Archive for June 17th, 2010

Tylenol pain relief meds pulled by makers

| 17/06/2010 | 3 Comments

(CNS): Following a recall by Mc Neil Consumer Healthcare Inc. in conjunction with the US Food & Drug Administration, local supermarket Foster’s Food Fair has said it has pulled the affected Extra Strength Tylenol Rapid Release Gel Caps from its shelves. McNeil initiated the voluntary recall as a result of consumer complaints of a musty or moldy odour that has since been linked to the presence of trace amounts of a chemical called 2,4,6,-tribromoansiole (TBA).

After a thorough investigation, it was determined that the source of TBA was the result of a breakdown of a chemical that is applied to wood used to build wooden pallets that transport and store packaging materials.

This recall is a follow up to the product recall that McNeil announced on 15 January this year and is being taken because the products were inadvertently omitted from the initial recall action. Consumers who have purchased this product should stop using it immediately and anyone who ahs suffered an adverse reaction is advised to consult a physician.
Until Foster’s Food Fair IGA has a further correspondence from the manufacture on this affected product, it said it will not be available in its stores across Grand Cayman. “We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, however the safety of our customers is our top priority,” the firm said in a statement. “We encourage all customers who have purchased this product to return the affected product to their Foster’s Food Fair IGA of purchase for a full refund.
For more information visit www.mcneilproductrecall.com  
 

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Water Authority tackles another burst main

| 17/06/2010 | 2 Comments

(CNS): (Updated) The Water Authority is issuing another warning to drivers regarding the latest burst pipe.  Repairs on a broken main in the Spotts area, near the Coral Bay Village are expected to take about two hours during which time the WA said service may be interrupted for customers located on Shamrock Rd, from Midsummer Dr to Spotts Newlands Rd. Motorists are asked to drive with caution and obey all traffic signs as crews work on the problem.

The Water Authority said it appreciated the patience and understanding of the motoring public as they continue to provide services to all of their valued customers and apologized for the inconvenience.

Yesterday evening the authority worked on a broken water main in the Pease Bay area of Bodden Town interrupting  service for customers located in the vicinity from Kipling Street to Midland Acres. Motorists are asked to drive with caution and obey all traffic signs.

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Woman suffers vicious attack

| 17/06/2010 | 68 Comments

(CNS): A young woman was rescued from a vicious attack in the early hours of this morning in West Bay by police officers patrolling in Garvin Road. A police spokesperson has confirmed that at about 2am on 17 June Uniform Support Group Officers approached a parked vehicle and clearly interrupted a savage attack that was taking place on a young female who was in her car. With the arrival of the police the offender ran off into the bush area and the officers rendered first aid to the victim who had suffered a cut throat as well as bruising to her face. Although a full scale search was carried out for the suspect no arrests have been made to date. (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

 “The officers, by going about their normal patrolling duty, clearly prevented what could have been an even worse attack,” Detective Inspector Burton who is leading the hunt for the attackers said. “Every effort is being taken to try and arrest the attacker.”
The young victim was transported to the Cayman Islands hospital where she was treated for her injuries.

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Financial lawyer says moves not ‘significant’

| 17/06/2010 | 1 Comment

(CNS): Following news of another fund moving from the Cayman Islands one of Appleby’s partners based in Switzerland has said that the recent re-domiciling in the industry is not necessarily all that much of a concern to the jurisdiction. Despite moves by SkyBridge Capital, Citigroup funds Marshall Wace’s funds, Zais Group and rumours of a lot more, Matthew Feargrieve from the Cayman law firm’s Zurich office said while there is a lot of “jurisdictional arbitrage going on”  it’s not statistically significant.

He said that re-domiciliation is a very expensive and complicated procedure, and it is only the bigger managers that are likely to be able to absorb the cost.

“On the other side of the coin, and this is something you don’t really read about, we are seeing more inflows of single managers into Cayman,” Feargrieve told HFM Week.
Increased US economic activity and what Feargrieve calls a growing “boredom” with the AIFM carnival are all playing their part, but, essentially, while the regulatory hubbub will subside, onshore products will never provide the alpha managers and investors crave.
“And Cayman is still the default jurisdiction for that,” Feargrieve told the industry’ magazine’s website.
Meanwhile, as the uncertainty overhow much Cayman will be effected by Europe’s AIFM continues, in Washington on Wednesday senate Democrats offered a scaled-back version of the planned tax on investment fund managers. Reuters reports that the new investment fund managers’ tax, aims to tax 75 percent of investment fund managers income at ordinary tax rates, with an exception for assets held at least 5 years, of which only 50 percent would be taxed at ordinary income rates, according to committee documents. Senate rejected a larger, costlier bill.
 

