Cayman company registrations drop

But latest trends show improvement

The number of companies registered
in the Cayman Islands declined slightly last year, but a more urgent concern
for local leaders and financial services firms was a sharp drop in new company

According to the government’s 2009
Annual Economic Report, which covers the calendar year, there was a 33 per cent
drop in new company registrations between 2008 and last year. New company
registrations since 2007 had declined by nearly 50 per cent according to the

“The most severe impact of the
global financial crunch fell on company registrations,” the report from the
Economics and Statistics Office read.

But in a statement released
Thursday, Cayman Finance Chairman Anthony Travers assured potential investors
that things were starting to look up for 2010.

According to Mr. Travers, average
new investment fund registrations in Cayman were more than 100 per month so far
this year.

“At the current rates of net
monthly increase there would be in excess of 10,200 fund registrations by the
financial year end,” Mr. Travers said. The end of government’s current
financial year is 30 June, 2011.

“This will exceed the all-time high
watermark for the Cayman funds industry,” Mr. Travers said.

Investment funds, or mutual funds
as they are described in the economics and statistics report, declined slightly
by 3.5 per cent as of the end of December 2009. However, the total number of
investment funds – 9,523 – was more than the jurisdiction had recorded in 2007.

“Monthly fund dissolutions in
Cayman appear well within historical norms and do not evidence and trend
towards redomicilliation,” Mr. Travers said, addressing concerns that companies
were beginning to move outside the Cayman Islands for more business friendly

For overall registrations, the
largest drop seen in company registrations for 2009 was in the exempt company
area, which declined nearly 36 per cent compared to 2008.

Non-resident companies and foreign
company registrations also fell by about 25 per cent in 2009.

Overall, Cayman managed to maintain
total company registrations from year-to-year. In 2008, there were 93,693
companies registered here, compared to 92,867 last year. In 2007, there were
87,109 companies registered here.

Mr. Travers said that company
incorporations for 2010 had gone up 14 per cent in the first quarter and 24 per
cent in the second quarter, compared to 2009. Those numbers have not yet been
made public by the government or economics and statistics office.

“It is more helpful to report on
the actual numbers,” he said, “rather than the wishful thinking on the part of
competitor jurisdictions.”