Friday, September 28, 2012

BVI and Grenada arrange for leadership summit

The Premier of the British Virgin Islands Dr Orlando Smith, and the Prime Minister of Grenada Tillman Thomas will co-host a summit of political and business leaders of the Caribbean region, which will be held in May 2013, on Necker Island, BVI. The summit will bring together leaders from ten Caribbean islands, as well as leaders of global private sector. It is expected also that at the end of the summit a government leaders declaration will be signed.

Last week, summit organizer Sheldon Cohen, director of external affairs, Caribbean Program, of The Nature Conservancy, visited Grenada to have a meeting with environment officials in order to make preliminary arrangements. Probably, as a result of Grenada’s participation in the summit, significant financial resources are to be used to conserve the coastal and marine environment and to support such sectors as tourism and fisheries.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mark Simmonds Became New Minister for UK Overseas Territories

According to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Mark Simmonds MP has been appointed the United Kingdom (UK) Minister for the Overseas Territories, after the recent removal from this post of Henry Belligham as part of the reshuffle of Cameron’s Cabinet.

Among the responsibilities of Mark Simmonds, as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, there are UK Overseas Territories all over the world including the British Virgin Islands. Other Caribbean territories, except for Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba, also are in his sphere of work. 

Simmonds had been a member of the shadow health team when the Conservative Party was in opposition but missed out on a role in the coalition government after the 2010 General Election.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

BVI FSC Issued Statistical Bulletin for Second Quarter of 2012

Last week, the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission published Quarterly Statistical Bulletin, providing information and analysis of financial services activities in the BVI jurisdiction. The newly issued Volume 27 includes statistics for the second quarter of 2012.

According to the information of the Registry of Corporate Affairs, in the second quarter of the year 15,200 International Business Companies and 15 limited partnerships were incorporated in the BVI, as compared to 17,865 companies and 18 limited partnerships registered in the first quarter of 2012. Cumulative number of companies incorporated in the BVI as at 30 June 2012 was 447,801, and the number of limited partnerships was 442.

In the Banking and Fiduciary Services sector, one Money Services/Financial Business licence was issued in Q2 2012. The Banking sector statistics for commercial banks showed the following: total assets – $2, 39 million, deposits - $1, 73 million, net income - $11, 6 million, profit margin – 38,57%.

In Investment Business Sector, 10 new Investment Business Licences, 17 professional and 5 private licences for Mutual Funds were granted in the second quarter of the year. Cumulative number of investment business licences as at 30 June 2012 was 532; total number of professional mutual funds was 1621. Cumulative number of active mutual funds was lower in the reported second quarter of 2012, as compared to the same periods of 2011, 2010 and 2009.

In Q2 2012, total number of insolvency practitioners was 24 (25 in Q2 2011, 20 in Q2 2010). According to insurance statistics, one captive insurance licence was granted in this period.

According to Legal and Enforcement and International Cooperation statistics, total number of international cooperation matters in the second quarter of 2012 was 42 (42 in Q1 2012, and 44 in Q2 2011). Among ongoing Supervision Matters reviewed by the Licensing and Supervisory Committee, 110 referred to Banking and Fiduciary Services sector, 446 referred to Investment Business sector, and 60 referred to Insurance sector.

Friday, September 07, 2012

UK Minister for Overseas Territories Leaves His Post

The Foreign and Commonwealth minister Henry Bellingham, responsible for Britain’s overseas territories, is leaving his post now. At the moment, no replacement is announced. This is part of reshuffle of the Cabinet of Ministers, initiated by Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron.

Henry Bellingham did not say whether he had been offered an alternative ministerial position, but expressed the hope that it was not the end of his career in the British government.

Bellingham's first appointment to the Foreign Office was in 2010, and for the past 10 years he was a Conservative frontbencher.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Premier Explains Situation with Protocols to the Public Finance Act

The Opposition of the British Virgin Islands expressed its concerns about several issues, including the possible breach of the Protocols for Effective Financial Management by the administration, and the penalties that might follow from the United Kingdom (UK) Government. Hon. Andrew Fahie is going to ask over 30 questions at the sitting of the House of Assembly on September 3. 

The Protocols were signed in April 2012 by Premier and Minister for Finance, Hon. Dr. Orlando Smith on behalf of Government and Mr. Henry Bellingham, the United Kingdom Minister for the Overseas Territories. They called for the implementation and entering into force of the enhanced Public Finance Act by August 2012. 

Premier Hon. Orlando Smith said that the BVI Government has already reviewed the new provisions to the enhanced Public Finance Act, and after they are tabled at the next sitting of the House of Assembly, they will be debated and passed at the next sitting of the House.

Also, Premier said that this set of protocols to which the BVI Government has agreed will provide for effective management of finances, to be fully transparent and accountable. He stated that one of the significant things with the protocols is the question of liquid assets, as the British Virgin Islands jurisdiction from time to time has been in breach of the liquid assets under previous agreements. However, he assured: "I will say based on what is contained now in the protocols, we are in breach, but we also have an agreement that by 2015 we will meet all the requirements of the protocols."