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World Cup blackout due to TV rights, says WestStar

| 17/06/2010 | 37 Comments

(CNS): Viewers in Cayman attempting to watch World Cup 2010 coverage on ESPN or Univision will be disappointed as a result of a blackout on all channels other than Cayman 27 and Island 24 for the tournament. According to the local television provider, the blackout on ESPN and other channels is due to distribution rights in the Caribbean. The firm said it was only able to provide World Cup coverage on its local channels. “Broadcasting rights are a major source of income for FIFA, which sells distribution rights for specific regions and WestStar has acquired the broadcast distribution rights in the Cayman Islands,” the firm said.

“These rights require WestStar to only carry the feed delivered from IMC, the authorized re-seller in the Caribbean, to ensure the interests of the sponsors are protected. As a result, all feeds on other cable channels have been blacked out,” WestSar Director of Operations, Traci Bradley explained in a media statement.
Although games were shown on ESPN and other channels over the weekend, WestStar began blanking out channels, including the Spanish channels which local viewers pay extra for and which they hoped would enable them to see the games with Spanish commentary.
WestStar said it regretted the inconvenience but World Cup fans could still enjoy full coverage of the games on the local channels now located at 24 and 27.

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DoT closes US regional offices to save cash

| 17/06/2010 | 8 Comments

(CNS): The Department of Tourism has said it has saved over $1 million by closing three regional offices in the United States. In what it describes as a restructuring of its US operations designed to “increase the efficiency and effectiveness” of the Cayman Islands tourism investment in the US market, the offices in Miami, Houston and Chicago will be closed and 12 staff made redundant. It said the national office in New York will coordinate the US operations with five home based marketing representatives who will cover the country. The change comes following a review of Cayman’s marketing structure in the States which has not changed for ten years.

The decision to restructure came about following a strategic review of the department’s effectiveness and ability to deliver on its mandate to increase visitors to the Islands, said Shomari Scott, Ag. Director of Tourism. "The world has changed significantly, especially in recent times, yet the organisational structure in the US has remained static for almost a decade," he said.
“In today’s world, with today’s economic challenges, the Department needs a more flexible and robust structure that will allow for the best return on investment of funds spent. This is particularly important in the current environment where internet, mobile and social media are key drivers for information sharing, decision making and ultimately influencing consumer behaviour."

Dot said the new streamlined framework will enable government entity to target the travel trade as well as consumers. "The new structure is leaner and more focused on the modern needs of the international market and local industry and we expect the modified organisation will enhance the effectiveness of our integrated marketing efforts, which utilize TV, interactive media, print, public relations and promotions," Scott explained.

 "The Cayman Islands is up against fierce competition from other Caribbean destinations," he said, "and Jamaica, Bahamas and Aruba have all restructured their USA based sales/marketing forces a few years back. In order to maintain and grow our market share we too must have the ability to dynamically respond to ever changing market forces."

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Osborne plans to scrap UK’s financial regulator

| 17/06/2010 | 0 Comments

(Bloomberg): The UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne had said he will abolish the Financial Services Authority and give most of its power to the Bank of England, undoing the regulatory system set up by Gordon Brown in 1997. In the most sweeping changes to financial regulation since then, the watchdog will be wound down and replaced by three bodies over the next two years, the chancellor said. A Prudential Regulatory Authority will be created as a subsidiary of the central bank. Osborne says he will also set up a Financial Policy Committee at the bank and establish a consumer protection and markets agency.

 Osborne, whose Conservative Party took power after the May 6 election, is delivering on a promise made almost a year ago to shake up the way the U.K.’s banks and markets are policed. He’s blamed the system established by former Labour Prime Minister Brown for failing to prevent a financial crisis that saddled taxpayers with liabilities of as much as 1.4 trillion pounds ($2.1 trillion) and plunged the economy into the worst recession since World War II.

 

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Plan depends on cuts

| 17/06/2010 | 12 Comments

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman Island headline News(CNS): According to the Cayman Islands government, its financial recovery will depend on a combination of improvements in external influences and major cuts on internal ones. The three-year plan that government submitted to the UK reveals that the country’s earnings won’t reach the levels it had predicted to collect in the 2009/10 (last October) until the 2012/13 fiscal year. However, government aims to cut government spending. In this long term national financial plan it says public expenditure will continue to fall from the predicted highs of almost $532 million for core government in 2009 to just over $462 million by 2013 — eliminating the country’s deficit.

