Archive for May, 2009

CUC raises $40 million

| 31/05/2009 | 7 Comments

(CUC): Local power company Caribbean Utilities Company, Ltd. (CUC) said on Friday that it now had access to the first tranche of a US$40 million private placement of 7.50% Senior Unsecured Notes which will be due to be paid back in May 2024. The firm said that the debt offering was privately placed with institutional investors in the United States and that the first $30 million will be used to repay short-term debts and to finance ongoing upgrades to CUC’s generation and transmission and distribution system.

 “We are pleased to have been able to secure this additional financing on favourable terms at a time when many companies are unable to access growth capital,” said President and Chief Executive Officer, Richard Hew. “CUC’s status as a publicly traded company with a strong debt rating helps secure access to efficient capital markets which enable us to sustain our commitment of over 40 years to reliable and efficient electrical service to Grand Cayman.”

He explained that without access to these sources of capital, CUC would be challenged to make the significant long term capital investments required to meet growth and reliability requirements of Grand Cayman. The completion of ongoing projects such as the Rum Point to Frank Sound transmission loop and the 16 megaWatt MAN Diesel generation capacity expansion, ensure that customers receive reliable service and also help sustain a high standard of infrastructure necessary to support existing industry and attract future development to the island, the CEO added.

CUC said the notes will not be registered under the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”) as amended, nor will they be registered under any state securities laws. Unless so registered, the notes may not be offered or sold except pursuant to an exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the Securities Act and applicable state securities laws.

The second tranche of US$10 million is scheduled to close in July 2009 the firm said.


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Drop rollover, says Travers

| 31/05/2009 | 94 Comments

(CNS):  In response to direct questions from the new leader of government business about how financial services business activity can be increased, Anthony Travers, the chair of CIFSA, told McKeeva Bush that immediate consideration would have to be given to the application of the rollover policy to professionals in the financial industry. “Whilst there are clear and good reasons to maintain a rollover policy, it is unrealistic to expect that talented professionals in the financial industry will be attracted to the Cayman Islands with the uncertainty of the seven year term,” Travers told the new Leader.

Travers explained the current situation within the financial services sector at a meeting which took place at the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman on Thursday, 28 May, with LOGB Bush, Chief Secretary George McCarthy, Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson, other members of the Cayman Islands Financial Services Association (CIFSA) and industry stakeholders. 

Travers said that currently Cayman’s competitors were benefiting from the exodus of fund managers and finance professionals from the United Kingdom and other G20 countries, while Cayman itself was not.  “There was no concern that justified the application of the rollover policy to highly talented professionals with qualifications and indeed, by doing so, there is clear evidence that fund administration business has moved out of the Cayman Islands and that job opportunities for young Caymanians have, as a result, been significantly reduced,” he added.

The CIFSA Chair also told Bush and the other ministers that the application of appropriate regulation could not be used as an excuse to delay an immediate response time from the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority with respect to new financial activity licensing. He said that with the decline in the volume of transactional flows, nothing had been done to effectively develop alternative strategies.

“The inescapable conclusion for Cayman is that higher quality infrastructure has to be attracted to the Islands and the issue of immigration and the speed of the licensing process are central to the success of that objective,” Travers explained, adding that another immediate problem was the failure to attract a genuine financial infrastructure to Cayman. He explained that this was playing into the hands of the argument that there is a “lack of substantial activity” in the Cayman Islands, a core feature of the OECD attack on tax havens.

“Without introducing a radically revised approach to attracting fully staffed financial service companies, the ‘18,000 company in one building’ point which has regrettably been allowed to gain traction, translates into a major and unanswerable plank of the OECD’s anti offshore financial centre policy,” Travers added.

At the meeting Bush outlined his proposals for a delegation to visit representatives of the British Government in London with a view to resolving immediately the issue of the additional bilateral treaties to secure inclusion on the OECD White List. The LoGB also said he would restore the relationship between government and the private sector in relation to the financial services industry and indicated that he would be establishing a small financial services committee which he would chair personally and pledged to hold regular quarterly meetings with a reconstituted Private Sector Consultative Committee, which would include the major participants represented. 

McCarthy told the CIFSA representatives that he had had valuable conversations with Jeffery Owens of the OECD, and said he would be leading an immediate initiative to secure the execution of additional bilateral treaties. Jefferson also assured the private sector that there was no current intention to increase fees on the financial industry. 

