New company registrations increased in most offshore jurisdictions in the second half of 2013, according to Appleby, a provider of offshore legal, fiduciary and administration services.
In total, there were 44,615 new offshore company incorporations in the second half of 2013, and the total number of active companies rose to 671,000, according to the firm’s latest On the Register report.
Farah Ballands, partner and global head of fiduciary & administration services at Appleby said: "As the global economy follows a path to recovery, offshore company registration data reveals that levels of new company registrations are up in most jurisdictions during the second half of 2013, with an increase of between 5% and 10%."
Overall, the combined total of new offshore incorporations in the second half of 2013 represents a slow-down compared to the preceding six months, the report found.
Appleby attributed much of the pull-back to a decline in incorporations in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) — which is the offshore jurisdiction that attracts the most company registrations. Though it maintained a two-fold lead over its nearest comparator, the Seychelles, the number of new companies joining the BVI register shrank by 17% when compared to the first half of the year.
The Cayman Islands was the only other offshore jurisdiction to report a decrease in new registrations in the second half of 2013 when compared to the first half of the year.
However, the report attributed the decrease to a seasonal decline in company registrations and, when looking at 2013 as a whole, Cayman experienced a healthy 5% growth.
During the second half of 2013, the Crown Dependency jurisdictions of the Isle of Man and Guernsey revealed the largest increases in new companies joining the registers at 10% and 9%, respectively, over the previous half.
The number of new companies added to the register in Mauritius, meanwhile, was up 8% on the previous period.
The largest year-on-year increase was seen in the Seychelles (29%), followed by Bermuda (16%), which saw a recent high in new incorporations — more than 1,000 annually for the first time since 2008.
Other findings in the report include:
- BVI continues to dominate offshore new company registration activity by volume, and maintained a two-fold lead ahead of its nearest comparator, the Seychelles.
- Newly registered companies in Mauritius and the BVI each make up 12% of their local registry total, ahead of all the other offshore jurisdictions.
- Mauritius is the offshore jurisdiction witnessing the fastest growth in the number of companies on its local register, with a 13% increase on 2012 to 18,560. The next biggest growth (3%) came from Bermuda.