Tag Archives: Offshore Investments

BVI to foster stronger ties with Dubai

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

Vaduz Castle, Liechtenstein   Picture by Michael Gredenberg

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).

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.

taxmoneyhavens.com

Why’s Puerto Rico’s Attractive as a Tax Haven

Puerto Rico (Spanish for “rich port”) is turning into the next Singapore. Wealthy Americans have already taken advantage of the year-old Puerto Rican law that lets new residents pay no local or US federal taxes on capital gains.”

Why you should move your US business to Puerto Rico. See the video interview with Barry Breeman on Bloomberg:

Source: Bloomberg

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin islands.

Due to the 1952 Commenwealth of Perto Rico creation by the US congress, Puerto Rican’s residents do not pay US federal income taxes. US Citizens who moves to Perto Rico pay 4% tax on earned income, no taxes on distribution and dividends, but only on Perto Rico source based income.

Citizens of Puerto Rico are bilingual and speak both English and Spanish fluently. Official languages of the island are Spanish and English, with Spanish being the primary language.

4 millions US citizens lives in Puerto Rico. Many US hedge funds and US private equity funds have already relocated. The islands also offers well educated work force, easy communication to New York and Miami, pleasant weather as well as great cafes and restaurants.

See the video above to learn more.

taxmoneyhavens.com

Islands trade quick citizenship for investment

According to The Detroit News:  Kingston, Jamaica — Hadi Mezawi has never set foot on the Caribbean island of Dominica, has never seen its rainforests or black-sand beaches. But he’s one of its newest citizens.

Without leaving his home in the United Arab Emirates, the Palestinian man recently received a brand-new Dominican passport after sending a roughly $100,000 contribution to the tropical nation half a world away.

Turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa has led to a surge of interest in programs that let investors buy citizenship or residence in countries around the world in return for a healthy contribution or investment. Most are seeking a second passport for hassle-free travel or a ready escape hatch in case things get worse at home.

Nowhere is it easier or faster than in the minuscule Eastern Caribbean nations of Dominica and St. Kitts & Nevis.

It’s such a booming business that a Dubai-based company is building a 4-square-mile community in St. Kitts where investors can buy property and citizenship at the same time.

In its first phase, some 375 shareholders will get citizenship by investing $400,000 each in the project, which is expected to include a 200-room hotel and a mega-yacht marina. Others will get passports for buying one of 50 condominium units.

“The more they fight over there, the more political problems there are, the more applications we get here,” said Victor Doche, managing director of another company that offers four condominium projects where approved buyers are granted citizenship in St. Kitts, which is less than twice the size of Washington, D.C.

It’s impossible to say how many people have used the cash for citizenship programs. Officials in both countries declined to respond when asked by The Associated Press.

But Bernard Wiltshire, a former Dominica attorney general, said there were already around 3,000 economic citizens when he left government about a decade ago. The country now has roughly 73,000 inhabitants in all.

“Investor visa” or citizenship programs are offered by many nations, including the United States, Canada, Britain and Austria. But the Caribbean countries offer a fast path to citizenship at a very low cost. The process, including background checks, can take as little as 90 days in St. Kitts. And there’s no need to ever live on the islands, or even visit.

A foreigner can qualify for citizenship in St. Kitts with a $250,000 donation to a fund for retired sugar workers or with a minimum real estate investment of $400,000.

The minimum contribution in Dominica is $100,000.

See the full article in The Detroit News.

taxmoneyhavens.com

The Arctic a New Tax Haven

Russia has confirmed details of tax breaks lasting from between five and fifteen years for new oil projects in the Arctic shelf from 2016, including an exemption from export duty and from VAT on the purchase of equipment. Offshore projects will also benefit from a 5% “Arctic” mineral extraction tax rate, in comparison to the usual 30% rate.

Russia creates a new Tax Haven in the Arctic. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean and parts of Canada, Russia, Denmark (Greenland), Norway, Sweden, Finland,  Iceland, and the United States (Alaska).

The announcement follows an agreement between Russian ministries over new incentives that had been first suggested in April 2012. At that time, then-President elect Vladimir Putin had promised a “stable and predictable” tax regime that would attract investment worth USD0.5 trillion over the next 30 years.

However, foreign companies looking to invest will have to be minority partners with Gazprom or Rosneft, as due to foreign investment laws licenses are available only to the two state-owned companies. Given the lamentable history of Russian state participation in oil and gas projects, it may be difficult for them to find partners.

taxmoneyhavens.com