Government says it aims to do this through pro-growth policies combined with public sector reform and spending cuts, as well as the anticipated eventual turnaround of the country’s own domestic economy and the impact of the worldwide recovery.
In the plan submitted to London the CIG has stated that the adoption of four key strategies will reduce spending and increase earnings over the next three years to turn the current budget deficit into a surplus, reduce the country’s debt and add to the government’s cash balances and grow the reserves. These are public sector management and spending reform, limits on new borrowing, a realignment of revenue bases and the use of public finance initiatives.
In his budget address on Tuesday the premier said the improvements in the country’s fiscal fortunes would be as a result of gradual economic recovery, which is expected to start in 2011. McKeeva Bush predicted a strong rebound of tourism-related services, the start of a number of new construction projects and a modest recovery of the financial services sector.
“Apart from pursuing fiscal prudence, the projected international economic recovery is expected to fuel the local economy. In addition, the private sector led investment strategy is forecasted to bear fruit in the medium-term, and this in combination with external driven demand would boost government revenue,” Bush told the Legislative Assembly. “The fiscal recovery is achieved by expenditure control and revenue growth stimulated by increasing economic activity.”
The three-year plan depends on a number of variables, not least the hope of considerably more inward investment into the country as well as recovery in various sectors. Although the premier has warned of increases in duty, with the exception of 25 cents on fuel this financial year the plan does not give specific details of what other increases in consumption taxes the country is likely to face.
Rejecting direct taxation, the three-year plan focuses on consumption based fees through customs and Bush said government plans to examine the full list of tariffs under the Cayman Islands Customs Law with a view to adjusting them. “This type of fee has the benefit of spreading the burden across the wider community while minimizing the impact on businesses,” he added.
The three-year plan, now a public document, points to major public sector reform and the implementation of a number of the recommendations in the recent Miller/Shaw report. Government also plans to use the results of the current internal civil service review to cut operating expenses. According to the predicted figures, spending cuts form a key part of the plan but details of exactly what will be cut over the coming years have yet to be revealed. The plan talks about early gains with cuts of more than 10% (later increased to 11%) in the spending appropriations initially planned for the 2010/2011 fiscal year. Some of the significant future spending cuts are likely to come as a result of the government’s decision to look at divestment.
Government will also be looking to the private sector to finance the country’s major capital projects in future, which will in turn limit its need for future borrowing. Government says it will now pursue a low borrowing policy over the next three years, limiting new capital expenditures to a nominal amount, which is not to exceed CI$25 million (approximately 1% of GDP) in any of the three years.
The plan will also depend heavily on a number of outside influences and creating a business friendly environment. Bush said in the immediate term there would be minimum increases in fees, as the plan points out that the increase in work permits has likely driven business away.
“The experience of the current fiscal year indicates that the economy is at the point where further taxes will very likely cause direct harm to the economy. The attempt to raise significantly work permit fees for foreign workers, for example, has likely contributed to firms restructuring their personnel to work from other jurisdictions outside the Cayman Islands,” the plan states. “This has not only resulted in lower than expected work permit fees but has also contributed to a reduction in the level of spending within the local economy.”
Government hopes to increase the physical presence of financial services firms, target new sources of business in Asia and facilitate major investment projects, which it says can generate close to $2 billion in the next five years. From the proposed cargo port in East End to the new hospital project, the projects are expected to generate jobs and bring in significant revenue to government according to the plan.

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Local lawyer listed with world experts

| 17/06/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A Cayman Islands lawyer has been listed as one of the world’s experts on investment in a leading industry publication. Neal Lomax a partner at the Cayman Islands’ Mourant Ozannes office joins a number of legal specialists in the ‘2010 Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Investment Funds Lawyers’, published this month by the Legal Media Group. Several lawyers from Mourant Ozannes have been included in the ‘2010 Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Investment Funds Lawyers’, published this month by the Legal Media Group.

To be rated as world leaders in their field the funds lawyers were nominated by clientsand leading industry figures based on their work and reputation, followed by a review from a panel of impartial experts in legal centres worldwide.
As well as Lomax the “world’s leading” list includes Gavin Farrell, Peter Harwood, Paul Christopher, David Moore from Mourant Ozannes Guernsey office and Edward Devenport, Ben Robins and Jacqueline Richomme from Jersey.
“We are delighted that our funds partners from across the firm have been recognised in this way,” Jonathan Rigby, Group Managing Partner at Mourant Ozannes, said. “We strive to be consistently recognised as the leading law firm offshore and for our funds lawyers to be rated as world leading is a fantastic achievement.”
The Legal Media Group have been publishing international guides to individual lawyers in specific practice areas and jurisdictions for over 15 years, with a new edition of each Guide being published every two years.
On 1 June 2010 Mourant du Feu & Jeune and Ozannes, merged to create Mourant Ozannes. Mourant Ozannes draws on the heritage of two market leaders and has approximately 200 fee-earners and 50 partners practising from offices in the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Jersey and London. 

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Cayman to suffer as funds migrate to Europe

| 17/06/2010 | 32 Comments

(HMFWeek.com): Zais Group, is moving around $500m of assets held in the Cayman Islands to Luxembourg, HFMWeek has reported. The fund manager will move all its funds with European investors away from Cayman because of the encroaching regulation that will place restrictions on funds marketing to European investors. Luxembourg is becoming an increasingly popular destination with fund managers. As funds consider reshuffling their structures to conform to the AIFM Directive’s restrictions on the marketing of US managed hedge funds to European investors, Cayman looks set to suffer the biggest impact, should hedge funds and their European investors decide to migrate their holdings away from the island.

Last week, HFMWeek reported that SkyBridge Capital was considering creating Luxembourg Sicav versions of two Cayman-based funds of hedge funds (FoHFs).

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