Offshore sites in top 25
Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and the Cayman Islands ranked in the top 25 of the City of London’s 2008 Global Financial Centre Index. The index, which rates personnel availability, market access and infrastructure among other factors, placed the four offshore centers at 16th, 19th, 21st and 25th, respectively. London, New York and Hong Kong retained their top-three status on the index as the world’s most competitive global financial centers.
BVI FDI to China up 60%
China’s Ministry of Commerce said foreign direct investment (FDI) from the British Virgin Islands (BVI), rose 61.26% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2008 to reach US$27.4 billion. The BVI was the second-biggest source of FDI into China over the period, behind Hong Kong.
Japan grants exemptions
Japan’s government announced offshore funds will not be subject to taxes if their assets in Japan are managed by independent asset managers, a change from the previous tax scheme. To qualify for exemption, offshore funds must prove that the asset managers in Japan have broad discretion over investment decisions, that more than half of the managers are not employees of the offshore fund and that the asset manager has the capacity to diversify its business.
New rules in Guernsey
New legislation on Guernsey-based trusts came into effect in March of this year. Removal of limits on the length of a trust’s duration and the abolishment of liability of directors of corporate trustees were among the changes. Offshore trusts are considered a way of sheltering wealth, protecting assets and providing discreet succession planning for family assets.
J.P. Morgan in Jersey
J.P. Morgan Private Equity Fund announced it has established a presence in Jersey to offer services to new and existing offshore clients. Jersey is considered a top location for European private equity, with PE and real estate funds domiciled or administered in Jersey totaling about US$100 billion.