Compass Finance

Cayman entrepreneur’s fintech start-up selected for accelerator

Cayman-based entrepreneur Michelle Morgan’s Canadian tech company has been accepted into the Fintech Innovation Lab: Asia Pacific, a 12-week accelerator programme.

Banking on a rebound

Rebounding sharply after last year’s wipe out, the MSCI World Financial sector index has advanced by 27.1% year-to-date, exceeding the broader market by over ten percent.

Record collection of stamp duty in second quarter

Government stands to collect almost $34 million in charges and stamp duty from land and property transfers in the second quarter of this year.

Government fiscal surplus larger than expected

Higher revenues and cost savings have generated a larger than anticipated fiscal surplus both for...

Plaintiffs must post $4.25M security ahead of Walkers client confidentiality trial

Offshore law firm Walkers has secured a US$4.25 million-security for cost order against bankrupt, former Brazilian Banker Katia Rabello and three Cayman companies she controls, before her trial against the firm, claiming up to US$400 million in damages, can go ahead next year.

Chairman, advisor resign from Tax Justice Network in row over direction

John Christensen, chairman and founding director of the Tax Justice Network, has resigned from his role, citing “mounting frustration and disenchantment” with the tax advocacy group.

Number of funds in Cayman continues to grow

Since the registration of closed-ended funds was made mandatory in August 2020, the number of private funds in the islands has grown by 23.5%.

Operators of Cayman blockchain company settle SEC fraud charges

Two Florida men closed down their Cayman Islands blockchain company and paid about US$13 million to settle charges brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Growth, value or quality?

A good understanding of the business cycle is of paramount importance to investors as this usually helps to inform what strategies to pursue, traditionally choosing between growth (defensive) and value (cyclical) stocks.

Financial secretary clears up ‘row’ over government deficit

Financial secretary Kenneth Jefferson explained the $50 million gap between the 2020 budget deficit estimates of the former and the new government in Public Accounts Committee on Tuesday.

Cayman Airways to receive additional $7 million

Cayman Airways will receive another $7 million in government funding to cover its expenditures until the end of 2021.

Finance Committee approves extra $27.5 million to continue tourism stipend

Parliament’s Finance Committee has approved $27.5 million in additional funds to continue the payment of a stipend to displaced tourism workers until the end of the year.

Post-pandemic – inflationary bubbles and busts

Peter Goodall As we emerge from the pandemic, global markets continue to struggle to reach supply/demand...

Government to borrow $330 million to fund capital investments

Government intends to borrow $230 million in 2021 and another $100 million in 2022, to fund capital projects.

G20 endorses tax reform deal

The G20 support of the tax deal was expected after 130 members of the OECD Inclusive Framework on BEPS earlier this month joined a new two-pillar plan to reform international tax rules.

China: New regulations threaten use of Cayman structures

Commentators have speculated that new guidelines will put a chill on US stock offerings by Chinese companies and affect commonly-used structures in the Cayman Islands.

CIMA: Binance not authorised to operate crypto-currency exchange

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority announced that the Binance Group and Binance Holdings Limited are not registered, licensed, regulated or otherwise authorised to operate a crypto-currency exchange from or within the Cayman Islands.

OECD: 130 countries back 15% minimum global corporate tax rate

A total of 130 countries and jurisdictions, including the Cayman Islands, have joined a new two-pillar plan to reform international taxation rules.

Investors sue Cayman crypto start-up for fraud

Two investors have sued Crowd Machine Inc of Delaware and its affiliate, Cayman-based Crowd Machine SEZC, alleging “a massive investment fraud” in relation to the cryptocurrency start-up’s Cayman initial coin offering.

UK regulator bans world’s largest crypto exchange

The Financial Conduct Authority has warned that Binance is not allowed to offer regulated services in the UK.

Did the Fed just kill the reflation trade?

Predicting the future is hard, especially when it comes to the potential persistence of inflation and the appropriate monetary policy response in the latter stages of a global pandemic.

SEC obtains freezing order against Cayman fund

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has filed an emergency action charging a Cayman fund and two individuals with defrauding investors.