Travers welcomed the comments from the ministers and indicated that CIFSA would certainly use its best endeavours to provide government with all relevant information on the basis of which it could determine a pro-active policy.

Travers warned, however, that there were dark forces at work and that he saw in the current initiatives a re-introduction of the original principles which underlay the 1997 OECD Report on Harmful Tax Competition, which was a thinly veiled attempt by the G20 countries to impose monopolistic control over all international financial services.  “It would be naïve to believe that the OECD would not shift the goal posts once again in pursuit of their ultimate objective,” Travers added.  

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Baines takes up top cop reins

| 31/05/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Having arrived on island last week, the new permanent commissioner of police, David Baines, takes up his post today (Monday 1 June) following the departure of Acting Commissioner James Smith. Baines said when he arrived that he was under no illusions about the scale of the job but he was looking forward to it, while the departing Smith said he hoped he had at least addressed some of the issues before he left.

“It is with regret that I am leaving the RCIPS this week. I arrived during an unsettling time for officers and staff and I leave hoping that I managed to ease some of the issues beingfaced by the Service as a whole and by some individuals. During my time here, I have been extremely impressed by the resilience, dedication and commitment of staff who work in a very demanding environment. There are still challenges ahead, and I wish everyone I have worked with the very best for the future as the Service continues to grow and develop,” added Smith, who was unsuccessful in his application for the top cop post for a second time as he had also been beaten out in 2005 by former Commissioner Stuart Kernohan.

Smith arrived in Cayman in December of last year following the sudden departure of Royce Hipgrave, who served as acting commissioner for less than 48 hours. It is understood he was not fully informed of the situation regarding the Special Police Investigation Team (SPIT) until he arrived on island and it is also believed he had concerns about the lack of full indemnity insurance for senior officers serving in the RCIPS.

Baines, who will be the sixth person to take up the post in less than fifteen months, has come to the Cayman Islands from his postas Assistant Chief Constable with the Cheshire Constabulary and he said he was going to do his best to take things forward and improve policing in Cayman. “I am looking forward to making a difference to people’s lives,” he told CITN. “I had a fairly limited introduction to the islands when I came during the selection process, but what I did find was a lot of really keen people anxious to do a good job and desperate to improve and put the problems that have besmirched the name of the RCIPS behind them.”

Baines will now be taking up the responsibility for the special police investigation and will also have to deal with the legal action filed by Campbells regarding the suspension and dismissal of the former Commissioner Stuart Kernohan and the alleged unlawful arrest of former police inspector Burman Scott.

Although Smith had known SIO Martin Bridger, the former metropolitan police officer who was heading up SPIT, from the UK, he did instigate Bridger’s departure from the island at the behest of the previous administration. However, he also initiated the so-called second phase of the special investigation, which he named Operation Cealt, which is reportedly investigating allegations and information that was given to SPIT over the last 18 months regarding alleged corruption in the RCIPS. The new SIO of that investigation is Anne Lawrence, but Baines will still remain in charge of SPIT as they have all been sworn in as special constables.

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Jack agrees to ministries

| 29/05/2009 | 43 Comments

(CNS): Governor Stuart Jack has agreed to all of the proposals for ministries and responsibilities for the new government laid out by the new Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush, who is now Minister of Financial Services, Tourism and Development. There has been some reshuffling of chief officers, including the return to the Ministry of Education of Mary Rodrigues, whose position as CO at the Portfolio of the Civil Service has been filled by Gloria McField Nixon. The LOGB will have two chief officers, one of which has now been appointed. Chief Officer for Tourism and Development is Carson Ebanks, while an additional chief officer will be appointed to deal with Financial Services.

According to a GIS release, Bush has responsibility for Tourism, Planning, Financial Services, Fire, Public Transport, e-Business, the Cayman Islands Investment Bureau, the London Office, and Liquor Licensing.

As expected, Rolston Anglin is Minister for Education, Training and Employment. Chief Officer for the past 4½ years, Angela Martins, is replaced by Mary Rodrigues, who was formerly Deputy CO at that ministry before moving to the Portfolio of the Civil Service. The ministry is responsible for Education Services, Employment Services, National Pensions, Educational Standards and Assessment, the Sunrise Adult Training Centre, Public Libraries, and the National Archive.

