Archive for November 29th, 2010

Mac goes back on road

| 29/11/2010 | 37 Comments

(CNS): The country’s premier has headed overseas again to promote the Cayman Islands, according to officials. The premier departed for the United States this weekend to attend the Financial Times (FT) Global Finance Forum in New York. Before the conference opens on Thursday McKeeva Bush will be delivering an address at the ‘Cayman Islands International Financial Centre Update Dinner’ tomorrow evening. A release from the premier’s office said he will be delivering an important message to various stakeholders in the financial sector about Cayman as a jurisdiction of choice. Bush is expected to speak to an audience of chief financial officers, chief operating officers, partners and general councils of major firms such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.

The speech themed “Ensuring the Cayman Islands Remains the Jurisdiction of Choice” will focus on the maintenance of the Cayman Islands tax neutral status and its commitment to meet the standards of international tax transparency.

“The premier will also give an update of developments in the Cayman Islands and government initiatives to enhance the Cayman business environment,” the press office stated.

The forum, which opens 2 December, is titled “Reforming the Global Financial System” and is sponsored by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority. Forum attendees will discuss ways to strengthen the global financial industry. The premier will deliver the opening remarks at the FT forum, which will be attended by senior executives in the financial services industry, senior government officials, financial services lawyers and accountants, regulatory bodies and academic experts in international finance, regulation and economics.

During last week’s presentation in the Legislative Assembly of the government’s Strategic Policy Statement the premier spoke of the importance of travelling to promote Cayman’s position and that his efforts were beginning to bear fruit.

Bush said he intended to build up the reputation of the jurisdiction and was planning a comprehensive international marketing road show in conjunction with the private sector partners. He said that Cayman had to be at the table at important events and to actively pursue appropriate business and investors.

“We cannot just be the regulator; we have to be partners with the financial services industry and we need to be at the table wherever that is,” Bush said.

Accompanying the premier is his senior political assistant, Richard Parchment, and Financial Services Chief Officer Dr Dax Basdeo is also attending the FT forum.

The premier returns home on 4 December and during his absence Julianna O’Connor-Connolly will be acting as premier.

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Police make last push for public survey

| 29/11/2010 | 1 Comment

(CNS): The RCIPS is making a last minute push to encourage everyone to take part in the police public opinion survey. The survey, which the service says is the most comprehensive ever undertaken by the RCIPS, began on Friday, 12 November and will finish this coming Friday, 3 December. The survey asks the public what they think of the service they receive from all of the key policing areas of criminal investigation, uniform operations and specialist support such as the marine and drugs units. The survey aims to identify public perceptions in the areas of crime investigation and policing and aid in developing potential public priorities for the RCIPS.

Anthony Ennis the Deputy Commissioner encouraged everyone who has an interest in keeping the community safe to take part and help shape the future of policing in the Islands. ” You will have an important say in changing the way RCIPS conducts the business of policing,” Ennis added.

He explained that the survey will be directly linked to the RCIPS vision detailed in its Corporate Plan of reducing crime and disorder, strengthening the trust and confidence of the community and working with the community and partners to build a stronger Cayman Islands.

Those who still wish to take part in the survey can either participate on-line by visiting the RCIPS website and click the link on the front page: www.rcips.ky or complete a paper survey form held at every local police station reception.

The results of the survey, which is being managed on a ‘no cost’ basis by Deloitte, will be published at a future date.
 

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UK chancellor to review tax on multinationals

| 29/11/2010 | 0 Comments

(FT.Com): George Osborne as expected to set out his stall on Monday for restoring Britain’s tax competitiveness with a consultation on a far-reaching overhaul of rules blamed for the departure of several multinationals in recent years. The Treasury will propose making the tax system more “territorial” by restricting its right to impose tax on profits earned in low tax jurisdictions, as part of a drive to make the UK “the most competitive corporate tax system in the G20”. The reforms to the “controlled foreign companies” rules, the anti-avoidance regime affecting foreign profits, are designed to stop companies moving their tax base out of Britain to countries with no CFC rules, such as Ireland.

The Treasury is under pressure to make the reform of the rules radical enough to satisfy footloose companies while reassuring businesses that fear their taxes may rise to pay for the CFC changes.

