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Report details Bermuda’s international role

A new Government report highlights Bermuda’s role in the global economy, including supporting jobs internationally.

The report, commissioned by the Ministry of Finance and the Washington DC office, found that Bermuda supports around half a million jobs worldwide and provides $50 billion in trade and transportation services key to the United States and British economies.

Finance Minister Bob Richards said the report, “Bermuda in the World Economy”, will heighten the awareness of the significant role Bermuda plays in supporting global commerce.

“The report has culled financial data from major trading nations to show Bermuda is a key business partner that provides the mature, reliable, legal, regulatory and professional capacity to enable innovative solutions to business issues,” he said.

“It also underscores the view that Bermuda as a financial centre is in a prime position to continue delivering highly sought after financial services solutions to institutions in an evolving business environment.”

A spokesman said the study looked at the investment flow between Bermuda’s financial markets, demonstrating the positive effect of Bermuda’s investment laws on job creation and the financial health of US pension funds and state governments.

It also details how during the global financial crisis major economies increased their investment into Bermuda financial markets significantly, financing wide body commercial jets, the world’s energy tanker fleets, and catastrophic loss risk management.

Bermuda’s companies were also found to support at least 500,000 jobs in the eight major nations analysed, including 300,000 in the United States, 70,000 in the United Kingdom and 25,000 in Canada.

Cheryl Packwood, Bermuda’s overseas representative in Washington, said: “Bermuda’s worldwide reputation for regulatory stability and innovation comes across here as key to its success as a funding centre for reinsurance and transportation. Investors and borrowers in Europe, Canada and the United States depend on Bermuda as a key part of their post-crisis investment strategies.”

The spokesman said the study shows how Bermuda’s international role changed as a result of the economic crisis, stating that since 2007 Bermuda has stood out as a leading global reinsurance provider with a third of the top global reinsurance companies.

“The captive insurance industry and the commercial insurance market in Bermuda are significant players in US healthcare,” the spokesman said.

“For North America, Bermuda supported 50,000 jobs in the wide-body commercial jet market when emerging national airlines and aircraft leasing companies obtained $6 billion in the Bermuda investment market which was otherwise unavailable.

Since 2010, US state governments raised over $5 billion in the Bermuda financial market to establish additional property loss coverage for earthquake, wind and fire disasters.

“As a result of the financial crisis, US and Canadian pension funds and local governments are investing at least $6 billion in Bermudian investment vehicles from ILS investment companies to equity in Bermuda aircraft Special Purpose Vehicles to overcome investment constraints in traditional banking and capital markets.”

The report also notes how the Island’s investment sector supported Asian investors to raise more than $60 billion in private investment capital, and that Bermuda holding companies are playing an essential role in China’s economic development strategy.

“Bermuda’s investment sector supported Asian investors in Hong Kong and China to raise more than $60 billion in private investment capital, contributing significantly to China’s effort to overcome its banking and capital market restrictions and to achieve much needed economic development.

Meanwhile European insurance companies have expanded their participation in Bermuda with billions of dollars of investment. UK insurance companies have opened 12 special purpose insurers in Bermuda since 2011 raising $700 million in needed capital for coverage of insurance liabilities. German insurance companies raised an additional $1.5 billion through Bermuda Special Purpose Insurers.

“The study captures the strength of Bermuda as a financial funding centre for business sectors like aircraft and ship finance, reinsurance and alternative risk management finance, meeting needs of Asia, North America and Europe,” the spokesman said.

“The study indicates that Bermuda shows particular capacity in helping world economies overcome finance constraints caused by regulation and economic crisis.”