Julianna O’Connor-Connolly, who was promised a Cabinet seat on the campaign trail, is now Minister for District Administration, Works and Gender Affairs. This ministry encompasses District Administration, Agriculture, Lands and Survey, the Mosquito Research and Control Unit, Petroleum Inspectorate, Public Works, Postal Services, Vehicle and Drivers Licensing, Vehicle and Equipment Services, Environmental Health, Recreation Parks and Cemeteries, Telecommunications, Gender Affairs, the National Weather Service, and Sister Islands Sports. Chief Officer for this ministry is Kearney Gomez.

Mike Adam is Minister of Community Affairs and Housing, and is now responsible for Children and Family Services, Community Development, Family and Adult Services and Counselling Services, as well as Housing Development.

Mark Scotland, as Minister of Health, Environment, and Youth, Sports and Culture, is now responsible for Environment, as well as Health Services, Health Regulatory Services, Youth Services, Public Health, and the Cadet Corps. Scotland also has responsibility for Sports, except for Sister Islands Sports, which is now under the same ministry as District Administration.

Two CO positions have yet to be filled on a permanent basis but have been assigned temporarily to Leonard Dilbert and Jennifer Ahearn, who will be acting chief officers for CAH and Health respectively. Their positions will be advertised and filled on a permanent basis, the release says.


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Cayman hits back at Brown

| 29/05/2009 | 0 Comments

(Telegraph): Gordon Brown has been at the forefront of moves by the world’s leading economies to curb thegrowth of offshore financial centres whose friendly tax regimes have made them popular with thousands of companies. But his mission has put him on collision course with these countries – which collect vital revenues from their financial services industries – and many of which are members of the British Commonwealth. Anthony Travers, chairman of the Cayman Islands Financial Services Association says Cayman is a stable, transparent, tax neutral jurisdiction with a secure, British legal system used by global financial institutions to access international capital markets.

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Roller Hockey goes live

| 29/05/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The WestTel Youth Roller Hockey League at King’s Sports Centre will begin live-streaming the WestTel youth hockey playoffs and championship games on Saturday, 30 May with the 6u divisional games and continue throughout the remainder of the season. League Director Ray Singh said, “The new live-stream element to the program is great for family and friends all over the world. The players’ grandparents from around the world will get to share in the fun”. All live-stream footage is free to viewers and will be available by visiting

On Friday, 29 May, the league will see the 2nd Annual Inter-School Game Tournament. Cayman Prep, Cayman International School, Saint Ignatius, and Montessori by the Sea will all take part in this year’s tournament. Games start at 3:30 p.m. For more information go to

As for League standings, this past weekend saw the league come close to wrapping up its regular season games. After the Week 8 games, the Vampt Oilers regained the #1 sport in the WestTel 12U Youth Roller League. However with one round of games to be played this Saturday, the Five-Continents Leafs still have a shot at finishing in the top spot.

Game One of this past Saturday’s events, saw the Appleby Sharks face off against the Conyers Canucks, with the Canucks taking the game 8-5. Canucks Player of the Game, Finn Walker, lead his team with five points. The remaining goals were added by Ben Black (3), Daniel Harrington (3), and Mack Moser (2). Sharks Player of the Game Aaron Hersant was solid throughout the match, with the team’s points coming by Josiah Dersken (2), Leon Domloadis (2), and Tynan Klein (2).

Game Two of the morning featured the top two squads, the Vampt Oilers and Five-Continent Leafs, in a high scoring 8-2 victory for the Oilers. The Leafs (who briefly took over the #1 seed for a few weeks) came out with speed, but were unable to stop the Oilers offensive line of Adam Stainrod (2) – Player of the Game, Alex Agemian (2), Cam Galloway (3), Dominic Dyer (1), Jack Lewis (3), Marc Reid (3). Leafs Goaltender, Dylan Bostock, earned his team’s Player of the Game status for his efforts between the pipes, with points coming from Christopher Messer (2), and Nicole Whittaker (1).

The final weekend of play takes place on 30 May. With only a 1-point lead, the battle for the #1 seed in the regular season is still open for the taking. However, as history has shown (and coaches will tell you), anything can happen in the playoffs.

