is founded on marketing, on the belief that banks and governments are trustworthy.

Source: TED

Now, Paul Kemp-Robertson walks us through a new generation of currency, supported by that same marketing … but on behalf of a private brand. From Nike Sweat Points to bottles of Tide (which are finding an unexpected use in illegal markets), meet the non-bank future of currencies.

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Introduction to Bitcoin – the world’s leading virtual currency

Bitcoin presentation by programmer Robert McNally. Gives you an overview of what you need to know about Bitcoin:

 

Bitcoin as an emerging electronic money, digital currency in the international arena has been a large degree of recognition, deep into the daily life. Can be used to buy a cup of coffee, but can also be directly converted into real money. In China, bitcoin is still is a “fashionable”, and Baidu now accept bitcoin payment, and has become the first to support cloud services vendors based on bitcoin, giving us richer payment methods and experiences.

You can learn more about Bitcoin at Tax & Money Havens  here.

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Isle of Man plan to introduce Foundations

The Isle of Man’s Treasury Minister Eddie Teare has welcomed the announcement of Royal Assent to new legislation that would permit the establishment of foundations in the territory, enhancing its position as a centre for international wealth management.

The Foundations Act provides for the establishment of foundations, which are an alternative to trusts as vehicles for holding assets. While foundations resemble trusts in many respects, they also have separate legal personality, like a company. Their existence will be recorded on a public register and each must have a local registered agent accountable to the authorities.

“The Manx Foundation will be a bespoke product that will provide our financial services industry with an additional tool to open up new business opportunities,” Teare explained. “The world of wealth management is highly competitive so it is vitally important that the government keeps working in partnership with the private sector to enhance the island’s offering to international clients.”

John Rimmer, a partner at the law firm Appleby, welcomed the announcement that foundations would soon be added to Isle of Man financial services providers’ suite of offerings, stating: “The island needs to offer decent solutions for all those whose custom we want to attract. Trusts form a key part of our offering, but they are not the answer for everyone. Foundations offer greater familiarity and comfort for individuals and families from civil law countries, as well as interesting opportunities in commercial legal structures.”

“The Treasury have shown real commitment in bringing this offering to the statute books in response to an initiative from the Isle of Man branch of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. The Foundations Act is another good example of what cooperation between government and private sector can achieve.”

Annemarie Hughes, senior associate within Dougherty Quinn’s specialist trust team, added: “Having recently returned from the STEP Asia Conference in Singapore, where Foundations and estate planning formed a key part of that conference, I am confident that the Isle of Man’s new sophisticated yet flexible Foundation vehicle is ideally placed to service the numerous opportunities and growing demand in the international market.”

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Uruguay – Offshore Corporate Vehicle

The main feature of an Uruguay Offshore Corporate Vehicle:

Reputable jurisdiction

Foreign income and assets of Uruguayan corporate vehicles are not taxed. Dividends are not taxed

Flexibility

– Shares may be bearer type (anonymity)

– Bearer shares may be transferred by simple delivery

– Company only requires one director and one shareholder

– Directors and shareholders may be non Uruguayan

– Presence of directors and shareholders is not required in Uruguay

– Purpose may be all-encompassing all types of business activity

– No minimum capital required – no maximum capital limit

– Shareholder’s liability is limited to the paid in capital

– Any person or company may incorporate or acquire an Uruguayan Offshore Corporate Vehicle

Solid banking system with secrecy laws

Free inflow and outflow of capital in any currency.

Few obligations:

Prepare financials statements once a year

Hold a shareholder meeting once a year. However, it may do so by proxies.

File tax forms once a year and pay the annual tax of USD 400

The physical presence in Uruguay of any of the corporations shareholders are not necessary.

Please contact us if you want to establish a trust and or corporate structure in Uruguay.

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