Archive for October 17th, 2010

Miss Cayman makes her mark in China

| 17/10/2010 | 26 Comments

(CNS): With only two weeks to go before Miss Cayman Islands gets her chance at the world’s biggest beauty pageant crown, Cristin Alexander is already making her mark in China. One of forty girls selected out of over 120 contestants to compete in the swimwear semi-finals, Cristin’s six foot figure is catching some real attention at the Miss World 2010 preliminary rounds and rehearsals for the main event. Coming from a small country, Cristin is also doing exceptionally well in the people’s choice poll, in which she is currently (Sunday evening ) in the top ten. To keep her there and push her to the top of the ratings click here. Now in its 60th year the Miss World 2010 beauty pageant takes place in Sanya, in China’s Hainan Province on Saturday 30 October, when the reigning Miss World, Kaiane Aldorino, will crown her successor.

Over the next two weeks Cristen and her competitors will be involved in a whirl of rehearsals photo shoots, preliminary contests and special appearances to getthemselves noticed and into the final rounds of the contest.

For more details visit  www.missworld.com
 
To vote for Cristin in the people’s choice visit missosology.org

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dms buys local insurer for premium, boss reveals

| 17/10/2010 | 6 Comments

(CNS): Cayman Islands-based business conglomerate dms Organization Ltd. (DMS) has confirmed that it has bought the country’s oldest insurance company, Motor and General Insurance (Cayman). dms said that a definitive agreement to acquire 100 percent of the troubled local firm, which will now operate under the name Saxon Motor and General Insurance. dms president Don Seymour revealed that there had been an intense bidding war for the firm and his company had to pay a substantial premium to win it, but he said the company was a strong performer that was well capitalised and with a track record of profitability.

The deal is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2010 and is contingent on approval of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority and the Central Bank of Trinidad and other closing conditions.

Motor and General ran into problems earlier this year when the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT) suspended trading of the parent company, following protracted financial difficulties for the firm there, in June of this year. CIMA appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers as controllers of the local brach to protect local policy holders and the assets of the company’s Cayman Islands operation which was a proitable entity.

President of dms Don Seymour said the new firm will deliver low-cost auto insurance to all consumers. “We believe that irrespective of the value of your car, everyone is interested in saving money on their car insurance,” Seymour stated. “We plan to build a top tier insurance provider throughinnovation, a seasoned management team and leveraging the existing capabilities of dms Organization to maintain a low-cost operating structure.dms has a track record of innovation so we hope to use this discipline to dramatically transform the insurance landscape by creating new standards for consumer experiences that build a loyal consumer base.”
 
As the firm is not foreign owned he added that local consumers could be confident that Saxon MG will always act in their best interest.
 
“Every dollar spent on car insurance will be reinvested in our locally economy and not sent overseas,” Seymour promised. “This is an important consideration in our difficult economic situation, as everyone is being challenged to do whatever they can do to help grow Cayman’s economy, stimulate job creation and build a stronger community.”
 
Seymour stated that the firm’s core business fundamentals are very strong and the market for insurance in continually growing.
 
“Either you believe in Cayman’s future or you don’t. Our investment speaks loudly about what we believe and are completely committed to,” he added. "This is significant not just for DMS but for the entire Cayman Islands.  Saxon MG is now the only wholly Caymanian owned insurance company in the Cayman Islands.” 
 
Seymour also said there would be no job losses and existing team members would join the DMS family over the coming months.

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Generation Now turns to tax

| 17/10/2010 | 82 Comments

(CNS): Following the recent discussion on the controversial issue of legalising gambling, the local advocates for critical thinking, Generation Now, are taking on the even more thorny topic of direct taxation at their next open forum. “Taxation: Is Cayman’s revenue base sustainable or is direct taxation inevitable?” will be the subject of discussion. Although the topic has been discussed widely in terms of its impact on the financial services sector in the wake of the government’s trouble balancing the budget, Generation Now said that so far little attention has been paid to the potential impact of direct taxation versus the existing indirect taxation on the domestic economy.

