New York – December 17, 2013 – The number of new offshore companies registered in the first half of 2013 increased in most jurisdictions when compared to the second half of 2012, according to Appleby, one of the world’s largest providers of offshore legal, fiduciary and administration services. There were 38,416 new incorporations in the first six months of this year and the overall number of active companies listed on offshore registers has stabilized, according to the firm’s On the Register report, which provides insight and data on company incorporations in offshore financial centers.
Within most offshore locations, the total number of companies listed on the local register has increased since the end of 2012. The number of new incorporations across the whole offshore region has fallen slightly compared with the previous six-month period but as the number of firms ceasing to trade has also dropped, this has allowed most registries to continue to grow. Many are approaching, or have even surpassed, their pre-recession peaks.
Appleby attributed the slight fall to a seasonal dip in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), which continues to dominate new company registrations, incorporating more than six times the number of new companies than the next closest jurisdiction in the first half of this year.
“The global economy appears to be stabilizing, and we’re seeing the number of new company registrations rising in most offshore jurisdictions,” said Farah Ballands, Partner and Global Head of Fiduciary & Administration Services at Appleby. “It is also encouraging to note that the overall number of companies active on the offshore registers has gone up by 5% compared to pre-recession 2008.”
Mauritius showed the biggest increase in new company incorporations with 9% more added than in the second half of 2012 and it was followed by Bermuda with 8%. The General Registry in the Cayman Islands was experiencing delays at the time of going to press with data only available to the end of March, but the Appleby report suggests that the jurisdiction is on target for 8% growth in new incorporations. In terms of the total size of the local registry, Bermuda experienced the greatest increase with 5% growth from the second half of 2012.
The report also found positive signs of recovery within the onshore economies around the globe.
“The UK and Hong Kong as onshore comparators continue to demonstrate signs of recovery, with the UK showing a particularly impressive 11% more new incorporations being registered during the first half of 2013 compared to the previous six months,” Mrs. Ballands said. “If, as we believe, the major finance centers of the UK and Hong Kong are indicators for the health of the offshore jurisdictions then, as we predicted in our previous report, 2013 is turning out to be a watershed year.”