Directors and owners of offshore companies registered in Seychelles will remain confidential following the approval of the National Assembly.
Seychelles President Danny Faure has signed an amendment to the International Business Act 2016, maintaining the confidentiality of offshore companies registered in the jurisdiction.
"The approval was urgent because from December 1 the companies had to declare their directors, and they did not want to do it, and what would have happened, they would have left the country and we would have lost millions of rupees," MP Ahmed Afif told Seychelles News Agency.
Afif said that the companies responsible for the registration of the offshore companies had already sounded the alarm by explaining the losses it could have for Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.
"If we had left the law as it was, it would have brought our offshore system to the ground," he said.
Section 152 of the Act, as originally enacted two years ago, required companies to file a list of their directors with the Registrar of Companies by 1 December 2018, for inclusion on a public available central register. It also mandated the introduction of a private register of beneficial ownership, available only to the authorities.
However, strong opposition emerged from the offshore sector, which warned that many such companies would relocate elsewhere if s152 were implemented.
It is not yet clear how the decision will affect Seychelles' standing with the OECD Global Transparency Forum, which has grey-listed the jurisdiction pending reforms to its corporate legal framework.