In the first half of 2013, the number of active companies in the Cayman Islands surpassed its peak figure recorded in pre-recession 2008 and was on track to experience an 8 percent increase over the second half of 2012.
That was the finding of law firm Appleby in its biannual On the Register report, which provides insight and data on company incorporations in offshore financial centres.
Due to a delay in reporting from the General Registry in the Cayman Islands, data was only available for the first three months of 2013 at the time of the report. Nonetheless, a dip in Cayman company incorporation activity in the second half of 2012 appears to have been reversed in the first half of 2013.
Based on the available data reported, Appleby found there were 94,191 active companies on the register at the end of the first quarter of 2013 and estimates 4,504 new companies were registered in the first half. This would mark an 8 percent increase in the number of new company incorporations over the previous half.
“The Cayman Islands remains one of the top offshore jurisdictions for incorporations, reflecting the contractual flexibility and legal certainty enjoyed by companies incorporated there,” said Richard McMillan, managing director of Appleby Trust (Cayman). “This has been a buoyant year for Cayman and we expect this trend to continue into 2014.”
Across offshore jurisdictions, there were a total of 38,416 new incorporations in the first six months of this year, and the overall number of active companies listed on offshore registers is stabilising.
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. Like Cayman, many jurisdictions are approaching, or have even surpassed, their pre-recession peaks.
“The global economy appears to be stabilising, 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 percent compared to pre-recession 2008.”