“As a group we recognize that though this particular issue has been discussed by a few persons/groups throughout our country, it has been confined mainly to the impact on the financial industry,” Donald Spence, one of the Generation Now directors, said, adding that the group wanted to broaden the scope of the discussion. “We want to determine the pros and cons of the current system of indirect taxation versus a system of direct taxation and any perceived impact on the Cayman Islands from a socio-economic perspective that such measures would have on our local economy.”
 
The panel includes Anthony Travers, former partner of Maples and Calder and Chairman of Cayman Finance; Paul Byles, MD of Focus Consulting, economist and author; Wil Pineau, CEO of the chamber of Commerce, Tom McCallum of McCallum Solutions; and Steve McIntosh, CEO of CML Offshore Recruitment.
 
The panellists will be taking questions from the public that are emailed before the night of the debate as well as ones from the live audience at the venue. The forum will again be moderated by Austin Harris and aired live on Radio Cayman. Organisers are asking members of the public to submit their ‘tax’ related questions by email before the event to gnowdiscussions@yahoo.com
 
The event will take place on Thursday 28 October 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm at the Harquail Theatre the event is free to the public however organisers will be asking for voluntary donations to help with costs.

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Customs staff to face business community

| 17/10/2010 | 15 Comments

(CNS): Representatives from the Customs Department will be tackling questions from members of the business community next week at a special face-to-face forum hosted by the Chamber of Commerce. The fourth presentation in the ‘Be Informed’ series, will examine the process of importing goods into the Cayman Islands. Collector of Customs Carlin Powery, DC Operations Collie Powery, Training Manager for Customs Langlie Powery, Accounts Manager Mitzi Jervis, and Systems Administrator Ronnie Miller will be on hand to discuss a range of issues that impact most local businesses, from cargo processing to bringing in goods through the airport.

Langlie Powery will be giving a presentation that includes an overview of the department its aims and objectives, as well as how the department deals with compliance management and how it collects the money, the Chamber said.

The Customs Department is responsible for collecting a significant amount of government revenue and staff will be explaining how it is done.
 
This presentation will be held at the Westin Casuarina Resort & Spa on Wednesday, 27 October,  3-5pm in the Galleon Ballroom. This is a free event sponsored by SteppingStones. All Chamber members and their guests are invited to attend and meet face-to-face with experts in the Customs Department.
 
To register please go online at www.caymanchamber.ky or contact Kerry.pratt@caymanchamber.ky, 949-8090 ext. 126

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Oxford Uni admits only one black Caribbean student

| 17/10/2010 | 40 Comments

(Daily Mail): Oxford University has come under fire after it was revealed that it only admitted one black Caribbean student last year.  The elite university recruited more than 3,000 students last year and almost 90 per cent of them were white. Trevor Philips, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission described the record of recruiting ethnic students to the country’s top universities as ‘dire.’ Suggestions have now been made that ethnic quotas should be introduced to insure more black and Pakistani students are given the chance to attend some of the best universities in the country. But Oxford have dismissed the idea and said they would continue to work to recruit more undergraduates from diverse backgrounds. 

 

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Cayman in middle of UK Cabinet tax scandal

| 17/10/2010 | 0 Comments

(Daily Mail): A UK TV channel is embroiled in a row with government over an investigation into the financial affairs of Cabinet Ministers.  The documentary makes allegations about millionaire Ministers including Chancellor George Osborne, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond and International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell. All three men strongly denied any implication that they had acted improperly by deploying tax-avoiding measures. The Foreign Office entered the row after learning that the report would claim that it had granted special financial treatment to the Cayman Islands – an infamous tax haven – thus indirectly benefiting companies run by Tory Party donors.

The Dispatches programme, timed to coincide with this week’s spending cuts, makes ironic use of the Coalition’s claim that ‘we are all in this together’, before delving into some of the ‘wealth management’ strategies Ministers use to preserve their fortunes.

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