Business in brief

Turks and Caicos secures BBB+ credit rating 

The Turks and Caicos Islands government has obtained its first sovereign credit rating of BBB+ from international ratings agency Standard and Poor’s. 

S&P’s rating report highlighted a gross domestic product of around $24,000 per head, high educational standards and good infrastructure. 

The TCI government said the strong rating will benefit investors by allowing them access to cheaper investment funding for their businesses in the Turks and Caicos. The government will also be able to use the rating to borrow at significantly lower costs. 

“This is terrific news for the Turks and Caicos economy, and just reward for the hard work of everyone who has helped the country reach this latest stage in its development,” said TCI Governor Peter Beckingham. “I am pleased too that it notes that the Turks and Caicos benefits from the stability imparted though its status as a U.K. Overseas Territory.”  

TCI Premier Rufus Ewing said, “This rating is at the high end of our expectations and places us alongside countries like Aruba, Curacao and Montserrat. This is crucial to our plans to continue to build and broaden our nation’s economy.”  

Finance Minister Washington Misick added that the rating supports the country’s growth strategy and will play a significant part in allowing TCIG to begin to reinvest in public services. 

The TCI government has transformed its track record of public financial management over the past four years, turning long-standing annual deficits into surpluses of $47.6 million in 2012/13 and $30.7 million in 2013/14. The U.K. Overseas Territory is now showing a positive fiscal trajectory in the Caribbean and should rapidly reduce its net public debt, the TCI government said.  

Oxbridge Re cash dividend 

Oxbridge Re Holdings Ltd., a provider of reinsurance solutions to property and casualty insurers in the Gulf Coast region of the United States, has reported that its board of directors has declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of 12 cents. The dividend will be paid Aug. 29 to shareholders of record on the close of business Aug. 8, 2014. 

Appleby advises ORIX on Japanese acquisition 

Appleby acted as Cayman counsel to financial services group ORIX Corp. in connection with its acquisition of Tokyo-based Hartford Life Insurance K.K., a subsidiary of The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., for a purchase price of approximately US$963 million.  

In particular, Appleby provided specific expertise in relation to the establishment of ORIX Reinsurance Ltd. (ORIX Re), ORIX’s wholly-owned Cayman Islands reinsurance subsidiary established to reinsure certain risks of HLIKK. ORIX Life Insurance plans to merge with HLIKK to enhance its capital strength. 

Carey Olsen named Offshore Firm of the Year 

Carey Olsen has been recognized as Offshore Firm of the Year by The Lawyer Magazine. 

Carey Olsen was presented the award for acting for the winning parties in a landmark decision issued by Guernsey’s Royal Court. The case involved U.K. non-domiciliary entrepreneur Robert Tchenguiz and one of the offshore trust structures in which his assets are held.  

Carey Olsen represented Grant Thornton’s Stephen Akers and Mark McDonald, who had been appointed as joint liquidators of some of the companies involved in the Tchenguiz structure in relation to substantial loan arrangements which had been created and are now judgment creditors for more than £183 million (US$313 million), with interest accruing at the rate of more than £40,000 (US$68,500) per day.  

Mourant Ozannes wins offshore law firm accolade 

Mourant Ozannes has been named one of the top offshore law firms in the world, coming runner up in the category of Offshore Firm of the Year at The Lawyer Awards held in London last week.  

According to the judges, Mourant Ozannes continues to make significant strides in its development since the merger of Mourants and Ozannes four years ago.  

In their appraisal of the firm, the judges said: “Mourant Ozannes looks to be going from strength to strength and has put in place a new business strategy that will see it become a top tier player in the four main offshore jurisdictions of the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey and Jersey. Last year saw the firm advise a host of big-name clients on significant deals and pick up a growing number of transactions from its two-year-old Hong Kong office.” 

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