BVI: Announcement of Requirement to File Register of Directors

British Virgin Islands – The BVI Business Companies (Amendment) Act, 2015 (the Amendment Act), which includes new requirements for the filing of director information with the Registry of Corporate Affairs was published on 31 December 2015, and came into force on 15 January 2016. Sections 27 and 28 of the Amendment Act in relation to the provisions/filing of the Register of Directors will come into force on 1 April 2016.

Open-ended fund structures for Hong Kong

Hong Kong Asset managers may soon have an alternative to unit trusts if they wish to set up open-ended investment funds in Hong Kong. Legislators are reviewing rules that would allow open-ended fund companies to operate in Hong Kong for the first time. Unlike regular companies, these entities are able to vary share capital to meet investors’ subscriptions and redemptions. We understand that the aim of the rules is to provide additional choices in terms of fund structures and to promote the use and structuring of fund product in Hong Kong, with the overall goal being to strengthen Hong Kong’s position as an international asset management centre. Open-ended fund companies would need to register with the Securities and Futures Commission, Hong Kong’s financial regulator, and meet various requirements, such as appointing an independent custodian. The recently published Securities and Futures (Amendment) Bill 2016 must pass through a Second and Third Reading before it is enacted into law. We hope this doesn’t take as long to happen as the amendments to the Trustee Ordinance.   The vast majority of alternative fund product (open-ended and closed-ended) in Hong Kong or offered from Hong Kong by SFC licensed managers, has always been Cayman Islands domiciled fund structures.  This is not expected to change any time soon, but mid-shore options such as these are most welcome and likely to find a home.

Delay of the Implementation of Common Reporting System (CRS)

British Virgin Islands FSC has confirmed that it will delay implementation of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) in the BVI.

On the 1st of January 2016 legislation to implement the CRS rules came into effect. The BVI tax authority has now clarified that Financial Institutions will be required to notify that they will have reporting obligations for the 2016 reporting year by 30 April 2017, …

Cayman Companies (Amendment) Law 2015

Appointments and Notification of Changes to Directors – The Companies (Amendment) Law 2015 has now come into effect in the Cayman Islands and will have potential application to all Cayman Islands companies. The Law deals with appointments and notification of changes to directors.

The Hong Kong Competition Ordinance

14 December 2015 will see Hong Kong finally catch up with other free market economies when the much delayed Competition Ordinance comes into operation.

Your New Year’s resolution should be made a little earlier than normal, to ensure that 2016 doesn’t bring you some unfortunate surprises with the monkey of the Competition Commission on your back.