Only one official WestTel 9u Youth Hockey game took place this past weekend between #1 XN Finanical and #2 UBS, with a 5-3 victory in favor of the Rangers. Six different Rangers had a point in the win, Player of the Game Daniel Champoux (1), Scott Lewis (2), Nate Meghoo (3), Ethan Finlason (1), Zach Alpert (1), and Doug Norris (3). The Panthers put up a formidable fight,with the Player of the Game honours going to Marissa Towell for her stellar defensive play and one goal. The team’s other point scorers included David Pitcairn (2), Jered Holmes (1), and Shawn Lansdell (1). The victory seals the #1 seed with the XN Financial Rangers at the top of the charts.

The 2nd 9u game of the day saw the Animal House Penguins and LOM Capitals enjoy a friendly exhibition game before the end of season rush. Heading into the final few weeks of the season, there are still several makeup games for the teams.

In great fashion, the WestTel 6U Youth Hockey League wrapped up its final week of the regular season. It was a ittle unorthodox, but the teams were able to get a taste for playing against the real goalies, at least for half the game. The real goalies will be back this week as we head into the playoffs for the little ones.
The Walkers Blue Iguanas team finished up their season on a high note, with a 4-0 victory over the CSA Islanders. Player of the Game for the Blue Iguanas was Fenna Madison and Kaydin Knapik earned the Islanders Player of the Game. The CSA Islanders have a tough game ahead of them against the Maples Stars squad, but as we have seen in prior seasons, the #4 spot is usually a pretty good place to start the playoffs off!

Game two saw the Maples Stars take on the RBC-Trust Lightning group with the Stars recording their first loss of the season, with a final score of 4-1 to the Lighting. Lightning Player of the Game was Ethan Slocock who played a great game, scoring all of the team’s goals. Emily Freeman, the Stars new rookie player, earned her team’s Player of the Game status.

As we head into the playoffs, the league would like to congratulate all of the coaches and parents that helped make the regular season such a success. The players have come a long way in a very short time and much the credit goes to the many volunteer coaches who have supported the league all season. Of course the players deserve a good deal of the credit too; through dedication and team spirit, players continue to develop their skills and game play strategies. With the introduction of new live-streaming of this season’s playoffs, the league is looking forward to a great end to a great season. Good luck to all of our young athletes this coming weekend!!!


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Praise for elections staff

| 29/05/2009 | 6 Comments

(CNS): Almost 800 people were involved in last week’s elections, and Supervisor of Elections Kearney Gomez has praised all those involved, saying, “A tremendous amount of work by an extraordinarily large number of people helped make the General Elections and Referendum of 20 May a resounding success for the Cayman Islands.” In a release from the E;ections Office, Gomez, along with Deputy Supervisors Colford Scott, Orrett Connor and Ernie Scott, paid tribute to those responsible for seeing that both voting processes ran smoothly.

Workers included Registering Officers, Returning Officers and their deputies, Presiding Officers, Poll Clerks, administration and support staff, Logistics Officers, radio communication personnel, field officers, drivers and the more than 100 observers appointed by the Governor, Mr. Stuart Jack, for Cayman’s first-ever referendum.

The Elections Office training staff held over 30 training sessions for the various groups of workers, who attended without recompense.

Gomez also noted the contributions of the police officers who worked closely with the Elections Office throughout the polling hours and ballot counting, as well as for security requirements.

The men also thanked voters for the way they con-ducted themselves. “The electorate was in a good mood when I visited,” Mr. Gomez commented, noting he had been to all polling division except East End and North Side. “Everybody was on his best behaviour.”

Incidents involving the alleged handing out of cards with candidates’ names on Election Day have been turned over to police, Mr. Gomez said. Officers of the Special Branch are reportedly dealing with the matter.

Mr. Scott pointed out that a Code of Conduct for Candidates was part of the handbook given to candi-dates on Nomination Day. The code asks candidates to solemnly declare that they, their agents and sup-porters “will contribute positively to a peaceful political atmosphere conducive to free and fair elections.” The code ends with an acceptance of valid elections.

The 2009 election timetable was published in May 2008, Mr. Gomez pointed out. “Thanks to everyone’s co-operation and good effort, it went according to plan.”