US lawmakers pass offshore disclosure and ESG standardisation bills

US lawmakers have approved legislation that will require the standardised reporting of environmental, social and governance (ESG) measures as well as the disclosure of offshore activities by US corporations.

Government expects larger budget deficit

Government is projecting a larger budget deficit of $192 million this year, because previous forecasts did not factor in tourism stipend payments for all of 2021.

Revisiting the US-China Cold War

Despite US sanctions on Chinese companies and ban on a number of Chinese stocks, offshore investors have been steadily increasing their exposure to the Chinese market.

What is the global minimum tax and how will it impact Cayman?

Tax advocates say the global minimum tax will be a major blow to jurisdictions that have no corporate income tax, like the Cayman Islands, and countries with low tax rates.

Block.one pays US$27.5 million to settle class-action lawsuit

Block.one, the company that launched a record-setting US$4.1 billion initial coin offering from the Cayman Islands in 2018, has paid $27.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit.

What does a global minimum corporate tax mean for Caribbean financial centres?

The global minimum CIT would require a corporation from a country which implements this floor to pay taxes on its profits at this particular rate, even if those profits are declared overseas.

Should Cayman introduce its own digital currency?

Some of the most advanced digital currency pilot projects can be found in the Caribbean.

Cayman most popular domicile for crypto funds

The Cayman Islands and the United States remained the top two jurisdictions for crypto hedge funds last year, despite losing market share.

G7 agrees on 15% minimum corporate tax rate

The Group of Seven nations on Saturday agreed on a deal for a minimum corporate tax rate of 15%.
Aerial view of Seven Mile Beach

Why did property prices rise during the pandemic?

More than a year ago, during the midst of a coronavirus lockdown, hardly anyone predicted that property prices in Cayman would continue to rise.

Sell in May and go away?

Given the historical performance of the stock market, investors may be curious as to whether the adage is relevant in the current market environment.

Saunders lauds ministry after auditor general’s report

Finance Minister Christopher Saunders commended the public service for steadily improving financial management and reporting, following the latest report by the Office of the Auditor General.

Trade among industrialised nations reaches record high

In a sign of continuing economic recovery since the third quarter of last year, international merchandise trade among G20 nations reached record levels in the first quarter of 2021.

How to Play the Great Reopening

Despite some recent choppiness, stock market averages continue to hover near their all-time highs –...

CIMA fines Intertrust more than $4.2 million for AML breaches

It is the largest-ever fine handed down by the financial regulator for AML failings.

Financial services buoyed by strong demand for entity formations

Cayman’s financial services sector received a boost in the first months of this year with strong growth in fund, company and partnership registrations.

Local capital markets in the Caribbean: Challenges and opportunities

Written by Marla Dukharan; Research fund by CFA Institute With a population that reached roughly 60,000...

Maples seeking judicial review of AML regulations

Two entities of the Maples Group are seeking a judicial review of how the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority interprets and applies certain provisions of the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations in practice.

OECD sets sights on inheritance, estate taxes

The OECD is pointing to inheritance taxation as an important tool to address wealth inequality in a new report.

Maples remains main listing agent on CSX

Maples and Calder, the Maples Group's law firm, has maintained its position as the top listing agent on the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange, having advised on 53% of all CSX listings in 2020.

Government finances better than budgeted

Government earned a surplus of $196.2 million in the first quarter of 2021.

Regulator not aware of new Woodford fund in Cayman

CIMA confirmed that there is no current or pending registration with the authority in reference to Neil Woodford.

Anti-money laundering: Finding the right balance

After a CFATF report criticised Cayman’s anti-money laundering framework in March 2019, several professions and businesses found themselves for the first time directly subjected to AML laws and regulations.

Code of Conduct Group chair: EU tax list ‘not a tax haven list’

Speaking at a hearing of the European Parliament’s taxation subcommittee, Lyudmila Petkova said certain countries that are often considered tax havens are not on the EU list because of the criteria used.

CIMA asks banks for feedback on proposed US travel rule change

The Federal Reserve Board and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) proposed last October to lower the threshold for the travel rule from US$3,000 to US$250.

Stock dividends on the rise

After a long hiatus, stock dividends may finally be having their day in the sun.

