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Posts Tagged ‘Investment fund’

Isle Of Man First To Sign UK FATCA-Style Agreement

March 17, 2014 Comments off

The Isle of Man has become the first British dependent territory to sign an agreement with the United Kingdom extending the automatic disclosure of tax information.

Isle of Man map

The intergovernmental agreement was signed in London on October 10 by Chief Minister Allan Bell and HM Treasury Exchequer Secretary David Gauke.

It is modeled on the requirements of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) introduced by the United States to ensure the tax compliance of its citizens with international interests.

On the current timetable for implementation of the new agreement, the two Governments have agreed to start exchanging additional information from 2016.

Map courtesy of FamilySearch Wiki Commons

The Isle of Man already shares information automatically on personal savings income with the UK and other European Union countries, having been the first non-EU jurisdiction to make a public commitment to this under the EU Savings Directive in June 2009. The Island was also the first to commit, in December last year, to the FATCA-style agreement with the UK extending the scope of automatic disclosure to include, for example, companies and trusts.

The Chief Minister said: “In signing this historic agreement with the United Kingdom we are underlining the message to our neighbors and the wider world that our Island is a responsible center for top quality international business.

“The Isle of Man was the first to strike this agreement with the UK and we are now the first to sign, demonstrating the clear commitment of both countries to the development of a new global standard in automatic exchange.”

Mr Bell added: “Today’s signing is a significant step towards that global standard and further proof that the tax haven moniker in relation to the Isle of Man is well and truly dead, as David Cameron recognized recently in the House of Commons.”

He went on: “The Isle of Man is a forward looking country with a diverse, dynamic economy and a track record of leading the way in the field of international tax co-operation.”

“We have a long-established policy of complying with global standards, and we saw some time ago that enhanced automatic exchange of information on the FATCA model was becoming the new global standard in tax transparency.”

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Hong Kong’s Stock Exchange Acceptable Jurisdiction Guides

February 17, 2014 Comments off

The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx), has published 20 country guides, one for each overseas jurisdiction that has been formally ruled to be acceptable as an issuer’s place of incorporation.

Hong Kong Night Skyline

The country guide for each acceptable jurisdiction sets out, for example, comprehensive and user friendly guidance on how companies incorporated in the relevant jurisdiction can meet the requirement for equivalent shareholder protection standards in the HKEx’s Listing Rules.

Hong Kong Skyline. Picture courtesy of Base64, Wiki Commons.

“These country guides are aimed to enhance applicants’ understanding of the Exchange’s expectations, practices, procedures and considerations when applying the Listing Rules to overseas issuers,” said HKEx’s Chief Regulatory Officer and Head of Listing David Graham.

“The country guides provide guidance on how the Exchange will consider certain matters under the revised JPS. Where appropriate, we have also added our views and analysis based on the experience we have gained from various applications,” he continued.

The Exchange will in the future update a country guide when it is informed of a material change in the laws, rules or regulations in the relevant acceptable jurisdiction. New applicants and listed companies incorporated in an acceptable jurisdiction are obliged at the earliest opportunity to inform the Exchange of such material changes.

The 20 jurisdictions are Australia, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada (Alberta), Canada (British Columbia), Cyprus, France, Germany, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Italy, Japan, Jersey, South Korea, Labuan, Luxembourg, Singapore, England and Wales, and the United States, both California) and Delaware. A country guide for Canada (Ontario) will only be published at a later date, as appropriate, when another applicant incorporated in Ontario applies for a listing on the Exchange.

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Luxembourg set to internationalize Renminbi

November 8, 2013 Comments off

Underlining the increasing role of the Luxembourg financial center in the internationalization of the Chinese Renminbi (RMB), Luxembourg’s Finance Minister Luc Frieden announced the launch of a new web portal dedicated to the development of activities linked to the currency in Luxembourg.

Grand Ducal Palace, Luxembourg

The new web portal forms part of ongoing efforts over the past few years to promote and to further diversify the Grand Duchy’s financial market and to secure the future of the financial center. The Government’s strategy for developing the Luxembourg financial center is based on four axes, namely strengthening existing pillars, creating new products and services, promoting the financial center abroad, and diversifying the financial center geographically.

The Grand Ducal Palace, Luxembourg. Picture courtesy of Ernmuhl.

Underlining the importance of positioning Luxembourg more internationally in a global financial market, Frieden explained that, given its rapid economic growth, China constitutes “an ideal partner.” Similarly, China is committed to internationalizing the RMB and is currently looking for access to global financial markets, the Minister pointed out, alluding to the fact that the Bank of China and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China both now have their European headquarters in Luxembourg.

Luxembourg already plays a significant role in the international trade of the RMB, Frieden continued, citing the fact that RMB40bn (USD6.5bn) in deposits are held in the Grand Duchy and that RMB62bn in loans have been issued, and noting that 40 RMB-denominated bonds are listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. Trade in the RMB and access to the RMB are vitally important for the Luxembourg financial center, in particular for the funds industry, Frieden ended.