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OECD wants global tax ID

| 29/05/2009 | 0 Comments

(Business Standard): Following an agreement with 84 jurisdictions on transparency and tax information exchange standards, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) says it is now working on improving the mechanism with a global tax identification number. In addition, OECD has identified at least four tax jurisdictions — Jamaica, Qatar, Botswana and Ghana — whose tax information system would be studied to find out if they are emerging as the new tax havens following the crackdown on the existing ones. “A lot of work on having a common denominator on tax information exchange is going on.

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WB cops focus on burglars

| 29/05/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): West Bay’s Area Commander Chief Inspector Angelique Howell has said that her officers are making headway in tackling burglaries in the district. Over the last few weeks, five people, aged between 29 and 40, were arrested in connection with burglaries, nine search warrants were executed, seven break-ins have been solved and a large amount of stolen property was recovered including flat screen televisions, laptop computers, gaming machines, cash, jewellery and cell phones.

 “Burglary is an extremely invasive offence which can have a huge impact on the victims,” said Howell. “Our West Bay detectives have been working hard to identify offenders and recover stolen goods and their efforts are paying off.”

 Thanking resident for their support in the fight against crime Howell urged the community to continue to act as additional eyes and ears for the police. “Working in partnership with the community is essential when it comes to preventing and solving crime,” she said asking residents to reportsuspicious activity to the police.

The RCIPS asks all residents to have security and safety at the forefront of their minds at all times. Following crime prevention advice and tips can help prevent offences from taking place and lesson the chances of becoming a victim of crime. More information on what people can do to help protect themselves can be found in the RCIPS website at or people can call their local station to speak with their neighbourhood police officers.

Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling Crime Stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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Miller vows accounts action

| 29/05/2009 | 34 Comments

(CNS): Ezzard Miller, the newly elected chair of the Legislative Assembly’s Standing Public Accounts Committee (PAC), told CNS that he has called a meeting of that committee for 10 June and has asked both Auditor General Dan Duguay and Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson to attend. Jefferson, the third official member, told the Legislative Assembly before the dissolution of the last session that it could take some considerable time to clear the backlog but the portfolio had engaged outside auditors to help the department financial chiefs catch up. Miller, however, says he wants all the audits completed and submitted to the LA by the end of the year.

Miller was elected to the committee following a tussle between the government and opposition members in Wednesday’s (27 May) inaugural meeting of the House. While the PPM members said they would have been happy to support the government nomination of Miller as chair, being that he was an independent candidate, they felt that the government should not then get to nominate him and three of their own members as it would be unfair.

“In the interest of transparency, if the government bench has decided they want four people on the public account’s committee and only one from the opposition we cannot accept that and I would respectfully nominate two members from the opposition,” said Arden McLean, suggesting Alden McLaughlin as chair as well as Moses Kirkconnell as a member.

However, Rolstin Anglin said that government was not picking four members as Miller was sitting on the opposite bench as an independent. “The government is not minded… to have four members on, we would never, ever proffer such a position that would indeed be a backward step,” he said, adding that given that the committee would be dealing with delays in accounts which occurred under the previous administration, having  former cabinet ministers on the committee could create a problem. He said, however, once the PAC dealt with the backlog of accounts, they could reconsider the situation and have a member of the opposition as chairman.

McLean said, whether from their own ranks or an independent, the government was still nominating four people. “In the interest of compromise with the government we will gladly accept the independent member as chair and two of their members… and likewise two of our members.”

Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush pointed out that they could go back and forth all day but the practice was that government has three members on that committee and the LA was fortunate to have an independent who had agreed to chair the committee, which was a good position for the country. He said the government should not give way on the membership of the committee and the opposition would still have one and that was good for them, but if they did not agree they should move to a ballot.

With a majority of seats, the government was obviously able to win the day and take three of the committee seats for its back benchers, leaving only one place for the opposition taken by Kirkconnell.

The rest of the committee selections were not forced to a ballot and Bush was nominated as the chair of the Standing Business Committee, which deals with the order of business for each sitting of the House, with Anglin, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, Alden McLaughlin and McLean becoming members. Another important committee is the select committee, which oversees the performance of the Office of the Complaints Commissioner. Cline Glidden was elected chair and McLaughlin deputy chair, with members being Dwayne Seymour, Miller and McLean.

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