December 18, 2007. According to Minister of State for Finance Zhivargo Laing, the Bahamas government is going to strategically promote and market Bahamian financial services sector within the international community.

Laing spoke at the Tax and Trade Symposium that was held by the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB). At the symposium, he explained that the current administration intends to increase the profile and presence of the Bahamas within the global marketplace. He also noted that the government is increasingly committed to public-private partnerships.

Lainng said, "We were pleased to double our subvention to the BFSB in the current fiscal budget from of USD 250 000 to USD 500 000 and to commit to provide a new subvention to the Bahamas Association of Compliance Officers (BACO) of USD 25 000 for training in the upcoming fiscal budget."

Also, the government wants to eliminate exchange controls during its term in office.

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November 23, 2007. Zhivargo Laing, Bahamas Minister of State for Finance, has commenced a month-long initiative aimed to educate the public on the Business Licence and Valuation Unit's function in order to promote the fiscal responsibility of citizens through the payment of taxes.

On November 21, at the launch of the Unit's Public Relations campaign, Laing said that in the Bahamas people have had "a certainly less-than-adequate knowledge about the details about paying for property taxes".

Laing said that from time to time people face some challenges as regards carrying out their own transactions or even complying with the law. Therefore, the launch of a customer service initiative is very important. According to Laing, the government of the Bahamas is responsible for providing public goods and services that make everybody's life better. He also added that the campaign is an effort to assist customers who have some difficulties in understanding the methods and processes related to real property taxes.

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November 20, 2007. The Government of the Bahamas is seeking support from Germany in its continued talks with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that regard transparency in Bahamian financial services sector.

In the middle of November, Bahamas Governor General, Arthur Hanna made the request when accepting Letters of Credence from Jurgen Engel, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.

It should be noted that about 6 years ago the Bahamas included in the blacklist compiled by the OECD. It was named a harmful tax haven. So, the Bahamas enacted wide-ranging legislation aimed to enhance the transparency and accountability of its financial services sector.

Hanna said that the Bahamas appreciated the sensitivity of Germany and the EU to the vulnerability of a small island state.

As regards economic cooperation, Engel expressed his confidence that it is possible to further stimulate German investment in the jurisdiction.

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November 15, 2007. On November 14, 2007, the Minister of State for Finance, Zhivargo Laing claimed that the economy of the Bahamian remains robust. The jurisdiction's central bank predicted its growth at 3%.

Opposition Leader, Perry Christie, insisted that the Bahamian economy has slowed down since the Free National Movement came to power in May 2007. Laing claimed that Christie's statement is baseless. He said that, according to Central Bank statistics, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to the Bahamas in the 1st 6 months of 2006 totaled $279.1 million, while in 2007 it was $351.7 million. So, FDI inflow in the 1st 6 months of 2007 was $72 million, which is 26% higher than for the same period in 2006. Laing said that "it cannot be a decline in foreign investment inflows that has contributed to any economic slow down that might have occurred this year compared to last year".

It should be noted that while the Central Bank acknowledges that the economy of the Bahamas continues to grow at a rate of 3%, according to its preliminary data, this growth has been moderated when compared to August 2006.

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October 18, 2007. Attorney General, and also Minister of Legal Affairs, Sen. Claire Hepburn said that a national strategy for anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing is central for the Bahamas that are aim at sustaining its place as a well-regulated financial services jurisdiction.

In the middle of October, she told a seminar hosted by the Bahamas Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) that the 1st step in fighting money laundering must be the enactment of effective legislation regarding anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism.

Since 2000, the jurisdiction has enacted a series of legislative and regulatory initiatives aimed at strengthening its anti-money laundering regime (including the the Anti-Terrorism Act passed in 2004), however, the Attorney General suggested that further legislative amendments may be necessary in order to address local and global developments.

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August 21, 2007. According to the government of the Bahamas, the economy grew by approximately 4.2% in current prices and 3.4% in constant prices in 2006. This was revealed by the government in the annual National Accounts Report.

Clarice Turnquest, Senior Statistician, Department of Statistics, said that the GDP, which is the most widely accepted economic indicator used to track the performance of a country, offers a comprehensive insight into the health of the Bahamian economy and its growth in 2006. Ms. Turnquest stated that the increase indicates a sustained growth over 2005 "led by a growth in tourist expenditure of $103 million, exports of goods of $139 million and a robust construction industry led by multi-million dollar projects around the Bahamas".

In accordance with the 2006 Labour Force Survey results, employment in the Bahamas grew by 7 530 persons or 4.7%.

Major industries that contributed to the constant prices growth in 2006 were construction industry ($95 million), wholesale and retail trade ($28 million), and the banking industry ($47 million).

