Number of companies registered in Cayman falls

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The number of active companies
registered in the Cayman Islands has dropped from 94,221 at the end of June
2009 to 92,867 by the end of last year, the latest figures from the Cayman
Islands General Registry show.

It is the first significant drop in
registered companies in Cayman for some time. In 2007, 87,109 companies were
listed as active in Cayman by the General Registry, a figure that increased to
93,693 in 2008.

While the total number of companies
in Cayman has therefore grown until the second quarter of 2009, new company
registrations already started to decline significantly in August 2008, when the
number of monthly registrations dropped to 811, well below the monthly average
of between 1,100 and 1,200 seen in the two years prior.

In May 2009 monthly new company
registrations dropped to 531, their lowest level in the past three years.

New company registrations stopped
their decline in the third quarter of 2009 but fell again slightly in the
fourth quarter of last year.

Despite the bottoming out and even
a small recovery of new company registrations, the total number of active companies
dropped by 1,354 during the past six months, as a record number of companies
was struck off the register.

When the government budget
2009/2010 was presented in October, Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson
announced an increase of annual company fees from $150 to $500. Government is estimated
to receive $17 million in additional revenue from company fees, based on a 5
per cent reduction in the number of registered companies during the budget
year.

Current figures show that in the
first half of the budget year total company numbers declined by 1.44 per cent, still
below government estimates.

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Ugland House in George Town is home to many registered companies in the Cayman Islands.
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