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Grouper ban still in place at spawning sites

| 29/11/2010 | 10 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Marine Conservation Board has issued a reminder that the ban on taking Nassau grouper from a designated spawning area during the months November through March is still in effect. It is also illegal for grouper to taken with a spear gun in Cayman waters at anytime. Members of the board said that the public can report violations of the Marine Conservation Law confidentially to the DOE at 949-8469, Marine Enforcement Supervisor Mark Orr at 916-4271, or Emergency 911. Anyone who takes, receives or has in his possession any Nassau grouper from these areas if convicted, is liable to a penalty of CI$500,000.00 and one year in jail.

The grouper spawning areas are in Grand Cayman – East End ‘Coxswain Bank’; South West Point ‘Sand Cay’, Cayman Brac – East End and West End, Little Cayman –East End and West End, 12 Mile Bank-Northeast and Southwest ends. More information on the locations is available at the Department of Environment Offices on North Sound Rd. George Town.

A ban on fishing in grouper areas was introduced in the Cayman Islands in 2001 to try and preserve the fish which is now listed as endangered. Despite the fact that the Department of the Environment works closely with the RCIPS Marine Unit to enforce the ban there are still a number of people illegally catching the endangered fish in local waters with spear guns and taking from spawning areas.

DoE Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie warned earlier this year that the more illegal fishing that takes place, the greater the impact on the aggregation. Ebanks-Petrie said that, at the moment, the ban on fishing grouper in designated spawning areas remains in place until 1 January 2012.
 

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Murder convictions safe

| 29/11/2010 | 31 Comments

(CNS): The Court of Appeal has rejected the appeals of Larry Ricketts and Kirkland Henry on their conviction for the murder of Estella Scott-Roberts. On behalf of the three appeal court judges, the president, Sir John Chadwick, briefly revealed the decision this morning but said a written ruling would be handed down later. "By any standards this was an horrendous crime," the president told the court. He said that the appellants’ lead counsel had advanced every point that could properly have been done on their clients behalf. However, the president told the court, "We are satsified there are no grounds for allowing these appeals. Accordingly they are both dismissed." (Photo courtesy Cayman27)

Ricketts and Henry were both sentenced to life in prison by the chief justice in February this year for the October 2008 murder. (Photo courtesy Cayman27)

Henry has already pleaded guilty to rape, abduction and robbery and was given 20 years for those crimes in the wake of the murder trial. Ricketts who has pleaded not guilty to robbery, rape and abduction is listed to face another trial for those offences. However, the crown may decide that with a safe murder conviction it is not in the public interest to continue with a second trial relating to the offence.

There has been no indication so far from either of the attorneys representing Ricketts or Henry if they intend to take the appeals to the UK’s Privy Council.

 

Full story on CNS later today.

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Temperatures could rise 4 degrees by 2060

| 29/11/2010 | 0 Comments

(Daily Telegraph): As the latest round of UN climate talks gets under way, scientists said that even with strong political will, the chances of changing energy systems fast enough to limit global warming to less than 2C is "slim" and eventual temperature rises of 3C or 4C are much more likely. A recent study by the UN Environment Programme showed the voluntary pledges by countries to curb emissions under the Copenhagen Accord, drawn up at the climate talks last year, will not be sufficient to keep global temperatures from rising by more than 2C – widely recognised as a "guard rail" below which dangerous climate change could mostly be avoided.

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Conference to cover common Caribbean concerns

| 29/11/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Northern Caribbean Conference (NCC) on Economic Development and Co-operation will offer the opportunity for countries in the region to tackle their common issues, organisers stated last week. Immigration, trade, education and security will be key focus areas at the December Conference, to be held at the Ritz-Carlton in Grand Cayman. A diverse range of subjects will be on the table from cattle smuggling between Jamaica and Cayman to a rational way of getting foodstuff into Haiti and organisers have said they hoped new possibilities will emerge between the regions countries.

Participation isexpected from the Bahamas, Cuba, the Cayman Islands, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, with the aim of encouraging closer regional collaboration and augmenting economic development.

“There are specific things we can deal with right now, such as in the movement of people between our countries,” Earl Jarrett, General Manager of Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) said. He pointed out that there was a significant population of Jamaicans in the Cayman Islands, while there were Haitians in the Bahamas and Jamaica.