Ms. Turnquest said that the 2005 results are provisional as far as they come from the 1st or early results from administrative sources and surveys.

She also said that during 2005, the GDP in current market prices grew by 5.96%.

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June 28, 2007. During the recent Conference on the Caribbean held in Washington D.C., the Bahamas was recognised for its significant contribution in fighting drug trafficking, terrorism and other matters of security.

The Conference aimed at providing the US and Caribbean leaders with an opportunity of discussing ways of improving democracies, promoting prosperity, investing in people and protecting security.

On June 22, Dr Brent Hardt, Charge d' Affaires of the US Embassy in Nassau, said that ways to continue and expand training for law enforcement officers has been discussed at the conference, and that the USA has definitely recognised the contribution of such countries as the Bahamas are making towards security regarding anti-money laundering issues, counter-terrorism and relevant issues.

Dr. Hardt also said that the US and CARICOM are working together with Haiti in order to develop the legislative side of the government affair, and that the Bahamas is one of the most active countries that train Haitian police officers in the Bahamas.

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April 18, 2007. Royal Bank of Canada, Canada's biggest lender, has agreed to buy 50% of banking unit of Fidelity Bank & Trust International Ltd. based in Bahamas. This move is aimed at expanding the Bank's corporate banking business in the Caribbean.

According to the statement by Royal Bank of Canada, the new entity is to be called Royal Fidelity Merchant Bank & Trust Ltd. It plans to provide services such as corporate finance, investment management, pension and mutual fund administration.

It is worth noting that the assets to be overseen by Royal Fidelity account for more than $1 billion. The bank will operate in the Bahamas as well as in Barbados, it also intends to enter other Caribbean countries.

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March 21, 2007. Canadian financial services firm Scotiabank has announced that it is expanding its wealth management services across the Caribbean, in Central and Latin America. Last week the bank launched Scotia Private Client Group in the Bahamas, leveraging global operations of Scotiabank to offer investment advice, trust services, private banking and insurance services.

The Bahamas announcement in the next months will be followed by Scotiabank's expansion in the Cayman Islands and the Dominican Republic. The Bank plans to introduce its brand of Scotia Private Client Group also in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, the British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos; the countries of Central and Latin America where Scotiabank is planning to launch are Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Peru and Panama.

Scotiabank's business model for the Caribbean, Central and Latin america will be similar to the one used in Canada: the clients will deal directly with trained relationship managers. In Bahamas, Scotia Private Client Group will offer international brokerage and local private banking services for high net worth clients. The Group will also provide offshore private banking and onshore brokerage, as well as trust and estate services.

Scotiabank has worked in the Caribbean countries and Central America since 1889. Now it is the leading bank in the region, operating in 25 countries. In Latin America, Scotiabank operates in five countries including Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Venezuela and Peru.

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January 7, 2007. An immigration framework has been developed by the Bahamas financial services industry. The framework is designed in order to help the jurisdiction compete with other offshore financial centres for skilled workers.

To draw up the proposals, discussions between the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) and the Ministry of Immigration, Labour and Training (MILT) at the recent Financial Services Retreat have been hold.

BFSB is responsible for promoting the jurisdiction's finance industry on the international level. In December 2006, the framework was circulated to BFSB members for reviewing.

The MILT will also consider a more flexible work permit system as it reflects the availability of workers in certain occupations. Shorter work permits for employment in spheres with an acute shortage of skills in just the Bahamas, and medium- to long-term permits for jobs with a worldwide shortage of qualified candidates might be granted.

It is suggested that the framework would be updated continually so that it meets changes and developments in the industry.

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January 3, 2007. Moody's Investor Services has issued a favourable report on the Bahamas. According to its latest Credit Opinion on the country, official foreign exchange reserves remain ample relative to debt service requirements, despite a fall in the 1st 10 months of 2006.

The report reveals a small surplus in the national budget for the 1st 3 months of the 2006-2007 fiscal year. This is due to continued buoyant revenue growth coupled with expenditure restraint.

As to foreign currency debt and bonds and the Bahamas' foreign currency country ceiling, the country has an A3 issuer rating.

In accordance with Moody's Investor Services, the strong credit ratings are based on a low risk of a payments moratorium in case of a government bond default, on the strength of the Bahamian economy coming from its proximity and integration with the US, on its competitive position in tourism and financial services as well as on its track record of prudent economic management.

