Thursday, May 26, 2011

Regular Statistical Bulletin Published by BVI FSC

The British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission has published the twenty-first volume of its Quarterly Statistical Bulletin, providing statistics and information on financial services activities for the fourth quarter of 2010.

By the information of the Registry of Corporate Affairs, for the fourth quarter period ended 31 December 2010 there were 14,267 Business Companies newly registered, a little decline if compared to 15,946 companies in the third quarter of 2010. Cumulative number of business companies as of 31 December 2010 was 459,364. Also, there were 29 Limited Partnerships registered in Q4 2010 (cumulative number 679). In total, in the year 2010 more BVI Business Companies were registered than in 2009, but the number of new incorporations was still lower than in the years 2007 and 2008.

The Banking Sector statistics of commercial banks for the fourth quarter 2010 comprised the following figures: total assets - US$2,453 million, cash items – US$757,7 million, total liabilities – US$2,062,6 million. Net income was US$36,316, loan loss reserves were US$1,4 million.

The Investment Business statistics has shown that total number of licences granted in the fourth quarter of the year was 31, cumulative number of licences as at 31 December 2011 being 2706.

As of the end of the fourth quarter of the year, there were 20 insolvency practitioners including full and restricted licences. Cumulative number of Insurance licences granted as at 31 December 2010 was 255 (16 issued in the fourth quarter of the year).

According to the Legal and International Co-operation statistics, in Q4 2010 there were 26 International Cooperation Matters, 24 of them being formal requests, and 25 Enforcement Matters. Also, in the fourth quarter of 2010 there were 644 Matters before the Licensing and Supervisory Committee (LSC), and 5 on-site inspections.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

OECS and WTO Discuss Tariff Liberalization

The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) has said during the meeting with World Trade Organization (WTO) that securing flexibility in negotiations on tariff liberalization will enable governments to avoid cuts to border taxes.

The topics discussed during the meeting of trade officials included market access for agricultural and industrial goods, trade facilitation, fisheries subsidies, intellectual property rights and services, as well as all the matters which have proved controversial.

The OECS Technical Mission in Geneva reported significant progress for the OECS in most spheres of the negotiations with World Trade Organization (WTO). By words of the head of the OECS Technical Mission, Ricardo James, in the area of tariff liberalization “a special concession has been granted to Small Vulnerable Economies (SVEs), such as the OECS member states, that will significantly modulate the depth of tariff cuts.”

The OECS recognized that more needs are to be done, in particular, in such areas as Intellectual Property Rights, Dispute Settlement and the Harmonized Liberalization of Services sectors within the context of the establishment of the OECS Economic Union. According to James, each country will have to provide an offer regarding the additional services sectors they would want to liberalize and by how much.

The British Virgin Islands is an associate member of the OECS.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

BVI FSC Published Press Releases on the Tunisia and Libya (Restrictive Measures) Orders

The British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission advised the members of the public that The Tunisia (Restrictive Measures) (Overseas Territories) Order 2011 came into force on 18 March, 2011, and The Libya (Restrictive Measures) (Overseas Territories) Order 2011 (the “Order”) came into force on 9 April, 2011.

The Order on Tunisia was made as a result of the European Union in Council Decision 2011/72/CFSP on 31 January, 2011 and implemented in the European Union Council Regulation (EU) No. 101/2011 that was adopted on 4 February, 2011 and called upon member states to introduce restrictive measures on certain persons, entities and bodies responsible for the misappropriation of Tunisian State funds. The measures stated in the Order include: prohibition on making available funds, financial assets or economic resources to designated persons, entities and bodies, freezing of these funds, and their disclosure by financial institutions. By virtue of Schedule 1 of the Order, it is extended to the Virgin Islands.

The Libya (Restrictive Measures) (Overseas Territories) Order 2011 was made as a result of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1970 (2011) adopted on 26 February, 2011 and Resolution 1973 (2011) adopted on 17 March, 2011 which called upon member states to apply certain measures to give effect to decisions of that Council in relation to Libya. The Order introduced restrictive measures in respect on Libya as a result of the continuing serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in the country. Among the measures there is a prohibition on the supply or export of arms, and on making available funds, financial assets or economic resources to designated persons and entities. The Order is extended to the Virgin Islands by virtue of Schedules 1 and 2.