Appleby: Offshore company formations starting to pick up
The flow of new companies setting up offshore is starting to pick again, according to offshore specialist law firm Appleby.
The number of offshore companies being registered in the first half of 2012 was up nine percent from the previous six months, indicating that the markets continue to recover from the lows of early 2009, according to Applebys inaugural On the Register report.
However, compared to the same period in 2011, the number of new offshore company incorporations fell four percent.
Bermuda appears to be faring reasonably, but several offshore rivals are growing faster.
Bermuda remains an attractive place to incorporate with the number of new company incorporations maintaining a reassuringly steady flow over the last three years, Appleby stated yesterday.
The report takes a look at incorporations in the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, the Crown Dependencies, Mauritius, the Seychelles, as well as Bermuda, and also provides insights into how activity in these jurisdictions compares to financial centres such as the UK and Hong Kong.
The report states: The jurisdiction that is dominating offshore new company registration activity by volume is the British Virgin Islands, which has consistently maintained a sixfold lead ahead of its nearest comparator, the Cayman Islands.
The Cayman Islands is the fastest growth jurisdiction for new registrations, with a 13 percent increase since the previous six months.
The Seychelles is the offshore economy witnessing the greatest growth in activity, albeit that this jurisdictions data lags behind the other jurisdictions being tracked for this report. Between 2010 and 2011, company registrations in the Seychelles grew by 20 percent.
Rory Gorman, managing director of Appleby Services (Bermuda) Ltd, said: Offshore jurisdictions remain pretty optimistic that they have a strong value proposition and remain attractive destinations for registering businesses.
A number of the offshore jurisdictions are showing a clear positive direction, with year-on-year increases in registration activity since 2009.
While the number of new company registrations grew in the first half of 2012, with 41,556 new offshore incorporations, the report notes that the total number of active companies is actually down four percent from 833,086 in December 2011 to 801,168 through June 2012. However, the uptick in registrations from the previous six-month period shows there is still a healthy amount of activity going on across the offshore world.
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