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Our latest offshore news
30/09/2006
Welcome to join our discussions
on Offshore Companies, Incorporations,
Jurisdictions, etc..
05/09/2008
According to the Bahamas International Securities Exchange, Colonial Pension Services (Bahamas) Limited has been approved as a Trading Member of the exchange.
28/08/2008
According to BISX, the BISX Mutual Fund Listing Process has been successfully completed by Phoenix Four Inc. Now, it has been added to the roster of funds listed on BISX.
14/08/2008
The Central Bank of the Bahamas has recently announced the new appointment - a former senior official with the United Kingdom Financial Services Authority was appointed as Inspector of Banks and Trust Companies.
05/07/2008
BISX is going to launch a new initiative targeted at global financial services companies in order to create a new platform that will be focused on opportunities in the international capital markets.
16/06/2008
On June 13, House members passed the Bahamian Government's 2008-2009 Budget Bill. Passing the bill followed debate on the budget that included tax concessions.
29/05/2008
Hubert Ingraham, Bahamas Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, has delivered the Bahamian government's 2008-2009 Budget Communication to Parliament. The Budget is heavily tilted to provide relief to Bahamians on low incomes.
20/05/2008
The Bahamas Financial Services Board announced securities sector legislative developments to diversify the second pillar of the Bahamian economy and to reinforce growth for the jurisdiction's private wealth management services.
22/04/2008
FirstCaribbean International Bank announced that it has successfully completed a 30-year bond issue for the Commonwealth of the Bahamas worth USD 100 million.
22/04/2008
FirstCaribbean International Bank announced that it has successfully completed a 30-year bond issue for the Commonwealth of the Bahamas worth USD 100 million.
19/04/2008
The Bahamas is expected to strengthen its diplomatic ties with the Republic of Chile under the provisions of the Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU. This was announced by Bahamian Governor General, Arthur Hanna, when he welcomed new Ambassador of Chile to the Bahamas.
10/02/2008
The government of the Bahamas is seeking to strengthen its financial cooperation with the government of the Netherlands. It also hopes to leverage the Netherlands' government's support in order to secure financial services regulation within the OECD.
19/12/2007
According to Minister of State for Finance Zhivargo Laing, the Bahamas government is going to strategically promote and market Bahamas' financial services sector within the international community.
23/11/2007
Bahamas Minister of State for Finance has commenced a campaign aimed to promote the fiscal responsibility of citizens through the payment of taxes.
20/11/2007
The Government of the Bahamas is seeking support from Germany in its continued talks with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that regard transparency in financial services of the Bahamas.
15/11/2007
The Minister of State for Finance, Zhivargo Laing claimed that the economy of the Bahamian remains robust. The jurisdiction's central bank predicted its growth at 3%.
18/10/2007
Attorney General Sen. Claire Hepburn said that a national strategy for anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing is central for the Bahamas that are aim at sustaining its place as a well-regulated financial services jurisdiction.
21/08/2007
According to the annual National Accounts Report by the government of the Bahamas, the economy grew by approximately 4.2% in current prices and 3.4% in constant prices in 2006.
29/06/2007
During the recent Conference on the Caribbean held in Washington D.C., the Bahamas was recognised for its significant contribution in fighting drug trafficking, terrorism and other matters of security.
18/04/2007
Royal Bank of Canada has agreed to buy 50% of banking unit of Fidelity Bank & Trust International Ltd. based in Bahamas. This move is aimed at expanding the Bank's corporate banking business in the Caribbean.
21/03/2007
Last week Canadian financial services firm Scotiabank launched Scotia Private Client Group in the Bahamas, which is the first step of the announced expanding firm's wealth management services platform across the Caribbean, in the regions of Central and Latin America.
07/01/2007
An immigration framework has been developed by the Bahamas financial services industry. The framework is designed in order to help the jurisdiction compete with other offshore financial centres for skilled workers.
03/01/2007
Moody's Investor Services has issued a favourable report on the Bahamas. According to its latest Credit Opinion on the country, official foreign exchange reserves remain ample relative to debt service requirements, despite a fall in the 1st 10 months of 2006.
01/12/2006
In accordance with the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB), new Private Trust Companies (PTC) legislation has been passed in the parliament of the Bahamas to come into effect by the end of the year.
01/09/2006
Energy and Environment Capital Management LLC and Coastal Partners Ltd. have joined their forces in launching an offshore version of the Energy & Environment Fund in the Bahamas.
12/07/2006
The Bahamas Central Bank has reported that the Bahamas Economy is to a great extent maintained by its financial services. The Regulatory Authority published its Quarterly Review revealing the financial sector added in the Bahamas' GDP between 15% - 20% of its value.
27/06/2006
Bahamas survey that was published by the Bahamas' Government today confirmed the position of the country as the leader in the three core areas of private banking, trusts and corporate services.
18/04/2006
The Commonwealth of the Bahamas has received the 'A-' long-term and 'A-2' short term Sovereign Credit Ratings from Standard & Poor's. S&P analysts noted economic stability of Bahamas and rapid development of the finance and tourism sectors.