US tax plan takes aim at offshore centres

The Biden administration is pursuing nothing short of a complete turnaround on taxation.

Yellen calls for global minimum tax rate

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has argued in favour of a global minimum corporate tax rate in a speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs on Monday.

Government projects larger budget deficits in 2021 and 2022

Following a budget deficit of $38 million last year, government forecasts a much larger deficit for its core operations of $98 million in 2021 and of $59.6 million in 2022.

Consumer prices 1% higher in 2020

Cayman’s consumers faced an overall inflation rate of 1% in 2020, after consumer prices declined by 0.7% in the final quarter of 2020.

CIMA hands out $72,800 anti-money laundering fine to Star Insurance

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority has fined another Cayman company for breaches of the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations.

Congressional Democrats release bill targeting corporate tax loopholes

Congressional Democrats have introduced the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act to close what they claim are “egregious offshore tax loopholes.

Core government’s 2020 budget deficit only $38 million

The Cayman Islands government would have achieved a budget surplus last year, had it not been for $65.4 million in unexpected COVID-19 pandemic-related additional healthcare spending and financial support for small businesses and displaced workers.  

OECD increases 2021 global economic growth forecast to 5.6%

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has raised its 2021 global growth forecast to 5.6%.

Anti-money laundering: Cayman is held to a higher standard

The FATF argues that Cayman as a major financial centre should be held to a higher standard, in line with its larger anti-money laundering risks.

Global prime market disruption

A rapid rise in US bond yields and a strong US dollar are two key candidates for a potential global market disruption in 2021.

OECD report targets professionals enabling tax crimes

Countries need to do more to detect and deter professionals who enable tax evasion and other white collar crimes, a new OECD report has concluded.

Jamaica National to convert Cayman entity into commercial bank

The Jamaica National Group is planning to turn its building society JN Cayman into a commercial bank by establishing JN Bank in the Cayman Islands.

Planning for higher inflation

Inflation expectations just reached their highest levels in a decade and that has some investors on edge.

Cayman placed on FATF grey list

The Financial Action Task Force has added the Cayman Islands to its grey list of countries whose anti-money laundering (AML) practices are under increased monitoring.

Real Madrid criticised over ‘tax haven’ investment deal

The Spanish press has taken aim at Real Madrid for a private equity investment deal that, according to internal documents and emails, exposed the world’s second largest football club to reputational and tax risks because it involved entities in Luxembourg and the Cayman Islands.

EU adds Dominica to tax blacklist, removes Barbados

The EU Council has added Dominica to the controversial EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions in tax matters and removed Barbados from the list.

Mixed Brexit impact on the Overseas Territories

The Cayman Islands has “seen the best and worst” since Brexit with the European Union tax blacklisting of Cayman and strong ongoing support from the UK government during the coronavirus pandemic.

Financial markets turn to optimism as economies are poised to recover

The global coronavirus pandemic triggered a historic sell-off in the stock markets only for them to mount a stunning recovery in equities before the end of 2020.

Financial services ministry hires US PR firm for $300K

The mandate for Hill+Knowlton Strategies to communicate Cayman’s position to the US government runs from 1 Feb. until the end of the year.

Registry enforces beneficial ownership regime with fines

As of 1 Feb. 2021, the Registrar of Companies had levied 19 administrative fines of $5,000 each against companies for noncompliance with beneficial ownership requirements.

COVID-19 and business interruption insurance claims

Business interruption insurance claims led to wide-ranging disputes in the interpretation of policy wording, as insurers sought to limit their indemnity exposure.

Cayman biggest contributor to Butterfield’s full year earnings

Butterfield ended the year with a solid fourth quarter as Cayman contributed higher earnings than Bermuda to the banking group’s annual results for the second consecutive year.

Government budget deficit smaller than expected

Government has closed the 2020 financial year with a smaller budget deficit than the $168 million shortfall estimated in mid-2020.

Pandemic exit strategies

Concerns among market commentators have recently risen around a potential “taper tantrum” event this year.

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Chart of the week

New company registrations slow down

New company registrations in the Cayman Islands were down 17% in the first eight months of 2020 compared to the same period last year, and 36.9% lower than between January and August 2018.