The Luxembourg Government is not only reflecting constantly on the financial center’s future, but also on Luxembourg’s future economy and taxation, to ensure that its tax regime remains competitive and attractive for investors. At the same time, Luxembourg aims to guarantee legal certainty for investors, by ensuring that it is tax compliant, adopting the latest international regulations and standards in tax matters.

Tax & Money Havens

BVI to foster stronger ties with Dubai

May 10, 2013 Comments off

The British Virgin Islands’ (BVI) international financial center was represented at two recent conferences and a series of high-level meetings in Dubai, attended to discuss potential financial services synergies and drum up funds and wealth management business for the Caribbean territory.

360px-Dubai_WTC_at_night

A small BVI delegation attended the Hedge Funds World Conference at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai, and the Society of Trust and Estate Practioners’ “Opportunities for the Flow of New Wealth Conference” event which discussed business and investment possibilities in Dubai, particularly from the Dubai International Financial Center – a leading tax-free zone.

Executive Director of the BVI International Finance Center, Elise Donovan, commented: “We were given a very warm welcome on our return to the United Arab Emirates and it is clear that many investors from across the region recognize the advantages of using BVI structures and services for conducting international business.”

World Trade Center. Dubai has established itself as a prominent regional hub for finance, trade, tourism, and shopping. Picture courtesy of Basil D Soufi.

BVI firms already have a significant presence in the Gulf region. The BVI office of law firm Conyers, Dill and Pearman, for example, was involved in the Mostorod Oil Refinery Project, named “Project Finance Deal of the Year” in the International Financial Law Review’s Middle East Awards. The firm acted for Citadel Capital, a listed Egyptian private equity firm, on the USD3.7bn financing for the redevelopment of an oil refinery near Cairo. The deal was the largest-ever financing project in Africa and among the largest inward-investments into Egypt.

Donovan continued: “The BVI has become an attractive option to investors from the Gulf States looking to acquire BVI company structures for a multiplicity of investing and other cross-border transactions. BVI’s structures are easy to use, flexible, widely accepted and cost-competitive compared to other products being offered in the region.”

“BVI trusts and fiduciary services and funds and investment business are popular in the Middle East for wealth management, investing, structuring ownership and control, and for planning for the succession of assets. Our aim is to strengthen and deepen the relationship the BVI has with the Middle East so that we can work more closely together in the future.”

Liechtenstein Lawmakers give green light to alternative investment fund managers’ law

March 26, 2013 Comments off

The Liechtenstein parliament has unanimously given the green light to the government’s alternative investment fund managers’ law (AIFMD). According to the Liechtenstein government, parliament’s approval of the law establishes a second legal basis for the Principality’s fund industry, in addition to the law on Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS).

640px-SchlossvaduzLiechenstein

Vaduz Castle, Liechtenstein   Picture by Michael Gredenberg

The Liechtenstein government highlights the fact that political stability, an attractive tax law, and favorable geographic location in the Swiss franc zone, coupled with membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) enable the Principality to offer unique location advantages. This combination together with other favorable conditions make Liechtenstein an interesting location for managers of alternative investment in the international fund market, the government adds.

The EEA-compliant framework of the law and the market-orientated shaping of national legislation will serve to promote the Liechtenstein fund center as an attractive and competitive location for the international fund industry, the government insists, emphasizing that improved investor protection and strong, internationally networked supervision will also promote the stability of the Liechtenstein fund center as well as confidence in the functioning of the financial market as a whole.

Liechtenstein’s “flexible” law provides for the introduction of the European Union (EU) passport, allowing EU-wide marketing to professional investors, and places greater personal and organisational requirements on managers, their business partners, and the financial market authority (FMA).

Welcoming parliament’s decision, Liechtenstein’s Prime Minister Klaus Tschütscher emphasized the fact that there is a broad consensus among key stakeholders on the common AIFM strategy. Noting that the Principality endeavors to be “interesting for both existing and new customers,” who particularly value stability in times of uncertainty, Tschütscher explained that the AIFMD will further strengthen the Liechtenstein fund center.

Tschütscher predicted that many fund or wealth managers from Austria, Germany, Switzerland and other countries will be interested in Liechtenstein as a location, and that larger wealth managers will also elect to settle in the Principality.

Director of Liechtenstein’s Office of International Financial Affairs Katje Gey underscored that the AIFMD creates a competitive legal basis in accordance with European law, for Liechtenstein as a future-orientated AIFM location. Liechtenstein is the first country in Europe to transpose the lessons from the financial crisis into national law, to prevent as far as possible investor losses and systemic risks arising from inadequate supervision, while at the same time increasing the competitiveness of the fund center, Gey said.

Gey maintained that the further development of the Liechtenstein fund center is one of the central and most promising areas. Gey underscored the attractiveness of the location for managers of alternative investments and stressed the importance of access to innovative products in a structured regulatory framework for existing investors.

The law is due to enter into force on July 22, 2013.

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