Company formations bounce back

New company registrations in the Cayman Islands have bounced back in 2017, after a dip last year.

May 2017 saw the largest number of company formations in a single month since the financial crisis with 1,174, according to statistics provided by the Cayman Islands General Registry.

During the first five months of this year, 5,243 new company registrations represented an increase of 8.9 percent over the same period in 2016.

Last year, the number of active companies registered in the Cayman Islands briefly breached the 100,000-mark before to dropping back to 96,259 after the end of the year. This was mainly because the record high of 102,369 active companies in Sept. 2016 included nearly 8,500 companies that at the time were set to be struck off the register.

In addition, company terminations jumped 16.9 percent to 14,101 from 12,062 in 2015. In 2014, there were only 7,321 company terminations.

Interest in Cayman Islands offshore companies, however, is undiminished. Despite a 3 percent decline in new formations last year, 2016 was still the second strongest year since 2008.

In contrast, in the British Virgin Islands, the leader in offshore company formations, new company registrations have been continuously falling. While the financial crisis caused the initial fall, more recently, fallout from the Panama Papers has been blamed for the decline in company formations, which dropped by half from more than 64,000 in 2012 to just over 31,700 last year.

The first quarter of 2017 continued the negative trend in the BVI and was the weakest since financial crisis.

Partnerships continue strong growth

The growth in Cayman Islands partnerships continued unabated last year as the number of active partnerships on the register increased by 12 percent to 20,122. The 3,356 new partnership formations in 2016 were just slightly below the record high of 3,377 set a year earlier.

The first five months of 2017 were the most successful period for new partnership formations so far, the statistics show, as 1,516 registrations outpaced 454 terminations.

Trust registrations, which experienced small declines in recent years, recorded the first growth quarter at the end of 2016. After five successive quarters of 1 to 2 percent falls in the number of active trusts on the register, the final quarter of 2016 showed a 4 percent increase to 1,855.

This year the positive trend continued. In the first five months through May, 51 newly formed trusts exceeded the formation statistics for the same period in 2015 and 2016.

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