“We have people moving around despite the structures put up by government,” Jarrett said at a press briefing held in Kingston and Grand Cayman concurrently, last week. The NCC will be hosted by the National Building Society of Cayman (NBSC) and JNBS.

The conference will include presentations from the Cayman Islands premier the Jamaican prime minister of Jamaica and CARICOM representative for Haiti P.J. Patterson. It will also be addressed by representatives from American, Canadian and British development agencies; as well as entrepreneurs and members of academia.
 

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Mac rejects Keynesian economics for Cayman

| 29/11/2010 | 1 Comment

(CNS): The country’s leader has said it should be the private sector that creates Cayman’s wealth and not government that props up an economy. During his Strategic Policy Statement in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday, the premier rejected the Keynesian economic model that he said the previous administration had adopted because he said Cayman was too small. While it might suit developed countries Bush stated that it was not the best choice for small developing economies with fixed exchange rates, no natural resources, or manufacturing.

Go to CNS Business page to read the rest of this story, other business news and to comment.
 

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Keynes no good for Cayman

| 29/11/2010 | 15 Comments

(CNS): The premier has said that Keynesian economic policy is no good for the Cayman Islands because the country is too small. He said the theory that government can buoy up a flagging national economy during a recession with major projects may be suitable for the world’s larger economies but it was inappropriate for Cayman. Criticising the PPM for their approach to spending when they were in office as the recession began to hit, McKeeva Bush said the government has first got to be more fiscally prudent before it can inject money into the economy. Bush said that his government was creating the environment for the private sector to stimulate the economy.

“It is okay for developed countries to choose the formula put forward by the great British economist, John Maynard Keynes, of increasing government spending during a recession, but this is not necessarily wise for small developing economies with fixed exchange rates, no large natural resources, little manufacturing, a deteriorating revenue base and, thus, limited capacity to borrow,” the premier stated in a clear indication of his government’s policy position.

“The growth of the national debt during the last PPM administration between 2005 and 2008 served to constrain our capacity to employ the Keynesian formula this time around. Given the evidence so far, we have made the right choices. We would leave the big spending to the big countries and act with fiscal prudence in the economic management of the Cayman Islands.”

He said that because of the action taken by the previous administration to keep on spending, leaving the country’s finances in a “very perilous state” nothing could be done by government to stimulate recovery until that situation was repaired. Quoting his Cabinet colleague and former accountant, Rolston Anglin, who said last year that in a free market economy a government has to listen and craft legislation to promote and protect the jurisdiction, Bush said he was adopting a more pragmatic approach, working with the private sector to create the wealth.

“When we therefore show that we have the guts to put our fiscal house in order, the right signals are sent to stakeholders in the international centres such as Washington, New York and London,” the premier stated, adding that the goal of his government was to depend on the private sector to boost the country’s economic fortunes.

“The government understands that the best strategy for achieving sustainable growth in the Cayman Islands’ economy is to inspire the private sector to do what the private sector does best — create wealth and generate jobs,” he said.

During the 2010/11 budget address Bush had placed a strong emphasis on partnering with the private sector to get out of the recession and he was continuing to do that to drive the economic recovery. He revealed that there will be no new borrowing by government over the rest of the political term and that each year government spending on capital projects would be limited to only $25 million.

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Cayman HQ’d legal firm creates jobs in Ireland

| 29/11/2010 | 18 Comments

(Hedgeweek): Walkers, the legal and management services provider, says it will be creating a significant number of jobs in Ireland as the firm further expands its Dublin office which opened in October. Approximately 25 new positions will be created by the end of 2010, rising to around50 new jobs by the end of 2011. "We are committed to developing a strong presence in Dublin with experienced top tier Irish lawyers and professionals, providing them with the opportunity to grow the Irish corporate business through our global network," says Vicki Hazelden, managing partner of Walkers’ Dublin office.

"We are excited about our expansion in Ireland which is a very desirable location for international financial services. The International Financial Services Centre has been a beacon of strength for the economy and has benefited from a very broad network of global tax treaties and the maintenance of the 12.5 per cent corporation tax rate which we are pleased to see is part of the Government’s four year national recovery plan."
 

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