Compass Finance

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.

Investor briefing highlights Cayman’s stability, new regulations

In video messages to international investors, government along with financial regulator Cayman Islands Monetary Authority last week emphasised Cayman’s resilience during the coronavirus pandemic..

Walkers wins appeal in Brazilian banker’s client confidentiality case

Offshore law firm Walkers has successfully appealed a summary judgment that ruled a former Brazilian banker was entitled to seek damages because the law firm had breached its duty of confidentiality.

Cayman needs office in EU to fight blacklist proposal

The Cayman Islands government is pushing ahead with plans to establish representative offices in Brussels, Hong Kong and Washington, DC, before the end of the year.

Slow international vaccine rollout dampens economic outlook

Current difficulties in the manufacturing and supply of the COVID-19 vaccines mean that this year the economic outlook is much closer to the OECD downside scenario published in December.

EU parliament pushes for stricter ‘tax haven’ blacklist

Members of the European Parliament passed a resolution on Thursday calling for reform of the EU list of uncooperative jurisdictions in tax matters.

Financial services industry showed solid growth in 2020

Statistics for 2020 show growth or stable activity across the spectrum of financial services as firms took lockdown measures and border closures in their stride.

Wireline settles unregistered token sale charges with SEC

Blockchain microservices startup Wireline will pay US$650,000 to settle charges filed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission over a $16.3 million crypto token sale in late 2018.

Could 2021 be a comeback year for global trade?

While some uncertainty remains, 2021 could be a comeback year for global trade.

McTaggart: Government finances better than expected

Government’s fiscal situation is not as serious as initially feared with government revenues higher and expenditures lower than forecast six months ago.

RF to offer digital currency transactions in partnership with Bitt

RF Holdings Limited, parent company of a group of investment banks in the Bahamas, Barbados, and the Cayman Islands, has entered into partnership with fintech company Bitt to enable digital currency transactions across its Caribbean network.

Hedge fund industry posts best performance since 2009

Hedge funds finished a tumultuous year of trading with double-digit returns, the best annual performance since 2009.

Bermuda to reform ‘unfair’ tax system

Bermuda Premier David Burt is planning to reform the country's tax system in time for the 2022/23 budget year.

Denmark charges two Brits with tax fraud after Cayman assistance

Danish prosecutors have formally charged the suspected organizers of a billion-dollar tax fraud scheme, four weeks after the Cayman Islands Grand Court allowed local corporate service providers to offer foreign judicial assistance in a related US civil lawsuit.

Economic share of financial services continues to shrink

The Cayman Islands economy grew faster than expected before the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year.

Willis Re: Reinsurers stop downward trend

Reinsurers have halted the persistent downward trends of recent years, despite the impact of COVID-19 on working conditions and risk exposures.

US bans anonymous shell companies

The US has taken steps with the Corporate Transparency Act to eliminate the potential use of anonymous shell companies for money laundering and tax evasion.

Cayman reinsurers form industry body

Six Cayman Islands-based reinsurance companies have formed a new industry group, the Cayman International Reinsurance Companies Association (CIRCA).

Buoyant markets and inflation during a pandemic: Wrapping up 2020

This huge disconnect between Wall Street (capital markets, large corporations and high-net-worth investors) and Main Street (average citizen, small businesses or the real economy) will be the main takeaway for investors this year.

Anti-money laundering: CIMA fines Western International $482,000

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority has fined Western International Trust Company Limited $482,717 for breaches of the anti-money laundering regulations (AMLRs).

Pension holiday extended

Private pension account holders in the Cayman Islands have withdrawn $443.5 million in retirement savings this year to deal with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

AM Best-rated captives continue to outperform commercial insurers

The operating results of captive insurance companies rated by AM Best in Bermuda, Cayman Islands and Barbados continue to outperform the segment’s counterparts in the commercial casualty insurance sector.

AIMA Cayman announces new executive committee

The Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA), the global representative body for the alternative investment management industry announced a new Cayman executive committee, serving for the 2020-2022 term.

CIMA warns unregistered directors

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority has warned 1,330 directors who have not met annual registration and information requirements, that it will cancel their listed director registration.

Rivers: Challenging Hollywood stereotypes a vital PR effort

Financial Services Minister Tara Rivers has called on government and industry to proactively address Cayman’s “perception problem” that still exists in mass media and among other influencers.
Cayman’s courts have ramped up their emergency contingency plan to counter COVID-19 issues.

New law paves way for contingency fees, litigation funding

In an effort to provide Cayman Islands residents with limited financial means with better access to the courts and compensation in civil litigation, Parliament passed the Private Funding of Legal Services Bill 2020 on Monday.

UK releases draft order for OT beneficial ownership registries

Following the commitment by all UK Overseas Territories to make the ownership of companies in their jurisdictions more transparent, the British government has released a draft Order in Council setting out how it expects the territories to implement publicly accessible registers of beneficial ownership.

Cayman compliant with automatic tax information exchange frameworks

A peer review finds the Cayman Islands is one of 54 jurisdictions that have fully implemented legal frameworks for the automatic exchange of tax information, a main tool to fight cross-border tax evasion.

Economist: ‘Cayman taking hit, but will recover nicely’

Cayman’s “really strong” economic and fiscal position means it is the best-placed country in the Caribbean to respond meaningfully to the current crisis, according to economist Marla Dukharan.

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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.